Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tasmanian A-League Taskforce releases findings of survey

Photo (L-R): Daniel Hanna, John McGirr and Martyn Wells at today's media conference [PlessPix]

The findings of the much-awaited survey of Tasmanian adults in regard to support for a Tasmanian A-League club, commissioned by the Tasmania United Football Club Inc, were released at a media conference at the Old Wool Store in Hobart this morning.

One thousand Tasmanian adults participated in the survey from 12-15 January this year.

There were 280 respondents from the north and north-east of Tasmania, 220 from the north-west and west, and 500 from the south.

Some of the key results were:

39% of respondents were aware of the potential bid for a Tasmanian-based A-League side.

75% of respondents supported the bid for a Tasmanian-based A-League side (support was consistent and strong through all age groups and regions of the state, with support strongest amongst those aged 18-24 years).

16% of respondents would be likely to become a member of TUFC if Tasmania had an A-League side, with strong support throughout the 15-54 years group.

53% of those likely to become members would have a personal membership and 43% would have a family membership.

23% of respondents would be likely to attend a home game in Hobart (35% of respondents in the south of the state).

25% of respondents would be likely to attend a home game in Launceston (45% of respondents in the north and 35% of respondents in the north-west and west).

“We will meet with the Government, indeed with all political parties and other stakeholders, to give them a full briefing on these results,” said Daniel Hanna, a member of the Tasmanian A-League Taskforce.

“We need to generate money for the full business case.

“We’re going to be presenting a business case, if you like, to all of the political parties about why it would be a wise investment to fund the business case because of the great potential benefits to the state.

“We’re also going to keep the Tasmanian business community involved and engaged because their support will be crucial to any Tasmanian-based A-League team going forward.

“But, most importantly, we need Tasmanians to keep supporting us.

“Their support has been fantastic thus far, but we need to maintain it and we need to grow it into the future.

“There’s still a lot of work to do and the task isn’t going to be easy.

“But what keeps us all going here is that dream about the day the Tasmanian-based A-League team will take the field for its opening game here in Tasmania.

“The eyes of the footballing world will be firmly upon us.

“And, I think today’s announcement, we believe, makes that outcome all the more likely.

“We’ve had conversations, obviously, with the corporate sector right throughout Tasmania.

“We’ve had very strong support for the concept, but at the moment, what we’re selling them is an idea rather than a reality.

“The feasibility study has shown that there are certainly great potential corporate sponsors.

“We think they’ll be identified through the business case.

“So, we’re quite confident that there’ll be a range of probably global, national and, we hope, local companies that’ll be interested in being aboard if we are to get a licence.

“The A-League is expanding, its viewer numbers are growing and, importantly, it’s beaming beyond just our shores and this country, and this would potentially be a great boon for any sponsor.”

In answer to questions from the media, Taskforce Chairman John McGirr said an A-League team in Tasmania would cost between $7 million and $9 million to run.

McGirr expected the business case to cost less than $100,000 as some of the work had already been done.

“We reckon if we can get crowds of between 10,000 and 12,000 to each game, we would be more than viable,” McGirr said.

It was proposed to play games in Launceston and Hobart.

Martyn Wells, another member of the Taskforce, said that the earliest Tasmania could expect to have a team in the A-League was the 2012-13 season.

“This is a code of football which is world wide and, when we establish ourselves as an A-League club, we see no reason why we can’t move into south-east Asia and, if we are as lucky as some other clubs have been, play in the World Club Championship, along with teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United,” said Wells.

“So, we have the possibility of going to the world from Tasmania.”


the priest said...

Pie in the sky but it would make a great election commitment wouldnt it mr Bartlett? BUT at the risk of being parochial, surely it doent make sense to play games in Launceston?. The north and north-west just doesnt support real football in sufficinet numbers to achieve the required critical mass of supporters.

Redevelop North Hobart Oval into a proper soccer stadium and make it a fortress.

Anonymous said...

Great Work TUFC. Lets keep it going and prove the doubters wrong.

I cannot understand why whenever there is a positive announcement from the A-League task force, there are always negative comments. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have a local football team to follow and get to see some of the great players such as Robbie Fowler’s and Jason Culinas in Tassie. So why don’t people just get behind it. Tassie has gone far too long without having a first rate football team (of any code) to follow week in week out.

I know I would be first in line to get a family membership.

Anonymous said...

I can't see the Greens giving it much support. They were feverishly against Hawthorn being brought here by Lennon, and still complain about it despite the fact it's raised more revenue than the venture cost.

The only recreation the greens want to encourage is getting impotent sitting around smoking whoopy-weed!

