Hawthorn may play on the Gold Coast - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawthorn may play on the Gold Coast

By Chris Herde and John Salvado 03/08/2004 06:16:37 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn may shift some AFL matches to the Gold Coast early in 2006 when the MCG is unavailable because of the Commonwealth Games.

Hawthorn interim chief executive Jason Dunstall said on Tuesday that the club had spoken to the AFL, the Southport Sharks and the Queensland government about playing games at Carrara, the former home of the Brisbane Bears.

The MCG is the home ground of four AFL clubs - Hawthorn, Melbourne, Richmond and Collingwood.

It will be unavailable for the first five or six rounds of the 2006 while it is converted back from the Commonwealth Games track and field venue.

Southport Sharks general manager Paul Wyatt said Carrara Oval - the Bears old home ground - would be a first choice for any AFL match.

He said any AFL home and away games played on the Gold Coast would help push support for an AFL team on the tourist strip.

"The population of the region, which is around 500,000 would certainly support a national football team," he said.

The Sharks have had an application to the league for a licence to host a new or relocated AFL team since 1996.

The AFL has a large following on the Gold Coast and pre-season practice matches in the past have attracted crowds of more than 15,000.

Last year, during the finals series Collingwood trained at the Southport ground and drew 5,000 onlookers.

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