AFL coup: The venue which has the inside running to host the Brownlow Medal.
AFL coup: The venue which has the inside running to host the Brownlow Medal.

Venue that has the inside running to host big AFL event

MAYOR Tom Tate believes the AFL's Brownlow Medal ceremony could be staged at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

He has also foreshadowed the Coast hosting finals and preliminary finals.

But Cr Tate admits the Gabba in Brisbane has the inside running in securing a southeast Queensland grand final because the venue was larger than Metricon Stadium at Carrara.

The Mayor spoke outside the council chambers after Suns chairman Tony Cochrane gave a private briefing on the millions of dollars being funded each week by AFL teams moving to the Glitter Strip during COVID-19 restrictions.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate delivers the 2020-21 budget. Picture: Tertius Pickard
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate delivers the 2020-21 budget. Picture: Tertius Pickard

"We know how to put an event on, the classic point about the Logies," he said.

"This Brownlow gives us the opportunity, I can say to the AFL you want be disappointed by how we do major events here."

Asked the best venue, Cr Tate told The Bulletin: "My own opinion, if you want something sizeable. I think the Convention Centre would probably be the best fit. You are going to need social distancing. But we will have to be guided by the medical health officer primarily."

The Brownlow Medal is awarded to the game's best and fairest player and the dinner regarded as Victoria's night of nights.

Cr Tate said Brisbane had a bigger facility and space for the grand final but welcomed the game being played in Queensland.

THE AFL hub on the Gold Coast is a multimillion-dollar winner for the city's tourism and business community, according to a private council briefing.

Gold Coast Suns chairman Tony Cochrane has given councillors a briefing, partly in closed session, to outline the financial outcomes of 15 of the 18 AFL clubs calling the Glitter Strip home during COVID-19 restrictions.

Suns fans cheer during the round 3 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Adelaide Crows at Metricon Stadium on June 21. Photo: Jono Searle/AFL via Getty Images.
Suns fans cheer during the round 3 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Adelaide Crows at Metricon Stadium on June 21. Photo: Jono Searle/AFL via Getty Images.

Mr Cochrane believes the $125,000 initial investment by council in late May to provide funding back-up was arguably the city's best ever value for money tourism and economic deal.

He applauded the work of ground staff, saying the grass on the field at Carrara had held up despite back to back games.

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"That (deal) resulted in the first hub of an average expenditure per week of $2.4 million by the AFL on the Gold Coast," Mr Cochrane told councillors.

"That quickly rose in the second hub to about $3.5 million a week. We needed to stand up more resorts to make this happen.

"I'm proud to announce today that as of next week that will climb to nearly $4.5 million a week expenditure as we stand up yet another club at Sanctuary Cove. We will have 15 of the 18 AFL clubs as of this week.

Suns fans cheer during the round 4 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and Fremantle Dockers at Metricon Stadium on June 27. Photo: Jono Searle/AFL via Getty Images.
Suns fans cheer during the round 4 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and Fremantle Dockers at Metricon Stadium on June 27. Photo: Jono Searle/AFL via Getty Images.

"You've got to feel sorry for the other three poor suckers, don't you. It's been an outstanding opportunity for the Gold Coast."

The expenditure was just the AFL component and did not include the amounts of money spent by players, managers and their families with local businesses.

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Mr Cochrane estimates the "AFL family" will have more than 1500 members living on the Coast by later this week.

"This afternoon I head up a delegation I'm heading up on behalf of the Premier (Annastacia Palaszczuk) to convince the AFL to hopefully bring up all the major functions - the Brownlow (Medal) and the grand final to the Gabba," he said.

SUNS chairman and businessman Tony Cochrane leaves the meeting. Picture: Glenn Hampson.
SUNS chairman and businessman Tony Cochrane leaves the meeting. Picture: Glenn Hampson.

"It's a big ask. It's a huge ask. It's never left Melbourne - 124 years. So we will just see how we go. We will be giving it our very best shots."

HISTORIC TITANS CUP FINAL TO BE LIVESTREAMED

He said Metricon Stadium had been pivotal in the success, hosting 42 AFL games, compared to the normal ten in a season of home games.

"To put that in perspective, that's the same number of games in a normal year that the MCG hosts," Mr Cochrane said.

Suns fan Finn Reynolds, 10, at Metricon Stadium. Picture: Jerad Williams.
Suns fan Finn Reynolds, 10, at Metricon Stadium. Picture: Jerad Williams.

"That's flowed on to our biggest year ever of AFL television audiences - already astronomical, up 20 per cent on a normal year. The Gold Coast Suns proudly displaying the Gold Coast throughout Australia, our ratings are up 50 per cent to date.

"Everybody has been a winner. We certainly haven't wasted a crisis."

Originally published as Gold Coast coup: the venue which has inside running for Brownlow



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