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AFL fails to draw crowds in Darwin

AFL fails to draw crowds in Darwin
July 20, 2011

The inhabitants of Darwin have again failed to support a major sporting event with a crowd of just 7,255 turning up at last Saturday's AFL clash between Port Adelaide and Melbourne.

AFLNT Chief Executive Tony Frawley said the AFL had only expected small numbers to attend the game at TIO Stadium, in Marrara - even if the game had been played in Melbourne or Adelaide.

However, commentators from around the country have criticised Northern Territory residents with Melbourne Herald Sun journalist Mark Stevens going on Twitter to state "Memo Darwin: When you lose AFL games don't bitch and moan."

Stevens later tweeted "by attracting just over 7000 last night u showed u don't give a stuff. Deplorable. People in Darwin using the fact it's cricket season up there as excuse. Bad call. If you want elite sport, support it regardless!"

Other recent major sporting events in the Northern Territory have also attracted small numbers.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson ordered a thorough review into the marketing of the Australian Superbike Championship at Hidden Valley after disappointing crowds last April.

The three-day event attracted a total of 5,717 people - 3,000 fewer than in the previous year. In addition, only 3,000 fans were recorded at the Twenty20 cricket challenge played at TIO Stadium in August last year.

In comparison, a record crowd of 48,360 converged on Hidden Valley Raceway for the V8 Supercars last month while the Darwin Cup attracted more than 20,000 racegoers in August last year.

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