Gold Coast claims AFL Draft
THE AFL Draft has a new home with the announcement the Gold Coast has secured one of the competition's premier events for a three year tenure.
Traditionally held in Victoria, this will be the second time the Draft has visited the Gold Coast after it successfully held last year's event.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said the three year deal highlighted how quickly sports fans on the coast had embraced the AFL's expansion club, the Gold Coast Suns.
“Clearly, after the Draft was held here so successfully in 2010, the AFL just couldn’t resist a return to this great city, which hasn’t been shy in showing its love for this great sport," she said.
“In the brand new and mighty Metricon Stadium, more than 130,000 people have already flocked to watch the Gold Coast Suns’ first season.
“We love our sport here on the Gold Coast and the return of the Draft will not only thrill our AFL fans, but will deliver a significant boost to the local tourism industry."
AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou said the competition was looking forward to returning to the Glitter Strip after the event is hosted this year by the Greater Western Sydney outfit.
“The Gold Coast proved to be an outstanding venue for the 2010 NAB AFL Draft with great hospitality by the local community and we are really pleased to be able to work with the Queensland Government again to come back next year," he said.
“David Swallow and Harley Bennell have already proved themselves in matches for the Suns this year and fellow top-ten selection Josh Caddy will get his chance this weekend when he debuts against Melbourne.
“The NAB AFL Draft is a fantastic event and a very exciting time in the AFL. We look forward to sharing it with the Gold Coast community."