AFL Club Membership Breaks Records
fter another season disrupted by COVID-19 causing heavily reduced venue capacities and the majority of matches running with no crowds at all, AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan announced that total club memberships had exceeded 1.1 million for the first time in history.
After the record was set with 1,057,572 members in 2019 and after a COVID affected number of 992,854 in 2020, the 2021 total of 1,113,441 surpassed a 12% growth from 2020.
The 1,114,441 total consists of 726,897 adults, 99,807 concessional members and 286,737 junior members.
Ten of the 18 AFL clubs broke their records, including Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Geelong Cats, Gold Coast SUNS, Melbourne, North Melbourne, Port Adelaide, Richmond, St Kilda, and West Coast Eagles.
AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan said: “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,” he said.
AFLW membership has increased after its fifth season with a record of 25,782 members signing up like St Kilda with 3119, West Coast Eagles with 3081 and Adelaide Crows with 2735 members led the AFLW membership tally.
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,” Ms Rogers said.
“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.
“On behalf of the AFL and all the clubs, thank you to all the members for your ongoing support and commitment to your clubs and the game.
“Our commitment is to continue to investigate ways to get as many of you back as safely as possible, as soon and possible.
“We have a team working closely with the state governments and health officials on revised plans leading into the finals and beyond.”