A new era for the A-League this upcoming season, now being completely run by the APL (the club's - not FFA). The 2021/22 season is flagged to start on the last weekend of October or the first week of November. It'll also be the first season with Fox Sports not covering the league, with all matches being live streamed on the new Paramount+ platform, and with one game on Channel 10 (Saturday evening). Here's a few of my thoughts...
- Good to see Melbourne Victory exiting their deal with Marvel Stadium. They'll now play all their home games at AAMI Park. I think this is a great move as fans simply fell out of love with A-League at Docklands.
- Still no sign of Western United's new stadium, with construction yet to commence (when they were admitted into the league, the plan was to play their first two seasons in Geelong & Ballarat, and move into the new purpose-built stadium in season three - that's this season coming!). I can't see it happening anytime soon. I believe the proposed training facility (the Wyndham City Elite Training Facility - announced in September last year - https://www.austadiums.com/news/821/wyn ... ew-stadium) will be built first and they'll end up playing games there. It includes a 5,000-seat grandstand. Put up some additional temporary grandstands and it'll be more than enough for Western United! This week, their CEO has flagged that the majority of their home games will be played at AAMI Park this coming season - three teams based at AAMI is a joke. With Victory departing Marvel, maybe they should consider playing games there? I know it's not perfect for football, but it's closer to their home base, is obviously at A-League standard (unlike Knights Stadium etc) and they'll probably get a good deal to play there.
- While Brisbane Roar at Dolphin Stadium started well, their crowds dipped later in the season, despite good performances on the pitch. It's a great boutique stadium, but I believe they've lost connection with Brisbane and supporters who live near the CBD or on the other side. I think it'd be great to see them play some of their bigger games at Suncorp Stadium this season to regain that connection.
- Recent news of the Dandenong Stadium is promising and with Melbourne City behind it, I think it has legs. With City building their new HQ's nearby at Casey Fields, it makes sense. If it does indeed go ahead, I think their games should be split between Dandenong and AAMI - I don't think they'd be keen to break that connection with the Melbourne CBD. https://www.austadiums.com/news/991/new ... the-agenda
- The new broadcast deal is good for the league - but it has its positives and negatives. More cash is great and the 1 game each week on Channel 10 will deliver huge broadcast numbers - they always do when on FTA, especially the primary channel. However surely the other games on Paramount+ will have smaller numbers than those on Fox Sports, which were small in any case. I know I'll purchase a subscription, but those who aren't massive fans of the league are unlikely, and where previously those people who subscribe to Foxtel to watch AFL or NRL and watch the occasional A-League game may be lost to the league. We'll wait and see I guess.
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