1.3 Million Rise In AFL Fans, As Aussies Barrack From Home
The annual Roy Morgan AFL club supporters survey has shown that an extra 1.3 million Aussies now support an AFL team, with all that couch time resulting in a massive increase in those who have backed a team.
8.8 million Australians now support a team.
Not surprisingly, given the dearth of NSW clubs, the Sydney Swans are the most popular club, and the only one with over a million supporters, with their fanbase leaping by 27,000 to sit at 1.031 million.
Almost all the AFL’s 18 clubs experienced a rise in support during the year to June 2021, compared to a year earlier – and there appears to be a lot of bandwagon jumpers, with the clubs to experience the largest rise in support including Grand Finalists (the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne), 2019-2020 Premiers Richmond, and consistent performers the Brisbane Lions and Port Adelaide.
Julian McCrann, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan, says this comes despite a horror run for this, and many other sports.
“Victoria’s extended lockdowns during 2020, and again in 2021, have kept football fans watching games on the couch at home in the league’s most important market,” he says.
“Looking forward the AFL will be hoping the 2022 season will not present as many challenges in putting on a regular season as we have seen in 2020-21. Although the last two years have been incredibly tough for the league the ability to find a way to keep the schedule rolling through the season despite the disruptions has been appreciated by millions of football supporters around Australia – including this one.
“The success of the AFL in building its supporter base during this period is a tribute to the strength, durability and agility of the code throughout a once-in-a-century pandemic.”
Foxtel broadcasts every match of the AFL season live on Fox Footy.