Staggering final cost of AFL's Queensland player hubs

Australian Associated Press
·2-min read
Trent Cotchin (pictured) smiles during a media conference.
Trent Cotchin (pictured) speaks to the media during a press conference after Richmond won the AFL grand final. (Getty Images)

The AFL spent more than $60 million in Queensland across the 2020 season.

All 16 non-Queensland clubs were temporarily based in Queensland at some point - a move that allowed the AFL to complete its season - which required the relocation and housing of more than 550 players, 750 staff and their families.

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The total spend included 101,000 bed nights, 400,000 meals, 10,000 rental cars, 950 bus trips, 120 charter flights and rental of local sporting facilities.

The AFL announced on Friday $136.4 million of economic contribution in Queensland was generated as a result of its activity in the state.

"We were able to complete our season by hosting teams and holding the majority of our matches here," AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said in a statement.

"This has not only provided an ongoing livelihood for many in our industry but also provided employment opportunities across many businesses in Queensland.

"I want to personally pass on my thanks for all the support we have had from so many businesses - whether hotels, bus carriers, car rental firms, food suppliers, security firms, local football clubs, gymnasiums, maintenance people and a host of other local suppliers who have helped to support our clubs."

A record 80 games were played in Queensland, including the grand final at the Gabba, with Brisbane (35 games), Gold Coast (41) and Cairns (four) all playing host.

AFL wins code-war in ratings

The AFL have again beaten the NRL in the grand final TV war, but both codes came away smiling after a fruitful weekend.

Saturday night's AFL grand final between Richmond and Geelong attracted a national average TV audience of 3.812 million and a peak audience of 4.283 million.

It was the AFL's highest average audience since the 2016 grand final and was a 30 per cent increase on the 2019 decider, with the decision to schedule it at night playing a massive role in the positive figures.

The NRL's grand final between Melbourne and Penrith on Sunday attracted a national average TV audience of 2.967 million and a peak audience of 3.442 million.

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