The release of the business case for an AFL team in Tasmania has been anticipated for some time.
Tasmanians have aspired to have a team in the Australian Football League for a very long time indeed.
As a state, we have always had plenty of the top players spread throughout the league, but never a Tasmanian team of our own.
But from a business point of view, can Tasmania sustain a team in the big league for the long term?
The AFL is far from the VFL of the 70s and 80s, it is big business to the exclusion of all else.
Mid-ranking teams need to turnover between $40 and $50 million a year, every year are just to be viable.
Can a Tasmanian side stand on its own two feet financially after the first few years of entry into the AFL?
Can we develop enough home-grown talent to grow local followers and big-time sponsors?
Can we provide an attractive home base to entice interstate players to make us competitive and further develop our local players?
Is this something that Tasmanians aspire to?
Do the AFL want us in the league?
To be frank, there are no clear answers to any of the above.
Caution is always the first option when building a business case for any investment, let alone the tens of millions needed to spark a Tasmanian AFL team.
It is clear than many ordinary Tasmanians want us to be on the big stage, but what is the cost?
What are the benefits?
As Launceston's peak business organisation, we are constantly asked our views: what does business want?
The Launceston Chamber of Commerce would love to hear from Launceston business as to what business thinks, small, micro, big and major.
This is potentially one of those seismic shifts in Tasmania, socially and economically and it is critical for the north that Tasmania gets it right.
We want to know what you think and have created a survey link - https://tinyurl.com/aflintas - whether you are a Launceston Chamber of Commerce member or not, this is a big deal for the north and it's important we get it right.
Let's hear from you.
- Neil Grose, Launceston Chamber of Commerce chief executive.