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Vote of confidence: City of NPSP resolves to pursue further Gather Rounds, following triumphant festival of footy in Norwood


Just weeks after the inaugural and incredibly successful AFL Gather Round, the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters has formally expressed its interest to work with the AFL and the Norwood Football Club with the aim of being part of the Gather Round fixture for 2024 and beyond.

The Gather Round was universally considered a triumph, with all matches in South Australia selling out, including Gold Coast vs Fremantle and GWS vs Hawthorn which were played at Norwood Oval.

At the Council meeting last night (1 May 2023), Elected Members unanimously supported a Notice of Motion from Mayor Robert Bria to hold discussions with relevant stakeholders with the aim to secure additional matches on Adelaide’s Premier Main Street, The Parade.

Mayor Bria’s Motion also called for $100,000 to be allocated in the Council’s draft 2023 - 2024 Budget to fund events and activities associated with matches at Norwood Oval, should the venue again be selected to host AFL matches.

“From the Council’s perspective, the AFL Gather Round was an outstanding success for South Australia and in particular, for the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters, the iconic Norwood Oval and South Australia’s Premier Main Street, The Parade,” he said.

“While the Council understands the AFL and the State Government will conduct their own reviews of Gather Round and an announcement regarding the fixture and venues for 2024 Gather Round will be announced later this month, the Council has already started its own review, which includes discussions with the AFL and Norwood Football Club,” Mayor Bria said.

“During the Gather Round matches at Norwood Oval, I was pleased to speak with Premier Malinauskas, current AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan and incoming Chief Executive Andrew Dillon, about exploring opportunities to add to the match-day experience on The Parade and Norwood Oval.”

Mayor Bria said the Council was also pleased to learn that the Hawthorn Football Club, which lost in a nail-biting match against GWS at Norwood Oval on Sunday, 16 April, had recently expressed to the AFL its interest in returning to the Oval to play its Gather Round matches in 2024, 2025 and 2026.

“I am very keen to start a conversation with Hawthorn Chief Executive Justin Reeves to better understand his Club’s ideas and aspirations for Norwood Oval and The Parade, should these matches materialise.

“It is clear from the very strong representation of Hawks’ fans at the game, they see an opportunity to build and expand their supporter base in Adelaide and playing at Norwood Oval is an important part of that equation.

“As with any new major event, there is room for improvement and the Council is determined to learn from this experience and identify opportunities to make the 2024 AFL Gather Round an even greater success, should Norwood Oval have the honour of again being selected to host matches.”

Mayor Bria said feedback from traders on The Parade and the precinct “have been extremely positive” with many appreciating the opportunity to be part of Gather Round which resulted in significant national exposure and a predicted economic benefit.

“Although the Council will not get a clearer picture of the economic benefit from the two matches that we played at Norwood Oval until the end of May, when it receives Spendmapp data, it expects sales, particularly in the hospitality sector, to be significantly higher compared to the same time last year.”

Media enquiries: Robert Bria – 0431 754 077