Thanks to a $240 million taxpayer contribution, champagne is set to pop with Tasmania just days before it gets its own AFL team.
This funding boost is the final piece of the puzzle and has paved the way for the construction of a state-of-the-art stadium for the competition’s 19th team.
SEE THE VIDEO: The Hawthorn captain takes a swipe at Tassie just days before the state gets the AFL team.
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And while those in the state and at the AFL House look to party, the captain of the team that plays the most there made an extraordinary crack at his club’s home.
Hawthorn has been sponsored by Tasmania for many years and has an agreement with the government to play home games in the state.
But new Hawks captain James Sicily has delivered a stinging backhander to the Apple Isle.
When he appeared on the radio and asked if the new club in Tasmania would struggle to attract players, Sicily’s response was unkind.
“I think so, especially as a young man,” he told RSN on Wednesday.
“Since there is not much going on downstairs, it could be difficult.
“I couldn’t imagine living there. It was going to be difficult.”
However, St Kilda manager Ross Lyon was concerned about stars moving to the expansion club.
“I hope they don’t leave the Saints, I hope they leave the Cats,” Lyon said.
“See, expansion teams are always a challenge, I haven’t really looked into that.
“I think it’s going up and down, yesterday it was off, today it’s on, so we don’t worry until we have it official, until it’s processed and stamped by Parliament.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will reportedly announce the new funding this weekend ahead of the May budget in Hobart.
The Tasmanian Government is contributing US$375 million to Macquarie Point Stadium, while the AFL is adding US$15 million, in addition to providing long-term funding to support the club as it does for existing teams.
The stadium will be a feather in the cap for AFL boss Gillon McLachlan, who announced a year ago he would be stepping down from his post but has stayed partially to decide Tasmania’s bid.