Territory prepares bid for AFL team

·2-min read

The Northern Territory is preparing to release a bid for a team to join the AFL while remaining keen to still host elite games this season.

Two scheduled fixtures in the Territory have been shifted amid Melbourne's coronavirus outbreak in a blow for the code in the region.

The rescheduling comes as AFL NT prepares to release a report detailing a proposal for the Territory to be awarded an AFL licence.

"The report has been completed for some time," AFL NT chief executive Stuart Totham told AAP on Wednesday.

"The release of that report into a team for the NT is close by."

The imminent release of the report comes as the Territory remains hopeful of still hosting AFL games this season.

Alice Springs was to host a blockbuster this Friday night between ladder-leaders Melbourne and premiership fancies Brisbane Lions.

That game has been moved to Sydney, while last weekend's scheduled Saturday night match in Darwin between Gold Coast and Hawthorn was also shifted to the NSW capital.

"We are super-keen to still host the games," Totham said.

"Obviously it's going to be challenging with the current fixtures that are in place but we will be working closely with government, AFL, clubs, to see if we can still host some games.

"It is really disappointing from a number of perspectives.

"We only get two (games) and there's that old saying, you can't be what you can't see.

"Obviously there's some economic drivers and it goes to livability in the Territory but importantly it helps inspire kids to want to play footy and play at the highest level."

Totham said the Territory was prepared to host games at any time and on short notice.

"We take anything we can get to be fair, we will just get it done," he said.

"Last year we had three weeks to organise three games in eight days when all of our team was on stand down (due to coronavirus cutbacks).

"So we have shown we can get it done quickly and we will do it again when we need to because we know the public really love these games."

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