AFL FANS ASSOCIATION (AFLFA): “GIVING FOOTY FANS A VOICE”
The AFL Grand Final ticket allocation of 34,000 to competing club members—17,000 per club—is unfair to loyal fans who follow them all year and must be increased, the AFL Fans Association says.
The MCG holds 100,024. “How can this be fair to the fans?” AFLFA president Ron Issko says, while acknowledging the AFL’s obligation to allocate tickets to sponsors and corporates, AFL, Medallion members and MCC members.
"Given that we have club memberships at an all-time record of 1,264,952 with the average per club just over 70,000, we will never be able to please all members wishing to attend the Grand Final,” Ron says. “However, we can certainly do better than what we are getting today."
For many years, the AFLFA has advocated on behalf of fans for a higher allocation for competing club members. In 2017, to the AFL's credit, it increased the allocation from 15,000 per competing club to the current 17,000.
"The AFL was able to reallocate tickets to the competing club members before, and we are calling on it to do it again given we now have 40 per cent more club members – 1.26 million in 2023 compared to 907,561 in 2017.”
"We are incredibly loyal and passionate AFL fans and have created a new all-time record attendance of over 7 million in 2023. What better way to reward fans for their loyalty than increasing their share of tickets to more than 34,000 available tickets?" says Ron. With 18 teams, we know it can be a very long time before we see our team in a Grand Final. "Unfortunately, so many loyal members miss out on the opportunity as there just aren't enough seats allocated to competing club members."
Ron said English football's FA Cup Final was an example of what the AFL should aim for. The English Football Association allocates 61,000 tickets to fans at the 90,000 capacity Wembley Arena. "By world standards we are behind, so this is about addressing an imbalance," Ron said.
The AFLFA are calling on CEO-elect Andrew Dillon to commit to reviewing the Grand Final ticketing with a view to allocating more tickets to competing club members. “We urge the AFL to permanently redistribute a portion of sponsors and corporate tickets to members of the competing clubs. Such a move will significantly increase the satisfaction of club members and demonstrate that the new AFL CEO is committed to putting fans first", commented Ron.
“Fans are the largest stakeholders in the game, and every year many devoted club members miss out on seeing their team play in the Grand Final after following them all year, home, away and interstate in the rain, hail and shine – it’s time to fix this,” Ron said.
“While we appreciate that changes are not possible in 2023 as tickets are already allocated, it should be considered as a high priority for the 2024 Grand Final and beyond.”
AFLFA membership is free, and fans are encouraged to join at www.aflfans.org.au
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