Tasmania Premier Jeremy Rockliff and AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan on May 3, 2023 after signing the agreement for Tasmania to become the AFL's 19th team. Picture: AFL Photos

On behalf of the AFL Commission, the AFL is proud to announce the 19th licence has been awarded to Tasmania.

Yesterday afternoon at a meeting of the AFL Commission where all Commissioners were present the AFL Commission resolved to award a licence based on conditions to a Tasmanian club – a decision that will finally make our competitions truly national.

AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan made the announcement in Hobart today after yesterday receiving the support and endorsement of the Presidents and Chairs of all 18 AFL clubs and unanimous support of all members of the AFL Commission - awarding the 19th licence to play in the AFL and AFLW competitions to Tasmania.

This morning the AFL signed binding commitments with the Tasmanian Government that committed to delivering on those conditions, including partnering with the Federal Government for the construction of a 23,000-seat roofed stadium at Macquarie Point.

The AFL men's team is expected to enter the competition in the 2028 Toyota Premiership Season, with a proposed timeline for a women's team entry into the NAB AFLW Competition to be worked through shortly.

"There are big days and there are really big days. For our national game of Australian rules football and for the state of Tasmania this feels really big. Historic. Big for football, big for Tasmanians, big for all AFL supporters," Mr McLachlan said.

"Today is an important and historic day, for football in Tasmania, for football in Australia, for footy supporters all around the country.

"Today we are here to ensure a foundation football state, filled with believers, supporters and gravel rash grit, get the opportunity to unite their state and unite behind a single cause.

Mr McLachlan said today's announcement is also the culmination of a lot of work by so many people.

"I want to firstly thank Premier Jeremy Rockliff and his Government for their vision, their dogged commitment and their investment, both financially and emotionally in football. Thank you Premier.

"It is also important to acknowledge former Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein who refused to take no for an answer – a baton he clearly passed on to Premier Rockliff.

"To Acting Prime Minister Richard Marles and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for your support of a project that not only creates the opportunity for a new football club but also the opportunity to bring to life a vision for an urban renewal project that will not only change a sport but change a city, and change a state.

"Thank you Premier Rockliff and Prime Minister Albanese for having the conviction and the determination to make this happen and also for the confidence that our sport can and will deliver on our promises to drive economic activity, tourism and pride.

"To the members of the Tasmanian Taskforce who took passion aplenty and mixed it with the support of 90,000 football-loving Tasmanians, a clinical business case and a refusal to let this moment in time pass.

"And to my own team, led by Executives Travis Auld and Sam Graham who were set 11 workstreams that needed to be approved before the 19th licence could be issued and who have worked assiduously to get the job done.

"And to the 18 AFL clubs and the AFL Commission who have walked every step of this journey and ensured that the outcome today is one that is not only good for Tasmania but good for our national game and every one of our supporters."

Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff said:

"This is a proud and ground-breaking moment in our history - put simply, Tasmania will never be the same again.

"After more than a century, the AFL will finally be complete and recognised as a truly national competition.

"We have fought hard to deliver this and I couldn’t be prouder to deliver our own team, that will take the field in our own colours, and sing our own song.

"For everyone who has backed us and Believed– thank you for sticking with us, as we’ve brought this home.

"Tasmania's time has come."

With the establishment of the 19th licence the AFL and Tasmanian Government will now work to establish a Club Nominations committee and will select a Club Chair and Board of Directors.

Details of the Club's Training and Administration base will also be worked through in coming months.

AFL Tasmania will launch its Futures Report including the future structure of State and Community football.

Later in the year, a community campaign will be launched to select the brand of the new Club including Name, Logo, Guernsey and song.

"It's been a journey, but I am so happy to say we have reached the summit. A 19th club in Tasmania. For Tasmania. Uniting Tasmania." Mr McLachlan said.