Sydney Swans, GWS Giants will wear cost to get fans back to games
There will be minimal, if any, income for the clubs, who will not charge members for the privilege of being some of the first fans in the country back through the gates to watch live sport.
The initiative, however, allows clubs to retain revenue with sponsors, many of whom have hospitality as part of their commercial packages.
Port Adelaide will use a ballot system to distribute tickets for their game on Saturday, but the Giants confirmed they will reward foundation members and those who pledged their entire membership fee to the club for the season, as well as their commercial partners.
The Giants, who face North Melbourne, are also looking to give preference to members who are essential service workers.
The Swans, meanwhile, are yet to finalise their mix of sponsors and members for the clash against Essendon. Fans will be seated in corporate boxes in line with state regulations for restaurants, pubs and clubs to seat up to 50 guests.
Giants chief David Matthews said the club was exploring how it could allow more fans to attend.
It comes as deputy Premier John Barilaro called for ANZ Stadium to be opened for up to 40,000 fans by round six of the NRL, although the venue is not slated for a game in the most recent schedule.
“We’ve been doing quite a bit of modelling behind the scenes on what it could potentially look like,” Matthews said on SEN.
“A lot of that will end up being discussions with the AFL, who would be collating and assessing the way it’s being done across Australia.
“Whether that means at Giants Stadium we can do something with 4000 or more, that’s the aim, that’s the intention.
“It’s baby steps. We’re delighted with the announcement today. It gives us an opportunity to bring some people to the game and test things, and build from there.”
After hosting games in the resumption round, both clubs head to Melbourne next week then return home for prime-time games on Thursday and Friday.
Andrew Wu writes on cricket and AFL for The Sydney Morning Herald