'We want our own team': Street
Tasmania's Minister for Sport and Recreation Nic Street has again gone in to bat for the state, re-affiirming the want for an AFL team of their own as a decision looms on the future of AFL football in Tasmania.
Speaking on Sports Breakfast on Thursday, Street quickly poured cold water on former Collingwood President and media personality Eddie McGuire's suggestion of North Melbourne playing 11 games in Tasmania per season on Footy Classified.
"His plan lacked one important point, and that's Tasmania aren't interested in North Melbourne," Street said.
"We want a team of our own, we want a team that plays in our colours. We want a team that lives in Tasmania, resides in Tasmania and we're not interested in a hybrid option anymore."
"We have paid for content at both ends of the state for 20 years and enough is enough. We want our own team."
Debate continues around the viability of a 19th AFL side in Tasmania, with some AFL club Presidents reportedly lukewarm on the idea of another team in the competition.
Street implored those doubters to do their due diligence ahead of a looming August deadline.
"What I would say to all 18 Presidents is have a look at the business case, have a look at the (Colin) Carter report. He's an experienced AFL administrator who says that the business case for the Tasmanian team stacks up and the AFL should do it." He said.
In the past fortnight outgoing AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has told Tasmanian powerbrokers and state Premier Jeremy Rockliff that in order for a successful bid for an AFL side they must build a new stadium of their own, an aside from Launceston's York Park and Hobart's Bellerive Oval.
"We're absolutely firmly of the belief we need a new stadium," Street said.
"It's required in Hobart in the CBD, but it's not just about a new stadium for football, it's about a wider vision for Hobart and the waterfront down here that goes beyond AFL football."
However Street suggested it wasn't a must have for the states bid to be successful in two months time.
"The business case has always talked about the fact Hobart needs a new stadium, we (the state government) have also said that we would put money in this year's budget for a feasibility study to do that investigative study properly.
"The AFL have said they want to partner with us in doing that feasibility work which is welcomed.
"We don't think that will be an impediment to getting a yes in August anyway.
Street said if their bid was successful the state could work on either a 2025 or 2027 timeframe to have a team ready for AFL football.
IMAGE: The Examiner.