Around the grounds - AFL news of the week

Around the Grounds: AFLFA speaks up for fans

AFL News for the week ending February 12, 2023 - AFLFA President lays forward the case for fans for AFL Season 2023

While there's more and more happening around the grounds as AFL Season 2023 inches closer, it was the fans and not the players who were in the spotlight during AFL news over the past week.

AFLFA President Ross Issko was out and about, putting forward the AFLFA's views on how the fast-approaching season can be more fan-centric.

Ron Issko

Ron Issko

Aflfa president

As reported in the Herald Sun by Peter Rolfe last Thursday, February 9, 2023, Ron listed five things top-of-mind for fans when they return to the footy in March.

Key to improving the fan experience is the AFL being aware of the cost of living crunch that many fans face at the moment, with five main areas of the fan experience linked to this:

  • Ticket prices
  • Food and transport options
  • Umpiring, scheduling
  • Gambling and
  • Grand Final seat allocation

Ron acknowledged that the AFL has been responsive to the fans in the past, saying,"You’ve got to give credit to the AFL — they’ve done it before — made kids free for certain rounds.

“If you wanted to help people with affordability of tickets, why not have certain times of the year where you buy one adult ticket and get one free and get kids in free?"

Could the AFL do something around fans getting to the games on public transport? Maybe!

Noting that in Sydney fans are offered free transport with a ticket to the game, Ron feels the AFL could enter the transport space in Melbourne and ensure it was optimised around game days.

And that old bugbear - the rules of the game - remains firmly in fans' minds.

“People are saying leave the rules alone and let’s be more consistent with the umpires,’’ Ron said.

More recently, gambling and the number of ads served to the AFL public, and notably children, has also become something causing concern to some fans.

“Kids shouldn’t really know the odds should they?’’ is Ron's take on this.