New stadium in Hobart, location, expansion, Tasmanian 19th club, Nathan Buckley against plan, details
The Tasmanian government is reportedly unveiling plans for a new city center stadium which could house an AFL club in Hobart this week.
But former Collingwood manager Nathan Buckley has spoken out against the idea of a 19th team, suggesting the league cannot afford it.
the ABC reports that Prime Minister Peter Gutwein will reveal Hobart’s Regatta Ground foreshore, next to Macquarie Point in the city’s CBD, as the preferred site for a boutique stadium.
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Sitting on the River Derwent, the ground would likely replace Bellerive’s Blundstone Arena – across the river from Hobart itself – and host a potential AFL club.
“In terms of a stadium, I think we should be ambitious. As I said, a stadium should be a key part of our thinking going forward,” Gutwein said on Monday.
The Carter Report, which said there was a strong case for a Tasmanian-based 19th club, did not ask if a new stadium should be built, but argued the team was split between Hobart and Launceston.
However, former Magpies boss Buckley explained he had reservations about whether the AFL could afford to introduce another club in a smaller market given the ongoing costs of the pandemic.
“I have just left the club and the funds in the football department have been cut and many coaches have lost their jobs, that is with 18 teams competing,” he said on SEN breakfast.
“The only way for the 19th team is if it’s commercially advantageous for the rest of the competition.
“They (AFL) are leaking money, everywhere, and there are clubs that need to be supported, so how can you even consider bringing another team into the competition.
“It doesn’t give you an extra game (per week), once has a pass and you have the same number of games, so you don’t get any more broadcast (money).”
Buckley later added: “I think there should be a representation of a footballing state like Tassie because he has contributed so much to football over the years, and I think that would be a fair thing to do. .
“But there’s still a lot of water under the bridge. Not now (for a 19th team), no.
“(And the) 19th team should only come in if the 20th team is going to come in, I don’t think you should have teams sitting (on a bye).”
The AFL chairmen will vote later this year on whether to prove expansion and a 19th club on Apple Island with SEN’s Sam Edmund reporting there is positivity about backing the plan.
“Both parties have come a long way since the immediate aftermath of the Colin Carter report, where Prime Minister Peter Gutwein and Gill McLachlan clashed and Gutwein threatened to ban the AFL from the state,” said Edmund on SEN breakfast.
“A lot of bread has been broken since then.
“Now I’m told that the AFL has backed Tasmania’s bid for a 19th team at executive level, so what it means to vote wisely – which has been very muddy, the voting process for this team – is with the backing of the AFL, I was told that what Tassie needed from the 18 presidents was just a one-third majority.
“Before that, if the AFL had just delegated entirely, it was a two-thirds majority, 12 of the 18 chairman had to say, ‘we tick the box and you’re in’.
“But with the AFL on board, I’m told it will take two-thirds of the presidents to vote against. Now Tassie only needs the six presidents.
“It’s a bit like the Olympic bids, they’re working in the room all the time…and everything is getting ready around August.”