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Five AFL Clubs Break All-Time Membership Records

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FL chief executive, Gillon McLachlan, has announced the AFL club membership figures for 2020, revealing five clubs have surpassed their all-time records, with the West Coast Eagles topping all clubs.

Carlton (67,035), Gold Coast Suns (16,236), GWS Giants (30,841), St Kilda (48,588) and West Coast Eagles (100,776) all broke their all-time membership records, with the Eagles becoming the first non-Victorian club to ever top the leaderboard.

McLachlan said the official AFL club membership tally was compiled after an August 31 deadline, and saw seven of the 18 clubs, including Brisbane, Fremantle, and the five clubs that broke their records, achieve positive growth on 2019.

“Footy is about connection and a sense of belonging and this remarkable number demonstrates AFL members are the most passionate and loyal members across all sports,” McLachlan said.

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

“We have been blown away by the loyalty and commitment footy fans around the country have demonstrated this season.

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

Despite the impact of COVID-19, which forced the league to temporarily suspend its season in March, the total AFL club membership numbers are only 6.1% less than the all-time record of 1,057,572, which was set last year.

AFL general manager of commercial, Kylie Rogers, said this year marks only the second time in the past 30 years the AFL has not seen an increase in total membership numbers, the only other time being when the season was moved forward by a month in 2000 for the Sydney Olympic Games.

“In a challenging year for everyone, the clubs worked extremely hard to stay connected to their members and in turn the members supported the game in a way we would never have expected,” Rogers said.

“On behalf of the AFL and all the clubs, thank you,” she said.

After becoming the first sporting club in Australian history to surpass 100,000 members in 2018, Richmond joined the Eagles as the only clubs to reach the milestone this year, marking the club’s third consecutive year hitting 100,000.

AFL club membership reached 992,854 in total for 2020, with a breakdown of 669,745 adults, 90,042 concession members, and 233,067 junior members.