Footy should never have been taken to the Gold Coast. And it’s not too late the fix the mess.
The AFL has to admit it made a mistake. A gutsy mistake, but a mistake that has to be fixed and soon.
An endless array of nightclubs. A party scene like no other. One of Australia’s best holiday destinations. Check. Check. Check. While it might be the party capital of Australia, there isn’t room for football in this part of the world. From the moment you step of off the plane, it is clear this is a holiday destination. The majority of people here are tourists. Or koala figures dressed up in super hero gear, but mainly tourists. Tourists who aren’t going to go to the footy and fork out $50 bucks for a semi decent ticket. And the locals, with perfect weather and leisure activities at your doorstep, why would you choose footy on the weekends?
The AFL only had to look at other sports who’ve tried to make it work here. I mean if Clive Palmer had an idea to back a team on the Gold Coast, you must realise that’s proof enough to not go through with the idea.
From the A-League’s Gold Coast United to the NBL’s Gold Coast Blaze and the NRL’s constant cultural issues with the Gold Coast Titans, sport simply doesn’t work here. It’s the wrong environment. And that is ok. That’s allowed to be the case. We just need to realise it.
I get it though, millions of dollars has been spent on this venture, why would you pull the plug now? The Suns and the AFL will attain that the Suns have been crippled by injuries over the last two years. Perhaps that’s an issue. But I argue that it’s more than that. A membership of about 11,500 after the aim was 20,000 by 2015, empty stadiums and real lack of support from the locals, it’s a problem that is going to take millions of more dollars to fix. And even then there is no guarantees.
Tasmania has been left upset about being left off the footy mall for years and the sport is no better off without them in the competition. Why not use the millions it will take to prop up the Suns and set that team up in Tasmania?
Come on AFL, admit you made the mistake, rip the band aid off now and scrap the Suns. Take football back to where it can thrive and be supported by those who allow you to have a competition in the first place.
Liam Thompson travelled to the Gold Coast over the weekend for the Gold Coast Suns v Adelaide Crows game.