The Australian Football League’s attendance was down but TV watching up for 2012. Total attendance for the NAB Cup, NAB Challenge, AFL Premiership season and finals was 7,374,832, down from 7,488,198 in 2011; while average attendance per game in the Premiership season was 31,509, down from 34,893. The fall was in line with the League’s expectations following the introduction of expansion clubs Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney.
AFL’s Chairman Mike Fitzpatick explained:
“Playing Premiership season matches in smaller capacity venues in Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart and Launceston may also have the effect of reducing overall crowds, but the AFL Commission is committed to providing an opportunity for as many people as possible to attend an AFL game.”
The AFL has confirmed it would like to buy Docklands Stadium earlier than 2025, when its existing deal means it will take ownership of the venue. It also says it is again considering plans to develop a new stadium in central Melbourne to help ease the financial burden on Victorian clubs playing at Etihad Stadium.