Hawks should play 'Pies in Tas: Kennett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks should play 'Pies in Tas: Kennett

By Roger Vaughan 25/05/2008 05:16:25 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett has dropped his second AFL bombshell in four days, saying the club wants to play Collingwood in Tasmania.

Responding to a media question about Saturday's big match at Launceston against the Western Bulldogs, Kennett said Tasmania's football fans deserve a variety of teams playing at their games.

The Hawks and Bulldogs were unbeaten before Sunday and will attract a capacity crowd of around 22,000 at Launceston's Aurora Stadium.

But if they played in Melbourne, the attendance would be at least 50,000.

"We'll probably get 22 (thousand), which is the capacity of the ground, and I understand what you're saying," he told Melbourne radio station Triple M.

"But I've actually written to the AFL, asking them next year to give us access to Geelong and Collingwood down there.

"Of course, if we were to get that, (it) would be crowds of 75,000 here as opposed to 22 in Tasmania.

"But I don't think we should ever take the Tasmanian community for granted, their support of AFL per capita is greater than any other group of people in any other state."

Kennett's revelation about the Collingwood request comes after his explosive comments on Thursday night, that Melbourne should consider relocating to the Gold Coast.

The Hawks play four home games per year at Aurora Stadium and last year beat the Cats by four points at the ground.

Collingwood have massive crowd-drawing power and have never played a regular-season game in Tasmania.

Hawthorn's round-seven win over Collingwood at the MCG attracted more than 76,000 fans, but Kennett said attendance figures should not be the only consideration.

"Sometimes, you've got to say, money isn't just the outcome that you want - that is, a bigger purse," he said.

"Our members have come to understand that we've got a total package in place now and that involves four games in Tassie.

"I don't mind giving up numbers, once, twice, three times a year, if it actually builds the recognition of what Tasmania is doing for the AFL.

"Why should a group of people who love their sport be denied access to the variety of teams that we have? - just because our head body wants to make sure we have a record of attendances as opposed to what I think is much more important, which is the whole culture of the game."

Kennett conceded he was "not sure the AFL will agree" with his idea.

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