An impassioned Geelong appeal to members to stick with the club even if they can’t get into games this year is a window into the predicament facing all clubs as the coronavirus crisis drastically tightens finances across the AFL.
In a survey to members, the Cats note that their vision of a packed house at GMHBA stadium every other week might not now be possible. “What this means is the financial sustainability of the club is in jeopardy,” the club said.
“Memberships, hospitality and daily ticket sales make up a significant portion of our revenue. Without these revenues or those from our similarly affected alternate revenue streams, the future of the club we all hold so dear is in danger.”
Among Victorian clubs, Geelong and Essendon depend most on the sale of reserved seats at GMHBA stadium and Marvel stadium respectively. Last year, membership, seating and gate receipts brought in almost $20 million to the Cats, about a third of the club’s annual revenue. Another $10 million came from food and beverage, income that also will be decimated this year.