A prospective Tasmanian AFL team must split its home games as evenly as possible between the North and the South, the state's peak tourism body has said - entering a debate in which it hasn't previously participated.
In a submission to the Legislative Council's inquiry into the state's ongoing bid to have a team in the national competition, Tourism Industry Council Tasmania laid out what it believes must be done to ensure a Tasmanian team is a success.
It's the first time the TICT has taken a public position on Tasmania's AFL future and it comes after a divisive campaign waged by the Coalition during the federal election campaign, which pushed the line that a potential Tasmanian team would be "for Hobart".
It sparked criticism from some quarters, prompting figures such as former state Liberal leader Bob Cheek and AFL great Rodney Eade to say the campaign had exploited the state's historical parochialism and set back Tasmania's bid for a team.
The TICT's submission says a Tasmanian AFL team would have to "embrace Tasmania's decentralisation".
"TICT believes a Tasmanian AFL team [should] play out of both the North and South of the state, with a relatively even number of games in both Hobart and Launceston each year," it reads. "We believe this principle must be accepted as fundamental to further discussion about an AFL team in Tasmania to completely destruct any perceptions of a 'Southern' or 'Northern' team.
"Rather than seeing this as a challenge in the formation of the team, we see it as one of its strengths in being a unifying force within the state and maximising the resources of all regions."
The submission also stresses that the value of a Tasmanian AFL team "extends far [beyond] visitation outcomes" and would promote social inclusion, stimulate population growth and employment and establish further pathways to professional sport.
"We believe the direct return on investment from the current AFL content in Tasmania can only grow with a team of our own," the submission reads.
A high-profile Tasmanian AFL License Taskforce was set up in 2018.
It counts former AFL star Nick Riewoldt as a member and ex-Carlton coach Brendon Bolton as an adviser.
The taskforce will produce a business case to support the idea of Tasmania getting a license to participate in the AFL and AFLW.
Meanwhile, in February this year, a Football Tasmania Board was established, with former Legislative Council president Jim Wilkinson named as chairman.
The submission window for the Legislative Council inquiry, chaired by independent Windermere MLC Ivan Dean, closed last Thursday.
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