So not only do we have Hawthorn and North Melbourne playing matches in Tassie - the latter due to a fair bit of effort from Hobart City Council Alderman Marti Zucco - but it seems now he is trying to get Melbourne Storm to play in Hobart.

This seems strange to me - an NRL team, instead of an A-League team, for a few reasons - first, Tasmania is certainly not known as a rugby league stronghold - it would be the #3 or #4 football code in Tassie.  Second, because Marti Zucco is Italian - and although generalisations about a person due to their heritage are not always correct, he is very proud of his roots.

Dear Mr Zucco,

I'm writing to you since you have been in the media recently, due to your actions in trying to attract national club sporting events to the state - not only the AFL games at Bellerive Oval, but also about the announcement last week of a possible NRL pre-season game at North Hobart Oval.

As you may know there has been an A-League pre-season match (featuring Melbourne Victory) each July for the past five years at Aurora Stadium in Launceston, generally drawing 5000-8000 spectators.

It would be fantastic to see a similar event in Hobart.  For the coming A-League season (October 2011-March 2012), Football Federation Australia has marked five matches to be played at a "regional venue - TBC".  I've contacted both Cricket Tasmania and Launceston City Council about the possibility of hosting one of these but have not received a response.  Going by the enthusiasm you have shown in drawing AFL and NRL matches to Hobart, I hope you would have a similar interest in negotiating an A-League match.

It would be great to get to the stage where there are regular matches in Tasmania by Melbourne Storm, Melbourne Victory, Melbourne Heart or even the Melbourne Rebels super rugby team. Such events could hopefully be the precursor to the development or upgrade of a rectangular stadium - such as North Hobart Oval - in the state.

For reference the available match dates are:

  • Wed 7 Dec 2011 - Sydney FC v Perth Glory
  • Sun 11 Dec 2011 - Gold Coast United v Sydney FC
  • Wed 14 Dec 2011 - Wellington Phoenix v Brisbane Roar
  • Wed 18 Jan 2012 - Melbourne Heart v Central Coast Mariners
  • Wed 25 Jan 2012 - Adelaide United v Newcastle Jets
Full fixture list:

Cricket Tasmania (
Aurora Stadium (
Football Federation Australia (
John Boulous, (CEO Football Federation Tasmania) (
Michelle O'Byrne (Minister for Sport) (
Mark Shelton (Shadow Minister for Sport & Rec) (