The Tasmania United FC taskforce has announced the result of the public sentiment survey which was carried out over January.

1000 Tasmanians from across the state were surveyed and the results released by the taskforce have been very positive, with over 75% of people surveyed supporting the concept of a Tasmanian A-League team, 16% of respondents stating they were likely to become a member of the club.

This 16% includes 5% (of total respondents) who said they were "very likely" to become a member.  Taskforce chairman John McGirr said that this figure suggested that a Tasmanian A-League club could expect up to 18,000 members.  What a result that would be – even half that amount would be more than any club bar Melbourne Victory!

Possible attendance figures were also very positive.  The taskforce’s feasibility study has previously suggested that the ideal arrangement for home games would be a 50/50 split between Hobart and Launceston.  35% of people in the south stating they would attend a match played in Hobart, while 45% in the north and 35% in the north-west stating they would attend a match in Launceston.

Doing the maths, this would work out to 71273 people attending matches in Hobart, and 74178 people attending matches in Launceston.  In a 13 match home season, this would work out to an average crowd of 11188.
This figure is very conservative as it doesn’t allow for:
a)      Supporters travelling from the north to the south for matches (or vice versa - the percentage of people who suggested that they would attend a match at the other end of the state hovered around the 8-10% mark).

b)      Supporters attending more than one game

c)       Supporters from rural areas in the north-east, midlands, west coast, east coast, or Huon area

d)      Interstate supporters travelling to Tasmania

Of course as usual, the naysayers are up and about, as I have mentioned in a previous blog post.  One comment on Walter Pless' blog suggested that Tasmania's experience in the NBL and VFL are relevant to the potential for a Tassie A-League team.  He failed to mention our cricket team (which, although crowds are generally low, are comparable with domestic cricket crowds nationwide) and of course the large crowds which attend AFL and A-League matches at York Park.  If we can attract over 6000 people to a practice match between two non-Tasmanian teams in the middle of winter, how many would our own team attract?

If you want to know the answers to that question, TUFC has released a full breakdown of the statistics in a followup post on their site.

The bid taskforce can now comfortably state that they have the community support for a team.  The leaders of all three major political parties in the state have publicly stated their support for a Tasmanian A-League team.  The only box left to tick now is corporate support, which will be the focus of the business case, due to be completed in the next couple of months.  Fingers crossed!

More coverage: