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Club memberships rise as Power, Swans reap benefits

The Sydney Swans fans during the AFL Round 16 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Sydney Swans at Patersons Stadium, Perth. (Photo: Daniel Carson/AFL Media)
The Sydney Swans have enjoyed a 'Buddy swell' in membership numbers
FOURTEEN AFL clubs have received significant boosts to their membership figures in 2014, with many passing previous club records.
 
Richmond, the Sydney Swans, North Melbourne, Essendon, Greater Western Sydney, Port Adelaide, Hawthorn, Collingwood and Adelaide have all logged club membership records this season.

The figures, which are due to be verified by the League's Membership Department in the coming weeks, point to the support the game continues to receive from fans.

With ongoing debate surrounding the state of the fixture and the cost associated with attending games, figures reveal supporters are continuing to follow and invest in the club they love.

The presence of Adelaide Oval has been a boon for Adelaide and Port Adelaide, which have both rocketed past 55,000 members.
 
Those numbers are still to be confirmed, though, with Adelaide Oval management undertaking their own internal audit of membership numbers.

Port has enjoyed a 33 per cent increase on its membership tally from 2013 to 2014, with the club's count rising from 40,162 members last season to 55,508 this year.

The Crows have leapt from 46,054 in 2013 to 57,171 this year.

The Lance Franklin factor is also seemingly having a profound impact on the Swans' membership department.

The Swans have passed the 40,000 mark for the first time in the club's history, up from 36,358 last year.

The AFL's two fledgling clubs, Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney, have also seen their hard work rewarded with positive results.

The Suns and the Giants both saw leaps of more than 1000 new members, with GWS passing 13,000 members for the first time in its history.

Essendon, despite some uncertainty surrounding the ASADA investigation and impending court case, continues to reap the benefits of a loyal fan base.

The Bombers have passed the 60,000 mark for the first time in their history, with a little under 15,000 new members signing up in 2014.

In a show of faith to the decision to keep its roots in Melbourne, North also passed the 40,000 mark for the first time last week.

Carlton, the Brisbane Lions, St Kilda and West Coast are among the clubs that have reported decreased membership numbers this season.

The Blues have been hampered by some fixturing issues, while the Saints, the Eagles and the Lions are all clubs fighting to keep fans coming through the gates as they enter transitional periods under new coaches.

A snapshot of each clubs' membership tally from 2013 and 2014 can be found below:

CLUB
 
2013 membership numbers
 
2014 membership numbers
 
Adelaide 46,054
57,171*
Brisbane Lions 24,130
23,930
Carlton
50,561
47,485
Collingwood
70,427
79,273
Essendon
56,173
60,646
Fremantle
44,480
48,776
Geelong 40,025 43,806
Gold Coast 12,502
13,478
GWS 12,681 13,047
Hawthorn 63,353
68,652
Melbourne 33,177 35,911
North Melbourne 34,607
40,027
Port Adelaide 40,162
55,508*
Richmond 60,321
66,122
St Kilda 32,710
30,738
Sydney Swans 36,358
40,123
West Coast 58,501
58,426
Western Bulldogs 30,209
31,538

* numbers yet to be confirmed by Adelaide Oval

Twitter: @AFL_BenGuthrie