North Melbourne is delighted to confirm it will continue to play three games a year in Hobart for at least the next five years.
The new deal, which runs from 2017 until 2021, will see North partner exclusively with TT-Line, the operators of Spirit of Tasmania.
The Roos have more than 7,000 members in Tasmania, with the club targeting 10,000 in the near future.
North Chairman James Brayshaw said the new deal will bring a huge boost to the state.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be partnering with TT-Line again to deliver more elite football content and our award winning community programs to Tasmania,” Brayshaw said.
“In particular, I want to thank TT-Line Chairman, Michael Grainger, and CEO, Bernard Dwyer, for their incredible loyalty, support and vision.”
Grainger said TT-Line was proud to be the sole sponsor for all three games each year.
“Our relationship with North Melbourne since 2012 has delivered significant brand recognition in key markets,” he said.
“It is also worth noting our support of AFL games in Hobart has positively impacted on the broader economy in southern Tasmania, particularly in hotel and restaurant businesses.”
Brayshaw also acknowledged the role the Tasmanian Government had played in securing ongoing AFL football in Hobart.
“The Tasmanian government has been strong supporters of our work right across the state.”
Tasmania Premier Will Hodgman said he was looking forward to North continuing its strong commitment to the state.
“North Melbourne’s work in both the community and of course on game day here in Hobart has been exemplary,” he said.
“Seeing the Roos secure a future here in the state is an exciting prospect for all Tasmanians.”
North Melbourne will also work with the AFL and AFL Tasmania to develop elite football talent across the state.
As the first step in the process, North’s Next Generation Academy, for boys and girls aged between 11 and 15, will be set up immediately.
“We’re not sitting on our hands. The next wave of football talent will have a chance to be involved and recognised as part of the future of our great game through our various programs and academies,” Brayshaw added.
“We’ll maintain our state-wide focus and will be working incredibly hard to provide a talent pathway for some future stars in both boys’ and girls’ competitions.”
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said the new deal would benefit the entire Tasmanian football community.
“North Melbourne’s partnership with the Spirit of Tasmania will have many flow-on benefits beyond continuing to bring AFL matches to Hobart,” McLachlan said.
“The extension of the deal is clearly a win for Tasmanian football fans and will also see the club help grow and develop the football pathway in conjunction with the AFL and AFL Tasmania.”
North will bring its award-winning Huddle program to Tasmania according to the Club’s Managing Director and CEO Carl Dilena.
“Plans to establish the first Huddle outside of Victoria are already well underway,” he said.
“Our focus isn’t just on the three games each year, it will be a much broader state-wide focus going forward,” Dilena said.
As well as improving outcomes in various areas in the community, North will aim to further enhance its already profound socio-economic impact.
“The benefits from our initial investment in the state are clear and have been well documented,” Dilena added.
“In 2015, more than $43 million was injected into the Hobart economy as a result of playing three games. We’re looking forward to seeing that number rise as we further extend our Tasmanian footprint.