The AFL will make a final call on the viability of a Tasmanian expansion team early in the 2022 season.
- For Tasmania to get a team, the AFL Commission must agree on an expansion bid and then 12 out of 18 AFL clubs will need to sign off on the deal
- In the meantime, Tasmania will re-open contract talks with Hawks and Kangaroos to continue playing games in Hobart and Launceston
- The state is hosting two finals this weekend for the first time
In a joint announcement, AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan and Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said a decision on a Tasmanian AFL licence would be made at the “earliest opportunity” in the 2022 season.
“The AFL and the state government will work through the matters raised in the Carter report ahead of a final position being put to club presidents for a decision on a Tasmanian AFL team,” Gutwein said in a press release.
“I want to thank Gil for the time he has spent in discussion with me over the past week to come to this agreement, which we both support.”
The decision allows the Tasmanian government to continue negotiations with Hawthorn and North Melbourne to play home games in Launceston and Hobart in 2022.
“This is a win-win. Tassie footy fans get yet another season of top-class footy played in Tasmania and we will finally have a decision on our own Tassie team,” Gutwein said.
The AFL Commission will first need to agree to the expansion bid, before getting the support of 12 of the 18 AFL clubs at a presidents meeting.
“We need to finalise the industry funding model with the 18 clubs given the continuing impact of the COVID pandemic,” McLachlan said.
“Once that work is done and we have worked through the steps identified by the Carter review, the AFL Commission will put a position to the clubs for a decision on a licence for a team to represent Tasmania.”
Launceston will host two AFL finals this weekend for the first time in the history of the competition, with Sydney playing GWS on Saturday, and the Western Bulldogs playing Essendon on Sunday.