The report states the team would need some government funding for as much as the first decade before breaking even but would largely exist off its share of broadcast revenue and other football revenue sources.
They have modelled themselves as being a “mid-market” performer among AFL clubs and believe their economic case will stand up to scrutiny. They would need three-four years to fully set up the club.
Over 65,000 Tasmanians signed pledges of support and Gutwein said having 11 home games each year could net as much as $110 million in economic impact and 360 jobs while the “best case” modelling showed it could cost the government $7.3 million in funding for 11 home games compared to $8 million currently paid for seven games from Hawthorn and North Melbourne.
Godfrey put the challenge down to the AFL and the chairs of all 18 clubs to read the report and give Tasmania a provisional licence so they could start building for an entry to the league as early as 2025 when the next broadcast deal is expected to begin.
“There is no denying it now, nobody can say Tasmania doesn’t have a team because of Tasmania,” Godfrey said.
“This does debunk all of that. Now it’s if Tasmania doesn’t get a team it’s because those north of Bass Strait have decided that’s the case.
“It’s up to the guardians of the game to see there is a great opportunity here.
“They have to kick us the ball.”
Godfrey also said the club would not seek subsidies from the AFL, only their fair share of broadcast revenue before finding their funding from government and local sources.
The taskforce will continue to work with the government and local football officials to promote the case and prepare for the new side.
Gutwein is confident the state currently has the facilities to host a team between Hobart’s Blundstone Arena and Launceston’s York Park although some work could be needed on both to improve them with bigger games likely played at York Park due to its bigger capacity.
There is also talk of building a 30,000 seat stadium at Macquarie Point in Hobart’s CBD.
Gutwein spoke with Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett and North Melbourne chairman Ben Buckley on Friday morning and both clubs will review the report with the government wanting to be fair to them in the transition.
Gutwein, Godfrey and the taskforce will continue to take their case to the AFL.
“If you truly think Tasmania deserves a team then act on it,” Godfrey said.
“They can’t keep kicking this can down the street. It’s been too long. Draw a line in the sand whether it’s two, five or seven [years] or even the next broadcast deal.
“They are all good opportunities. Someone needs to be brave enough to say they will take this seriously.”
Roy Ward is a Sports writer for The Age.