I wonder if more of my friends would come if Warwick Capper was still playing?
Wellington will host an AFL home game for St Kilda on Anzac Day. Would you attend this match? I think people could be keen for a one off novelty value, but I think there could be plans for more than one regular season games to be played here. I wonder what kind of crowd would show up? People may not be so keen to go to a game featuring teams they don't support and a sport they don't know much about.
The Wellington crowds struggle to reach 10,000 for the Wellington Phoenix in the A League or the Wellington Lions in the ITM Cup rugby and the increased amount of sports matches and other activities in Wellington with their various cultural fesitvals on make me wonder if they will get more than 10,000 Wellingtonians anyway. There could be some St Kilda fans using this as an excuse to come to New Zealand and so could boost numbers.
Attendance figures will rely heavily on the weather, a nice night is forecast, although it might be a bit cool. We must remember that the weather may not be the best and Wellingtonians are not the sports nutters from the provinces, but after the initial push and shove, people got behind the Rugby World Cup matches with a bit of help from the tourists.
People don't have the disposable income to go to heaps of different sports, so it will be interesting to see what people are willing to pay to go to this game and it could be crucial. During the Rugby World Cup, prices put plenty of people off and so I think charging any more than $30 could be problematic.
This game has been heavily promoted in schools around Wellington and there are deals for kids, although I thought they would have a day game, rather than a night game to increase attendance, but I guess it has to be on at a decent hour for the Australian television audience.
Will you attend the AFL game to be held in Wellington on Anzac Day?
Listen to my interview with ABC Grandstand relating to this.
St Kilda chief executive Michael Nettlefold is "extremely excited" about plans to play an historic AFL game in Wellington.
The Melbourne club, the AFL, and Wellington City Council are in talks about St Kilda playing a "home" game at Westpac Stadium on Anzac Day next year.
It would be the first time an AFL premiership game has been played outside Australia and while Nettlefold admitted there was "still a lot of work to be done", there is genuine enthusiasm from all three parties to make it happen.
"We're extremely excited about the prospect of bringing AFL to Wellington. There's still a lot of work to be done, obviously it's a very big project," Nettlefold said.
"The Wellington City Council have been most enthusiastic and St Kilda is very keen to pursue the opportunity, as are the AFL.
"The opportunity to have a game at Westpac Stadium for Anzac Day next year is something we're working very hard towards."
A council delegation has accepted an invitation to attend next week's Anzac Day game between Essendon and Collingwood at the MCG.
More than 95,000 fans are expected to attend the blockbuster which Nettlefold said would give the delegation a "very real sense of the significance" of the sport's pulling power.
It is also hoped meetings in Melbourne will advance talks towards a deal similar to that between Hawthorn and the Tasmanian government.
Hawthorn has reaped millions of dollars playing four "home" games a year in Launceston.
"We're encouraged by the success of the Hawthorn-Tasmanian government activities that they've built over the last number of years," Nettlefold said.
"There's some elements that are very relevant for the relationship between the St Kilda Football Club and Wellington. Certainly a successful model that we look at."
Nettlefold was part of a delegation from St Kilda and the AFL that visited Wellington in January and watched a trial game between the Australian Institute of Sport and New Zealand's national team.
Nettlefold described Westpac Stadium as a "magnificent stadium for AFL football".
"The surface is second to none that I've seen in all my years in AFL football. So we think the prospect of a game being played out of that stadium is actually quite exciting."
Wellington has hosted three pre-season games of AFL.
In 1998, the Sydney Swans and Melbourne Demons played an Ansett Cup game at the Basin Reserve, attracting 9000 fans.
In 2000, 14,500 braved the rain to watch the Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn square off at Westpac Stadium, but a year later at the same venue the crowd dropped to 8500 for a game between the Brisbane Lions and the Adelaide Crows.
"We think it'll be well supported," Nettlefold said. "We'd be making a commitment that would be greater than just Anzac Day. Our intention is to sort of end up playing two, if not three games in Wellington and we're excited."
Nettlefold said he had received overwhelmingly positive feedback from St Kilda and AFL circles about the Wellington proposal.
"The opportunity for Saints fans to travel to Wellington is something they're actually quite excited about. Saints people are passionate about their side being on the international stage, bearing in mind I think this will be, hopefully, the first time that games have been played outside of Australia for premiership points."
The AFL has an office in New Zealand and are becoming increasingly active in schools and the community.
Sport New Zealand and AFL New Zealand have developed a "KiwiKick" programme and St Kilda are looking to feed off that as well as gain access to promising athletes.
"The Saints are looking to work in those programmes with the community of Wellington and New Zealand," Nettlefold said. "We can provide those pathways for promising athletes that become AFL aspirational."