The AFL and Tasmanian State Government have inched closer to securing a 19th license after agreeing on key commercial terms on Friday.
Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff announced the good news on Twitter and is confident that more will follow.
“I have some news to share with you all before it hits the press.
We have reached an in principal agreement on the key commercial terms to bring a Tasmanian team into the AFL.
In our colours, singing our song…” pic.twitter.com/c4VHzzwxzI
— RockliffTeamMedia (@RockliffTeam) November 18, 2022
Outgoing AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan was adamant that a Tasmanian team is heading in the right direction but there is an important piece of the puzzle that has yet to be decided.
“I think we’re just being clear that we’re working with it and we’re trying to land the whole package together, and we think the stadium is an important piece,” McLachlan said according to 9News.
“We’ve got lots to do, we’ve been working with the clubs, state government, other parties around the venue and all the other parts will hopefully come together as one.
“We need a stadium. The biggest sport in the country and one of the biggest sports in the world needs a stadium,” he told the crowd.
“Our fans expect the best.”
Rockliff also pledged his confidence in Tasmania getting their own team on Friday.
“We have reached an in principal agreement on the key commercial terms to bring a Tasmanian team into the AFL,” Mr Rockliff said, reports News Corp.
“In our colours, singing our song.
“Some more work still needs to be done, but make no mistake, we will get our stand-alone team and finally take our rightful place in the national league.
“Tasmania is on the move.”
McLachlan has finally got all 18 AFL presidents onside, with his attention turning to negotiations over state and federal funding.
Collingwood, Gold Coast, Hawthorn and Sydney were initially opposed to a 19th team given the potential for a financial burden on the competition.
However, a stadium in Tasmania that has estimated to be around $750m (Macquarie Point Stadium) will have half paid for by the state government.
This leaves $375m for the Federal Government, the AFL and the private sector, all of which say ‘no stadium, no team’.
An AFL president said that the collective feel ‘satisfied’ that the 19th team can hold their own.
“All of the presidents are now satisfied that Tasmania can hold its own in terms of financing the team, which was the main concern for a lot of clubs,” the president said.
“The feeling now is something of disbelief that anyone would be against having a new stadium for a new team and the government building something that would be an incredible boost for the entire state.”