Carter weighs in on Tas AFL stadium talk

·2-min read

The author of an independent report into the viability of a Tasmanian AFL team believes the bid's success should not be contingent on building a new stadium.

The league has indicated the island state's push for a 19th licence hinges on progressing a new stadium, reportedly telling the Tasmanian government it must foot the majority of the bill.

Premier Jeremy Rockliff, however, says the state government won't pay more than half the cost, which could be in the vicinity of $750 million.

It places the two parties at financial loggerheads ahead of a vote of the 18 AFL club presidents in August about whether to grant Tasmania a licence.

Former Geelong president Colin Carter, who authored a July 2021 report provided to the AFL commission, says the focus should not be on a new stadium.

"I don't think it should be contingent, which is why in my report I didn't actually say it was," Carter told Sports Day Radio.

"I think at some stage the Tasmanian football people will need to accept the fact you need a modern stadium. But I don't think that's the initial priority.

"I suspect that any new team is going to struggle for a few years.

"Filling 14,000-seat stadiums in those first four or five years rather than having a half-full 25,000-30,000-seat stadium would be a much better option.

"Tasmanian grounds are regarded as perfectly adequate for playing AFL football at the moment."

Tasmania hosts eight AFL games a season, split between Hobart's 19,500-capacity Blundstone Arena and 20,000-capacity University of Tasmania Stadium in Launceston.

"Australia has always had an obsession with big stadiums. The best path forward for a Tasmanian team is to make sure they size it so it is full most of the time," Carter said.

"One of the reasons why Geelong has been financially stable is the size of the stadium has always meant that if you're a regular watcher of football you buy a membership and a reserve seat."

Tasmania's Labor opposition and the Greens have questioned the merit of spending big on a new stadium amid health and housing shortcomings.

The state Liberal government is spending $1.25 million on a stadium feasibility study and has said it will seek funding from all levels of government, plus the private sector.

It has pledged $10 million per year for a decade towards a team, plus an initial $50 million.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting