The famous football state has been granted the 19th licence.
With the AFL club presidents have voted unanimously to grant Tasmania the game’s 19th licence earlier this week, league chief executive Gillon McLachlan has confirmed that Tasmania has indeed been granted the 19th license.
Speaking in Tasmania on Wednesday, McLachlan announced the League’s 19th club will be based in Tasmania in 2028 after the AFL signed binding agreements with the Tasmanian Government this morning.
“”It’s been a journey, but I am so happy to say we have reached the summit. I’m proud and excited to announce the awarding of the 19th license to play in the AFL and AFLW to Tasmania, a 19th club in Tasmania for Tasmania, uniting Tasmania.”
“Today is the result of nearly 150 years of football passion… and frankly decades of football advocacy,” says McLachlan.
Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here.
Tasmania will enter the AFL in 2028. pic.twitter.com/2Mj3gZI5Wl
— 7AFL (@7AFL) May 3, 2023
“There are big days and there are really big days. For our national game of Australian rules football and for the state of Tasmania this feels really big. Historic. Big for football, big for Tasmanians, big for all AFL supporters,” Mr McLachlan said.
“Today is an important and historic day, for football in Tasmania, for football in Australia, for footy supporters all around the country.
“Today we are here to ensure a foundation football state, filled with believers, supporters and gravel rash grit, get the opportunity to unite their state and unite behind a single cause.”
The AFL men’s team is expected to enter the competition in the 2028 Toyota Premiership Season, with a proposed timeline for a women’s team entry into the NAB AFLW Competition to be worked through shortly.
The new club in Tasmania will be the first expansion AFL team since Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney joined the League in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
The announcement arrives this week after the Federal Government announced on Saturday it would contribute $240 million to the redevelopment of the Macquarie Point precinct in Hobart, including the construction of a new multi-purpose stadium that will host the bulk of the new team’s games.
The Tasmanian Government will contribute $375 million to the project, while the AFL will add $15 million.
The League has already committed $360 million of funding to a Tasmanian team over 10 years, including $90 million in game development and $33 million for player talent academies. It is expected the side would play at Hobart’s Blundstone Arena and the University of Tasmania Stadium in Launceston before the new stadium is finished in 2028-29. The team would play four matches a season at UTAS Stadium, which will be upgraded.
With the new Hobart stadium to be the expansion club’s home, attention will now revolve around the logistics of the team entering the league, along with its proposed name and colours. The name choice will come down to Tasmanians, however, controversy arose earlier this week around the name Devils (a pretty fitting name), with suggestions that the AFL would have to negotiate with Warner Bros which owns a trademark over its Looney Tunes character.
It’s been a long time coming for Tasmania, who has pushed for many years to enter the nation competition, producing AFL Hall of Fame legends in Darrel Baldock, Peter Hudson, Ian Stewart and Royce Hart, as well as more recent stars including Matthew Richardson and Jack Riewoldt.
Let’s see what happens from here!
You can read today’s announcement here.