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AFL reveals all-time record club membership

AFL reveals all-time record club membership
August 24, 2021

Despite a second season disrupted by COVID-19, the AFL has announced a new all-time club membership record of more than 1.1 million members.

In another season affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, including games with heavily reduced capacities and at times no crowds at all, it is the first time in history the total club membership number has exceeded 1.1 million.

Having passed one million members as of round eight of the AFL Premiership, the 1,113,441 total surpasses the record of 1,057,572 that was set in 2019.

With the COVID affected 2020 Club membership number having reached 992,854, the 2021 total represents 12% year on year growth.

The numbers also saw 10 of the 18 AFL clubs break their membership records, including Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Geelong Cats, Gold Coast SUNS, Melbourne, North Melbourne, Port Adelaide, Richmond, St Kilda, and West Coast Eagles.

The West Coast Eagles exceeded 100,000 members for the second time and topped the AFL membership tally for the second straight year with 106,422 members.

Reigning Premiers Richmond passed 100,000 for the fourth year running (105,084), after becoming the first sporting club in Australian history to pass 100,000 members in 2018.

AFLW membership increased again after its fifth season, with an all-time record 25,782 members signing up. St Kilda (3119), West Coast Eagles (3081) and Adelaide Crows (2735) led the AFLW membership tally.

Advising that one in 23 Australians is a member of an AFL club, League Chief Executive, Gillon McLachlan stated “the connection that footy supporters have with their clubs is unmatched in world sport.

“The COVID pandemic has meant we have had another challenging season- border closures, crowd caps, no crowds, week by week fixtures, moving matches and even home games in different states- but the constant has been the loyalty and unwavering support of members.

“On behalf of the AFL, I want to say thank you to every single person who has signed up this year,”

AFL Customer and Commercial Executive General Manager, Kylie Rogers added “we empathise it has been a challenging year for fans to be able to attend matches, especially as we all continue to manage life amid the pandemic.

“The clubs have continued to find ways to engage their fanbases and bring their members into their inner sanctum.

“Regardless of the hurdles, when the opportunity has been available, the members have continued to sign up and turn out, with AFL matches having nine of the top ten attendances in Australian sport since the pandemic, including at the time, the biggest attended sporting event in the world for the Anzac Day match at the MCG.

2021 Club Memberships

  • Adelaide Crows - 60,232
  • Brisbane Lions - 40,289 (club record)
  • Carlton - 81,302 (club record)
  • Collingwood - 82,527
  • Essendon - 81,662
  • Fremantle - 50,342
  • Geelong Cats - 70,293 (club record)
  • Gold Coast SUNS - 19,460 (club record)
  • GWS GIANTS - 30,185
  • Hawthorn - 77,079
  • Melbourne - 53,188 (club record)
  • North Melbourne - 46,357 (club record)
  • Port Adelaide - 56,532 (club record)
  • Richmond - 105,084 (club record)
  • St Kilda - 55,802 (club record)
  • Sydney Swans - 50,144
  • West Coast Eagles - 106,422 (club record)
  • Western Bulldogs - 46,541

TOTAL: 1,113,441

Image: Collingwood players applaud their fans after their win against Richmond in round 17, 2021. Credit: AFL Photos.

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