The Hawthorn Football Club contributed $28.5 million to the Tasmanian economy during the 2017 footy season, according to a new report.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers report also found the Hawks’ four home games at Launceston’s UTAS Stadium, and one JLT Community Series game, attracted 61,301 fans.
Of those, one in every four fans was from interstate or overseas, with the majority staying for at least one night.
Premier Will Hodgman said the report confirmed Tasmania’s partnership with the Hawks went much further than just “game-day excitement in Lonnie”.
“The economic impact amounts to a return on investment of about $7.50 for every $1 we put into the deal,” he said.
“Attendance is up and fans are spending more, with an additional injection of $19.8 million into the local economy.
“This is great not only for footy fans, but our broader economy with this cash flowing to accommodation, transport, retail, food and drinks – supporting an estimated 137 jobs.”
Hawthorn chief executive Justin Reeves said the results of the study were pleasing for Hawthorn, Tasmania and Launceston.
“We’re extremely proud of our unique and successful, long-term partnership with Tasmania and we are delighted that together we continue to increase visitation to Tasmania and help strengthen the state’s economy,” he said.
“We love playing footy in Tassie and are committed to bringing fans an elite and entertaining product.”
City of Launceston mayor Albert van Zetten said Hawthorn playing AFL matches in Launceston provided an “enormous boost” to the local economy.
“You only need to see the activity around the city around each game day. Launceston is abuzz with people packing our restaurants, our shops, our hotels every weekend when there's a game on,” he said.
On Friday the Launceston Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with The Examiner, hosted a luncheon with Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett.
Mr Kennet said the state’s greatest area of potential investment came from Victoria and called for more Tasmanian businesses to support the Hawks with membership.
“Just over the water is six million people and Hawthorn is part of that,” he said.
“We call ourselves proudly the Tassie Hawks. So if you’re trying to look to the future, you’re going to have to start thinking about where you’re going to spend money and where you’re going to invest.”
“How are you going to grow this city, if perhaps the biggest single industry that comes down here and brings millions of dollars into the city – and you people want to slide off our backs – aren’t even part of the program.”