Tasmania expansion bid, 19th club, stadium, $150m proposal, clubs against, when will decision be made

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Tasmania have submitted a $150million plan to land the AFL’s 19th club, but three existing teams have already suggested they are against it, The Age reports.

The proposal would see a Hobart-based team join the league by 2028 and as early as 2026, and includes a 10-year commitment of $100 million plus $50 million in start-up costs.

This would include a performing facility close to Hobart’s CBD. A new 27,000 seat stadium with a retractable roof, on the Regatta Ground foreshore next to the city centre, was proposed in March.

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Talks are still ongoing between the Tasmanian government and the AFL over the annual financial commitment required, with Caroline Wilson reporting this week that the league is after $20 million a year.

Tassie’s new proposal of $10 million a year over a decade matches the amount proposed in Colin Carter’s 2021 expansion report, which estimated the state government would contribute $7 million to $11 million a year.

A rendering of the proposed new Hobart Stadium.Source: Supplied

But there was reportedly unease among club presidents over the expansion commitment, ahead of the AFL Commission decision in August, where AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said he wanted a strong majority of clubs on board.

Sydney, Collingwood and Gold Coast are said to be against the Tasmanian bid.

“I have an open mind, but I guess I have reservations about the viability of a 19th license,” Swans chairman Andrew Pridham told Seven this week.

The Nine report said: “A level of angst is mounting among key players involved in the Tasmanian bid as it awaits clarification on its football soft cap, roster size and game quality.

“Current costs per bid would put the new team roughly 12th or 13th in annual revenue, including AFL contributions.”

If Tasmania cross the line and are awarded the 19th club, the Northern Territory should step up their efforts for the 20th.

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