NT seeks new AFL deal
A FRESH group of AFL teams may be chased to play footy in the Northern Territory next year, with Melbourne Football Club’s deal with the NT government coming to an end.
A new agreement for homeand-away season games until 2023 has the Territory’s government looking at teams who “motivate interstate AFL supporters to visit the NT, and appeal to the local community”.
The Demons’ contract lasted two years, after seven prior years in which they played 11 games in the NT.
Local communities were the biggest winners of the $1.6 million investment, which culminated in the Melbourne-Fremantle clash last weekend.
“The Melbourne Demons FC did four (or) five community visits last Friday to youth drop-in centres, Bagot Community, local sports stores and open training session,” NT Minister for Tourism and Culture Lauren Moss said.
She said visiting women’s teams were also immersing themselves in the community, with a VFLW match held as a curtain-raiser for the first time in the NT. Geelong’s AFLW team made community visits.
“AFL is not just a sport for us in the NT, it’s a great social, economic and cultural contributor that brings communities together and provides important opportunities for so many Territorians,” she said.
The match between Melbourne and Fremantle attracted a crowd of 8689, 4000 less than last year’s Demons game. But Ms Moss said she was not concerned by that.
“As ladder position often has a bearing on attendance at AFL games, we are happy with these numbers,” she said.
Only half of the guests at a match-day function were interstate guests, she added.