AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan today announced total AFL Club membership reached 992,854 members in 2020.

In a Covid-19 affected year that firstly saw the temporary hiatus to the season, no crowds at any matches and now reduced capacity in stadiums, the 2020 total number is only 64,718 (6.1%) less than the all-time record of 1,057,572 set in 2019.

One in 26 Australians is a member of an AFL club.

The total number consists of 669,745 adults, 90,042 concessional members and 233,067 juniors. 

“Footy is about connection and a sense of belonging and this remarkable number demonstrates AFL members are the most passionate and loyal members across all sports.” AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan said.

“The commitment members made to their clubs is a key reason why all 18 clubs were able to survive a challenging and unprecedented year.

“We have been blown away by the loyalty and commitment footy fans around the country have demonstrated this season.”

“On behalf of the AFL, I want to say thank you to every single person who signed up this year.”

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Five of the 18 AFL clubs broke their all-time records -  Carlton (67,035), Gold Coast SUNS (16,236), GWS Giants (30,841), St Kilda (48,588) and West Coast Eagles (100,776).

The West Coast Eagles exceeded 100,000 members for the first time and also top the AFL membership tally for the first time with 100,776, the first time a non-Victorian club has topped the table.

Richmond passed 100,000 for the third year running (100,420), after becoming the first sporting club in Australian history to pass 100,000 members in 2018.

AFLW membership increased again after its fourth season, with an all-time record 20,849 members (up 48.9%) signing up. Much of this AFLW growth was driven by the 2020 expansion teams, with three new clubs in 2020 topping the AFLW membership tally: West Coast Eagles (3,318), Richmond (2,656) and St Kilda (2,299).

The official AFL club membership tally was compiled after an August 31 deadline, with positive growth achieved by seven of the 18 clubs, including Brisbane, Fremantle and the five clubs with all-time records - Carlton, Gold Coast SUNS, GWS Giants, St Kilda and West Coast Eagles.

Three of these clubs saw double-digit growth with Gold Coast SUNS (+19.0%), St Kilda (+12.9%) and West Coast Eagles (+11.4%).

AFL General Manager, Commercial Kylie Rogers congratulated the AFL clubs on their commitment to work with their fans in an unprecedented year, and thanked everyone who pledged their allegiance to their teams.

“In a challenging year for everyone, the clubs worked extremely hard to stay connected to their members and in turn the members supported the game in a way we would never have expected.” 

“On behalf of the AFL and all the clubs, thank you.” Ms Rogers said.

West Coast (100,776), Richmond (100,420), Collingwood (76,862), Hawthorn (76,343) and Carlton (67,035) rounded out the top five.

AFL club membership has increased 28 times in the past 30 years, with the exceptions being in the year 2000, when the AFL season was moved forward by a month to accommodate the Sydney Olympics, and this year’s Covid-19 pandemic-impacted season.

Round 17, beginning tomorrow night, marks member Thank You round, where all clubs, through various initiatives, will thank their members for their loyalty and support in season 2020.

Please find below the membership breakdown for each AFL club. 

 CLUB

TOTAL

West Coast Eagles

100776

Richmond

100420

Collingwood

76862

Hawthorn

76343

Carlton

67035

Essendon

66686

Geelong Cats

60066

Adelaide Crows

54891

Fremantle

51577

St Kilda

48588

Sydney Swans

48322

Port Adelaide

46820

Melbourne

40571

Western Bulldogs

38876

North Melbourne

38667

GWS GIANTS

30841

Brisbane Lions

29277

Gold Coast SUNS

16236

Total

992854