Fagan, Lions eye AFL membership record

Murray Wenzel
The resurgent Brisbane Lions are aiming to set a new record for club memberships this AFL season

Brisbane are hunting a new membership high that coach Chris Fagan insists will directly benefit the AFL club's on-field performance after last season's astonishing rise.

The Lions declared at Wednesday night's corporate launch that a 31,000-strong membership base was the target before their first game at the Gabba, in round two, later this month.

The club currently boasts 28,333 card-carrying members; ahead of only Gold Coast according to last year's figures and a far cry from the 103,358-strong Richmond contingent that celebrated another premiership in 2019.

The Lions' high-water membership mark of 30,941 came in 2004 after three-straight flags and offers a realistic target as Fagan attempts to consolidate last year's 16-win season.

"We started to fill the Gabba up with 30-000 plus, so it was a finals-like environment," Fagan told AAP of their rise from 15th in 2018 to second last year.

"That hadn't happened in a long time; it's a different kettle of fish to get used to and the crowd is part of this journey.

"It was a rapid rise and with it came some new challenges we hadn't spent much time preparing for, because we suddenly found ourselves there.

"If we want to become a great team, we need to play in a finals-like environment on a regular basis, we need our supporters to come out and watch us play."

Lions chief executive Greg Swann said the addition of a Brisbane AFLW team meant they could realistically push for 40,000 members base "over the next few seasons".

"Over the past three years our membership has steadily increased, so we wanted to be ambitious with our next goal by breaking our overall membership record," Swann said.

"The current record was off the back of three incredible AFL premierships, but we think it's a new era at the Lions, now that we have both men's and women's teams vying for a premiership."