AFL Fans Association: Diehards demand more grand final tickets

AFL Fans Association (AFLFA): “Giving Footy Fans A Voice”

 

If the AFL is serious about this being “The Year of the Fan” it must allocate at least 50,000 Grand Final tickets to competing club members, the AFL Fans Association says.

While the AFL’s 2015 finals ticket price freeze is to be applauded, it won’t help club members who miss out on the Grand Final. The AFLFA says tens of thousands of loyal club members will again be locked out of the year’s biggest game.

The stakes are even higher this year, with the Western Bulldogs and Richmond hoping for their first Grand Final appearances since 1961 and 1982.

AFLFA president Gerry Eeman says the lack of access for club members is unfair and potentially disastrous if two big clubs play off. “If the AFL doesn’t increase the club member allocation from about 30,000 to at least 50,000, members who have turned up week, in, week out, during the season will have very little hope of attending,” he says.

“Tens of thousands of long-suffering Richmond and Western Bulldogs members will miss out if their teams make it. Those teams alone have a combined membership of more than 100,000 – the Tigers have 70,809 and the Bulldogs 35,222. It would be even worse if Richmond played Hawthorn with more than 140,000 members between them – 70,809 and 72,924 respectively. West Coast and Fremantle have a combined 111,000, Adelaide has 52,920, Sydney 48,836 and North Melbourne 41,012.

These growing figures are trumpeted each year, but mean Grand Final access is almost impossible for members without expensive memberships that guarantee it.”

The AFLFA says the AFL should reward members who have stuck by their teams and the game in a scandal-ridden season by slashing the number of corporate tickets/giveaways and scrapping tickets for non-competing clubs.

“The promise of $2.5 billion in TV rights money means the AFL can afford to buy back, at the corporate rate, tickets from non-competing clubs who depend on selling their allocation in corporate packages,” Gerry says. “If it is too late this year, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan can commit to improving the situation in 2016. Dedicated club members who regularly attend games are sick of missing out on the Grand Final at the expense of corporate types who don’t care if they are there or not and detract from the game’s atmosphere.”

The AFLFA applauds the AFL for lifting the competing club grand final ticket allocation from about 25,000 to 30,000 in 2014 and freezing 2015 finals prices. “But this does not help competing team members who cannot access a Grand Final ticket,” Gerry says. “They deserve top priority.”

Meanwhile, those with cash to splash on corporate packages can jump the queue without even being a club member. This year’s deals included a $950 ‘fan’ themed package with a category 6 ticket, an elite Grand Final breakfast for $1,695/$1,730 (category3/4 seats), a Final Siren package for $2,225 (category 3), or Grand Final Greatness packages for $2,470/$2,540/$2,590 (category 3-2-1). Most were sold by late August.

 

AFLFA membership is free and fans are encouraged to join at www.aflfans.org.au.

 

 

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