AFL matches crucial for NT
THE AFL matches in the Territory are a highlight on any sporting fan’s calendar but the participating clubs are a key part of how successful the venture is.
With Melbourne’s current contract with the NT Government finished it may be time to look at clubs who go above and beyond to meet the opportunity’s demands.
The NT Government is right to request clubs which “both motivate interstate AFL supporters to visit the NT and appeal to the local community” to ensure they don’t waste the opportunity. For the Territory, it’s not about eight premiership points in two games, it’s about making an investment in tourism and the community, giving kids and all fans a chance to see their idols in the flesh.
It is pointless having clubs turn up that don’t provide an entertaining match or don’t involve themselves in the community. A team shouldn’t play in the Northern Territory because of the corporate dollar, it should play here because it wants to entertain on and off the field, and make its mark on the Territory. It’s not an easy balance to find – two clubs that will create a spectacle on the field, bring fans through the gates and integrate with the community.
And it isn’t easy for even the best tipster to predict which teams will make for an entertaining clash when the deal is made, or when the fixture is released in late October.
But while the NT matches have been dubbed a success, in particular the game in Alice Springs, the NT Government and the AFL are provided with an opportunity to build an agreement with a club based on commitment to the cause, not to the highest bidder.