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Record AFL club membership in 2014

AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan today confirmed that 2014 AFL club membership had reached 804,480 members nationally – the highest recorded figure in the game’s history and an increase of 47,763 on last year’s total.

The AFL completed its official membership audit at the end of last week based on figures up until July 31, with data revealing one in every 28 Australians is a member of an AFL club. The results also showed that 12 out of 18 AFL clubs have broken all-time club membership records in 2014.

The membership of AFL clubs comprised 706,228 club access members with match-day entry (compared to 670,811 in 2013) and 98,252 non-access members (compared to 85,906 in 2013).

Mr McLachlan said this year’s record membership numbers reflected the passion and loyalty of AFL fans and their willingness to forge a deep connection with their club.

“Membership remains the cornerstone of our game and ensures our fans play a pivotal role in the growth of their club,” Mr McLachlan said.

“To have so many Australians signed up as members of an AFL Club is a significant achievement and the AFL thanks those supporters who continue to act as the game’s driving force each year through their club commitment, along with attending and watching matches.”

Mr McLachlan noted that 15 of the 18 AFL clubs had experienced membership growth across 2014, saying it was testament to the time and effort devoted to building membership by each club, including their players, coaches and administrative staff.

“The number of new benchmarks achieved in 2014 illustrates the outstanding job our clubs do in growing membership and engaging fans by making themselves accessible throughout the community,” Mr McLachlan said.

“With more fans signed up to their club than ever before I want to urge members to make the most of their membership and support their club by attending as many games as possible over the course of a season.”

AFL club membership has risen every single year since the 2001 season, with the only drop in membership through the last two decades since 1990 coming in 2000, when the AFL season was moved forward by a month to accommodate the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

All but three clubs – Brisbane, Carlton and St Kilda – recorded increases on their 2013 membership tally, with Adelaide, Fremantle, North Melbourne, Port Adelaide and Sydney recording double-digit growth.

Port Adelaide recorded the greatest rise in membership numbers of any AFL club in 2014, with this year’s total (48,968) representing a 22.92 per cent increase on last year’s membership total (39,838). Crosstown rival Adelaide were second with a 16.9 per cent increase in 2014 (54,294 members) against 2013 (46,405).

“The membership growth of both Adelaide clubs over the past 12 months is outstanding and has clearly been driven by a combination of on-field success and the introduction of the newly developed Adelaide Oval,” Mr McLachlan added.

“The manner in which the people of South Australia have embraced the new Adelaide Oval has undoubtedly been one of the highlights of the 2014 season.”

Collingwood remains the largest-supported club in the competition, taking its total membership to 79,347 – the highest ever for an AFL club – while Hawthorn (68,650), Richmond (66,122), Essendon (60,646), West Coast (58,529) and Adelaide (54,249) are the competition’s other clubs beyond 50,000 members.

Please find below the membership breakdown for each AFL club and the comparison figures for 2013. Previous year club membership totals are listed on page 838 of the AFL 2014 Season Guide.

 CLUB
(* Record)

 

TOTAL MEMBERS YTD (2013 v 2014)

2013

2014

VAR #

VAR %

Adelaide*

46,405

54,249

7,844

16.90%

Brisbane

24,130

24,012

-118

-0.49%

Carlton

50,564

47,485

-3,079

-6.09%

Collingwood*

78,427

79,347

920

1.17%

Essendon*

56,173

60,646

4,473

7.96%

Fremantle*

43,880

48,777

4,897

11.16%

Geelong*

42,884

43,803

919

2.14%

Gold Coast*

12,502

13,478

976

7.81%

GWS*

12,681

13,040

359

2.83%

Hawthorn*

63,353

68,650

5,297

8.36%

Melbourne

33,177

35,911

2,734

8.24%

North Melbourne*

34,607

39,060

4,453

12.87%

Port Adelaide*

39,838

48,968

9,130

22.92%

Richmond*

60,321

66,122

5,801

9.62%

St Kilda

32,707

30,739

-1,968

-6.02%

Sydney*

36,358

40,126

3,768

10.36%

West Coast

58,501

58,529

28

0.05%

Western Bulldogs

30,209

31,538

1,329

4.40%

TOTALS

756,717

804,480

47,660

6.31%

 

Ends