Victorians, get your wallets out.

So the AFL has decided that it just might need a new stadium in Melbourne to accommodate the two new expansion teams when they arrive. What a pity they spent so much time shit-canning Princes Park back when they were desperate for extra tenants at the Telstra Dome.

It seems to me that Princes Park perfectly fits the description of a ’boutique stadium’ that could hold a smaller number of games than Docklands and the MCG and I have no doubt that it would cost far less to put light towers up there rather than building an entirely new stadium on another site. I suspect, however, that having spent so much energy disparaging Princes Park in the past, the AFL won’t seriously even consider returning to this suburban ground.

So it’s time for Victorian taxpayers to subsidise the AFL yet again. The chances of the AFL actually paying for a new stadium are close to zero, they won’t pay for the land, they’ll get any number of Government grants to help fund the construction and then, no doubt, force a team or two to relocate so that the ground has a bit of a crowd turn up. Don’t forget that these two expansion teams are to be based in New South Wales and Queensland, meaning that Victoria will be subsidising other states purely for the economic benefit of the AFL.

I guess that the State Government figures that more footy is a cheaper way to shut people up than building adequate infrastructure.

4 thoughts on “Victorians, get your wallets out.

  1. Maybe they should look at Albury-Wodonga, Dave, and get two State Governments to help out?

    Seriously, I think a team relocated to A/W would do a lot better than a new franchise on the Gold coast or in West Sydney. The population of A/W alone might not be huge (about 100,000 I think) but the catchment area is massive.

    It’d also give people a reason to visit – think of the tourism benefits.

  2. I think the biggest problem with bringing a team to Albury is that they wouldn’t immediately gain local support, people would still cling to their Melbourne based teams. It’d also do a lot of damage to the Ovens and Murray league if people could see AFL in Albury every second week.

    The current AFL expansion plans look as likely to succeed as the Adelaide Rams. If the Gold Coast team have to play their games at the Gabba, they’ll get no meaningful local support, and Western Sydney is a disaster waiting to happen for everyone involved.

  3. They’d have to pull 30,000+ per game though and as for the O & M, well I doubt the AFL would give that a 2nd thought.

    Don’t worry though, diversification into regional Victoria has never been on the AFL’s agenda and won’t be in the forseeable future.

    They should have done it back in the 80s and sent Sth Melbourne to the ‘bush’ not to Sydney. Fitzroy in the 90s would have been another good decentralisation move.

    They were opportunities lost … for footy AND for regional Victoria.

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