Gold Coast players run onto the field ahead of the match between the Suns and Geelong at TIO Stadium in round 10, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

DESPITE its success in Darwin, Gold Coast CEO Mark Evans says it "wouldn't make sense" to take more than two games a year to the Top End in the future.

Since striking a partnership with the Northern Territory government three years ago, the Suns are a perfect 6-0 in games at TIO Stadium.

On their most recent trip they walloped both North Melbourne and Geelong by 68 and 64 points respectively, handling the hot, humid and slippery conditions significantly better than their opponents.

With two years to run on their existing agreement, Evans said there were good reasons to keep it at two games a year.

"Our primary focus has got to be growing south-east Queensland," Evans told

"There are some things we need to do to make our stadium more commercial and more viable as part of all that … assuming we could do that, it wouldn't make sense to play more games in Darwin.

"To play more games becomes, far more additional travel, it's not like you're going to play three games back-to-back, so it would be difficult to contemplate playing more games."

Mac Andrew with fans after the match between Gold Coast and Geelong at TIO Stadium in round 10, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Taking two games north is a financial boost for the Suns, but also comes at the expense of a four-hour-plus plane trip both ways for a club that already travels 12 times a season.

Gold Coast has previously spent 10 days in the Territory's capital playing back-to-back games, but reduced that this time with a five-day break between games.

The club was given access to Darwin as part of its Academy zone courtesy of an AFL assistance package in 2019 and has formed great ties with the community.

They have acquired Joel Jeffrey, Malcolm Rosas jnr, Sandy Brock, Will Rowlands, Lloyd Johnston and Ashanti Bush and Annabel Kievit (AFLW) through the zone.

Joel Jeffrey, Lloyd Johnston and Ben Long after the match between Gold Coast and North Melbourne at TIO Stadium in round nine, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Evans said he hoped to retain Darwin as part of its Academy in the future.

"If the partnership is only about playing games in Darwin, then that will run its course, but if the partnership is bigger than that, growing football in the Territory, developing talent pathway programs, and all the community programs that come from it, then it has far more depth to the partnership," he said.

"Some of those guys and girls would not have got an opportunity without the Suns' involvement.

"There is talent there and it needs a different focus to develop the talent. We would urge the AFL to make sure that can continue in the future."

Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin conducts a clinic with students from Anula Primary School and the Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre on May 15, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Evans said he felt it could fit under the same rules as the Next Generation Academy and refuted any leg-up the Suns got through such access.

"Of all the advantages and disadvantages in the AFL system, I'm yet to have anybody tell me of any advantage for an expansion team, other than the Academy," he said.

"Everything else is a disadvantage to established teams and teams from other states.

"You can jump up and down as much as you like, but if you ever want to swap the total circumstances of your club for our club, tell me that and we'll do it."