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AFL clubs reach one million members for 2021

AFL clubs reach one million members for 2021
May 6, 2021

The AFL have announced that club membership has just passed one million members as it reaches round eight of its season.

Second only to the record of 1,057,572 set in 2019, the numbers includes the Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Geelong Cats and St Kilda each braking their all-time membership records.

Advising that member support is what vital in helping the game recover after the challenges of the pandemic, AFL Chief Executive, Gillon McLachlan stated “the connection that footy supporters have with their clubs is unmatched in world sport.

“The commitment members made to their clubs is a key reason why all 18 clubs were able to survive a challenging and unprecedented year in 2020.

“Their loyalty and unwavering support has allowed the game to bounce back this season, showcased by the record number of attendances around the country since the COVID pandemic hit.”

Membership records have already been set for the Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Geelong Cats and St Kilda, despite the final membership numbers not being released until after membership sales end, on the 31st July.

Victorian clubs with reserved seat members will be allowed to return to their designated seats starting in round nine for the MCG and Marvel Stadium and round 10 for GMHBA Stadium.

Still restricted by COVID19, seating arrangements have had to be reconfigured to comply with the government’s safety measures with capacity for the MCG sitting at 85% and 75% for Marvel Stadium, GMHBA Stadium and Mars Stadium.

AFL Executive General Manager Customer and Commercial, Kylie Rodgers, said while its great to have fans back in their seats, they must still follow the COVID-safe guidelines.

Rodgers noted “our priority has been to ensure, in the safest way possible that members get back to their beloved reserved seats to enjoy the footy with their friends and family.

“It is a great result for football fans in Victoria and highlights the hard work of fans adhering to COVID-safe rules across the first part of last season,” she said.

“It’s another great step in getting back to normal as the community continues to manage life amongst the pandemic.”

AFL club membership has increased 28 times in the past 30 years, with the exceptions being in the year 2000, when the AFL season was moved forward by a month to accommodate the Sydney Olympics, and last year’s COVID-19 pandemic-impacted season.

Final numbers for all clubs will be released in August 2021, after membership sales cut off on 31st July.

Images: AFL at the MCG (top) and a fan checks in with a QR code at the MCG (below, credit: AFL Photos).

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