Will Hodgman is a fan of the world game, so we may have more luck lobbying the Libs. That would probably mean home games at York Park I reckon.

Roberto said...

Curious: "16% of respondents would be likely to become a member of TUFC if Tasmania had an A-League side, with strong support throughout the 15-54 years group."

Were they 16% of ALL respondents or just drawn from the "39% of respondents (who) were aware of the potential bid for a Tasmanian-based A-League side."

Tommy said...

I'm all for a Tasmanian A League side however, I don't see that a survey of 1000 people out of a population 500000 is statistically significant.

Let's hope those 1000 people are a fair representation of the other 499000 so we don't end up like Auckland Knights.

Anonymous said...

Probably no real need to pick the stats to peices.

I think the key indicator in my opinion is that for the past few seasons we have had solid crowds (from memory around 7000 or 8000) turn up to a 'practice game' in launceston between 2 non-Tasmanian teams in the middle of winter.

Compare this to the Gold Coast who cant even get 7000 to a top of the table clash with Sydney a few weeks back.

Just imagine how many will turn up when we have our team to support in a match which will mean something.

Anonymous said...

well said anonymous- still a bit worried about where the money will come from, but I reckon the support'll be there..

Anonymous said...

Dont discount the fact these people are going to the games because its a one off though. “We reckon if we can get crowds of between 10,000 and 12,000 to each game, we would be more than viable,” McGirr said.

Majority of the A-League teams in big established cities dont even get these numbers and we are relying on it for viablity?

Not putting an negative spin on it but its just a massive thing to rely on!

The games should be shared around the state to keep it fresh.

Anonymous said...

In regards to the priest's (by your words)parochial comments. Football fans in the North& N/West do support the world game,as proven by the last 2 pre season games between A-League teams Adelaide & Melbourne (a match up which has been overplayed) over 5,000in 08 & over 7,000 last year and considering both days were wet ones,Shows that we will support top class games when given the opportunity.
The game is played throughout the State and not just down South,While i'm scepticle about it happening,it would be the catalist for a boost to the game in Tassie. Sentinel

Chuq said...

J: are you sure about that?

All three political leaders have given the bid full support!

Chuq said...

Tommy: Statistics are a funny thing... 1k out of 500k is quite a large sample.

The statistics for TV ratings across Australia are done using a total of under 2000 ratings boxes (That is 2000 households out of 8+ million).

Those ratings are determined to be accurate enough for the networks to base their advertising prices from, and the advertisers are happy to pay the asking prices!

1k out of 500k is quite a significant sample, assuming it is spread across different locations, age groups, etc. If they did 2000 or 5000 out of 500k then the numbers wouldn't be that different.

At the same time if those 1k were NOT random (ie. they were all members/players of football clubs) then the resulting figures would be useless, but they got a 3rd party market research company to do this - it wouldn't have happened!

Anonymous said...

Olympia beat Metro tonight in a friendly, does anyone know the scores or who played etc........

Captain said...

score was 3-2.

Dawes scored one for Metro. not sure about the other.

Emmanuel Tsakiris scored a couple and Nick Harrinson got one for Olympia.

Anonymous said...

were Olympia short or did Metro have their Scotsman?

Bystander said...

I'm led to believe that it was Olympia's reserve side.

Captain said...

Olympia have a game tomorrow night + Sunday.

I think they have spread the players over those games - at least tonight and tomorrow night.

Wouldn't get too excited about the game -
i think Metro were missing some also - they used about 5 or 6 subs.

gag said...

Firstly, it's nice to see some passion about this post. I agree with the priest, supporters are likley to drop off the travel treadmill after a while particularly if the team is struggling. After all why share the game, it hasnt happened with cricket or AFL.

Captain said...

rodesy pumped after game thort theyd played the senior team

Captain said...

gag gotten agree with u and priest - legend - but not nth hobart we need a ground that is rectangle

Chuq said...

I notice further detail into the survey results has been published at the TUFC site -

Particularly this paragraph: "It may also be interesting to observe that 5% of respondents said they are “very likely” to become a member of the Tasmania United Football Club if Tasmania had an A-League side. Projecting from these results, it could be estimated that approximately 18,000 residents of Tasmania may consider membership of the Tasmania United Football Club, so long as there was a Tasmanian Based A-League side (total population of Tasmania’s adult population at the 2006 census was n=361,975)."

Even if they were out by a factor of 50%, 9000 members would still be a massive achievement.

Anonymous said...

As Tassie has a long proud history of failing to achive long term viability in national sporting comps [anyone remember the Devils basketball team?], probably the most relevant recent guide as to what our A-League venture could expect would be the Tassie Devils AFL team.

