The Great Dane
I agree that the AFL wouldn't add a third team in Perth in an ideal world, but they wouldn't be expanding yet if things were ideal.Perth won’t get another afl team until it’s well over 3 million population, if then. At moment despite a bigger stadium you still can’t buy an eagles membership without paying to be on a list for years. Dockers still have around 30-40% capacity before it’s memberships are sold out. They won’t put a northern perth team in for a very long time, if ever. Why? Because they dont need to! It adds nothing to what they’ve already got.
IF tassie get admitted, and let’s be honest the afl don’t really want them and are putting in As many hoops as they can to trip them up then it will be canberra next, if the act govt throws lots of money at it.
The only reason they're looking at Tasmania at all is because of political pressure. If Tassie can get the few hundred mil they need from the federal government then it'll put the AFL into an awkward position where they're forced to expand well before they're ready for it. Let's say Tasmania gets approved now and enter the comp somewhere between 2025-28, that would mean that the AFL has to find a 20th team to launch sometime in the early 2030s at the latest, which will highly restrict their options.
The AFL are still propping up both the previous expansion sides and will want to avoid taking on another expansion project like that, which rules out pretty much every potential expansion opportunity except for Canberra, Perth, and arguably some of the other major capitals if they're truly willing to explore selling a license to private owners.
The problem with Canberra is that we're going a long way to propping GWS up, and if GWS was to lose Canberra the AFL would need to find millions of dollars more revenue for the club to remain solvent (it would literally halve GWS's membership numbers to give you an idea). The AFL could afford to cover the difference if worst comes to worst, but the other clubs wouldn't be happy about it, especially considering that Canberra and Tasmania will need extra support as well.
On top of that, the ACT government can't afford to throw lots of money at an AFL side like Tasmania is doing. At best the AFL might get a major upgrade of Manuka Oval and a reasonable yearly grant out of ACT government (even that would cause a shitshow in Canberra), anything more would require them to either delay the tram, which Labour can't allow for political reasons, or financial support from the federal government (good luck with that lol).
All of that makes Canberra much more easier said than done. Despite it not being ideal in the long term, Perth would be comparatively easy to setup and sustainable from day one. It just makes more sense given the circumstances.