AFL Gather Round Scores Big for SA Economy

July 2, 2024 6:54 am in by
Summit Sport and Recreation Park, Mount Barker (Photo: District Council of Mount Barker)

The second AFL Gather Round contributed more than $91 million to South Australia’s economy and delivered more than 190,000 visitor nights in the state.

According to independent analysis undertaken for the AFL by IER, the 2024 event attracted 45,847 visitors to South Australia, and supported 655 full-time equivalent jobs.

The economic contribution of $91.6 million is a 10 per cent increase on the inaugural Gather Round in 2023, while the total number of visitor nights increased by 40,209.

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A total of 265,011 attended the sold out four-day footy festival from April 4 to 7 with nine games in Adelaide, Norwood and the Adelaide Hills, including two in Mount Barker – West Coast versus Sydney and GWS versus Gold Coast.

The research found that around 93 per cent of these visitors spent at least one night in South Australia, with interstate visitors spending on average 4.5 nights in South Australia.

The benefit was not just for Adelaide. IER’s analysis shows that of the 191,669 visitor nights created, 52,026 were outside of the city.

Lyndoch, in SA’s Barossa Valley, will host an AFL Gather Round game in 2025 with a redevelopment locked in for the local oval. The state government says the upgrade will include a new multipurpose building, clubrooms and will bring the oval up to AFL standards. Authorities have not confirmed whether Mount Barker Oval will host any games in 2025.