They got about 3,000 - 4,000 per game, playing statewide with a couple good years, a few poor ones. I'd venture to say this is therefore the average attendance figure we should be budgeting for in an A-League proposal.

Crowds may be higher initially, but once the novelty has worn off, that would be more likely the consistant figure.

Chuq, I was pleasantly surprised to hear all 3 parties back the proposal. With an election looming, now is the time for us to be committing them to promises. Any requests for money after April 2010 will probably fall on deaf ears for the next 2 years.

Chuq said...

The VFL is not a national competition, it is a state based competition (and not even our state for that matter). It's hardly a good comparison. Compare it with the 15-20k who watch AFL at York Park.

The NBL is also not a good example - apart from the fact it was 15 years ago, the Hobart team also folded at the same time as the Geelong and Gold Coast teams - it was a problem with the NBL, not Tasmania.

Every sport and league is different. You can only go by what the survey says. Some people will go to any length to try to deny something even when the figures are right in front of them. BTW the taskforce has released a further breakdown of the survey results at .


surely Aurora would get a fair share of state games. Central location under utilised in summer when the A league is played.

Anonymous said...

If you think any Tassie A-League team is going to get 15-20,000 people to a game, let's hope you're right.
Considering they dont get that many to most "Championship" games in England where football/soccer is the national game, it seems a long bow to draw.

Anyone can respond enthusiastically to a survey question saying they'll go watch. How many actually do so on a regular basis once the initial enthusiasm has worn off can be a whole different thing.

I really hope we can get an A-League team that is viable without relying on government handouts [too many of our population suck that well dry already], but I'm yet to be convinced.

You dont the comparison with the Tas devils. Maybe then the cricket is a better example. We have side playing better standard cricket than most touring international sides, but still get way less than 12,000 per game. The only reason we survive is that C.A. prop up all the state teams to ensure a strong national team.

Chuq said...

J: I don't think we're going to get 15-20k to games, but I don't think the doom and gloom of "we'll only get 4k" is warranted. The 18000 figure came from the percentage of people who said they were "very likely" to become members (5%) and applying it to the Tasmanian adult population.
If the business/financial side doesn't stack up, then we won't get a team, but that is yet to be proven. The taskforce have worked hard to demonstrate the community and government support and I don't think they deserve to be kicked in the guts for their efforts by supporters of the game in our state.

smithers ol man said...

Wonders if the ones canvassed in the survey realise that membership will cost them $300.00 plus a year and around 25 a game to attend and the need of big pockets to feed kids if they go too if the costs on the mainland are any indication.
I would love to see it reach fruition but im more a realist rather than a dreamer and still worry about the follow on if it starts and fails.
Would anyone like to mention the proposed sponsors hiding in wait to throw big dollars at us or are they phantoms?? One would think if they existed they would already be jumping on the train to get milage and sales from the free advertising it would give them while it all gets sorted.
Im not trying to dump on the aleague idea just looking at it without one eyed tassie pride.

Anonymous said...

if we get an a-league team who would be in it our best player in the state at the moment is either akue guot, nick roberts from nelson or the big adebayor look-a-like training at knights name oliver

Anonymous said...

i reckon morton is gona import rooney what every1 else think rumour as it that fergie is guna be the gaffer

Observer said...

Irate1 , agree 100%.
Very doubtful that an A League side will be sustainable in Tasmania over a long period. If it ever gets off the ground ,hopefully it will not fail. If it does, however, that will be the end for ever.
Sad but true I think

Who cares said...

Tasmanian's have shown in the past that they're prepared to turn up and watch quality sport.

The Tassie Devils were very successful for a number of years,
hockey appears to have no problem packing their venue for big games, good crowds for 20:20 and AFL games in Launceston are very well attended.

ALL this venture needs is Government backing. Imagine if the Government spent $100K on a buisness case and $15M/5 years on supporting an A League team like it has done to Tassie based AFL team and Hawthorn.

That's all it would take. If 7000+ turned up in July in Launceston to watch two mainland teams play a preseason game with many stars missing why wouldn't we get 10,000 to watch a Tassie A League side?

Do people realise there's an a League team playing out of Townsville!!!

I say poobah to the nay sayers. Let those with some enterprise and vision get on with their job.

docbillp said...

Could someone please explain where the other 9,900 spectators expected at a Tas A League game were for the summer cup?

Traveller said...

Obviously at either the Steve Hudson Cup in Launceston or at the North-West Cup.

Chuq said...

I'm trying hard to come up with a honest but non-offensive way of replying to that comment but I can't think of one. The lack of logic and rational thought in that statement shocks me (and if that doesn't say much, I've just been reading members' comments about the World Cup bid!)