AFL worth $34m to Gold Coast: report

A NEW AFL team could inject $34 million a year into the Gold Coast economy if it takes up residency there, according to new research.

With the AFL's official nod of approval the only thing standing between the Gold Coast and its first ever top-tier football team, an independent economic report shed some light on how it would impact the region.

According to the report, accommodation and tourism operators will be the biggest winners, with the Gold Coast expected to benefit by $33.9 million each year from its first full year of operation.

Retail, hospitality and taxi companies are expected to benefit from day-trip visitors.

By 2016, the report suggests, the creation of a new AFL team would generate an additional 121,000 visitor nights and attract 221,175 people to Gold Coast games per season, 45 per cent of whom would be from outside the region.

The report is based on the assumption that by 2016 a new stadium on the Gold Coast would be operating and hosting 11 games a season.

GC17 chairman John Witheriff, who heads the Gold Coast bid to receive the AFL's 17th licence, welcomed the report and said it showed how the community would be rewarded.

The report's author Chris Hunn said the football club would help reinforce the Gold Coast as a sporting destination, more so than other codes.

"Anecdotal evidence suggests that the extent of place-marketing generated by GC17 is expected to be significant and will exceed that of other football codes," Dr Hunn said in a statement.

He said a Gold Coast team would also lead to increased local sporting infrastructure and participation.

GC17, if granted a licence, will enter the TAC Cup next season, the VFL in 2010 before entering the AFL in 2011.

The AFL is expected to make a decision before the end of the year.



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