Which club memberships offer the best value for money

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“I didn’t want to miss out on an Essendon grand final just because I didn’t have the right membership,” she said.

Ford also has an Essendon Women’s Network membership, plus an AFL membership, which alongside her silver membership costs her $637 per year.

She also pays for junior memberships for her five great-nephews.

“We’ve got four generations of Bombers supporters, so we’ve got to keep the Ford family love of all things black and red going.”

She has noticed a steady increase in membership prices over the years, excluding the pandemic period, but is willing to pay.

“Footy is honestly my life, so whatever the price is, I’ll pay for it,” she said.

Many of the top-end membership categories and add-ons come with waitlists. This means that once a member has the package they want, they will often be loath to give it up, lest they be sent to the back of the queue again.

Last year, then AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan announced a record of 1,264,952 members, meaning one in 21 Australians was a member of a footy club.

AFL Fans Association president Ron Issko said finals access and member benefits were driving sign-ups.

“There are many reasons why fans sign up to be club members, but the more common ones are that it’s cost-effective to attend games, you get first access to games and finals, merchandise discounts and a sense of belonging to your club,” he said.

This masthead contacted all 18 AFL clubs to determine which categories offer the best value for money at each club, and how members can give themselves the best possible shot at a grand final ticket should their club make the decider.

We divided memberships into five categories: digital access, AFLW access, general admission access to all (or most) home games, reserved seating for all home games, and guaranteed access to purchase a grand final ticket (subject to availability).

The table below show the cheapest possible membership in each category. While all clubs were contacted to confirm pricing, availability is not guaranteed and this information should be used only as a guide.

Digital memberships

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If you cannot make it to the stadium or simply want to watch your team from the comfort of your couch, this membership is for you.

Sydney have the cheapest digital membership starting at $210. This subscription gives the member a WatchAFL subscription and includes priority access to finals.

Essendon, Fremantle, Melbourne, North Melbourne, Gold Coast, Port Adelaide, and GWS have the next cheapest digital memberships at $250.

These memberships offer a 12-month subscription to Foxtel’s streaming service, Kayo. Digital memberships for these clubs also include merchandise discounts, member emails, and other benefits.

Brisbane’s digital membership is also $250; however, it provides fans with priority access to the first three weeks of finals and also grants priority two access to purchase a grand final ticket.

Western Bulldogs ($255), St Kilda ($255), Adelaide ($259), Collingwood ($260), Geelong ($260), Richmond ($260) Carlton ($260), and West Coast ($279) are next in line, offering members a 12-month subscription to Kayo plus merchandise deals, vouchers and other benefits.

Hawthorn have the most expensive digital membership, at $280 per year. This membership offers a 12-month subscription plus general admission access to one home game or equivalent in Melbourne.

AFLW memberships

Many clubs have launched AFLW memberships to meet an expanding fan base. These memberships include access to all home-and-away games for the AFLW 2024 season.

An AFLW membership with West Coast is just $50 this year, with the Western Bulldogs close behind at $55.

AFLW memberships in the mid-price range ($60-$90) include the Swans, Brisbane, Fremantle, Geelong, Gold Coast, GWS, Hawthorn, Melbourne, North Melbourne and St Kilda.

Brisbane’s Sophie Conway after the AFLW premiership triumph.Credit: Getty Images

Richmond charge $115 for their AFLW memberships, while Carlton offer a $200 package.

Collingwood, Essendon, and Port Adelaide have not released prices for the 2024 AFLW season, which starts in August.

General admission

Many clubs offer a standard general admission package, which typically grants access to all or most home games without a reserved seat.

The Brisbane Lions have the cheapest general admission package at $209, which offers fans access to all home matches at the Gabba plus a membership kit and access to weeks one to three of finals. Gold Coast follow with their $215 general season package.

The other 16 clubs’ packages hover between $220 and $280 for home access.

It should be noted Essendon and West Coast do not have general admission packages for all home games. Essendon charge $225 for their “Flexi 8” package, and members wishing to attend all home games must purchase their “Flexi Home and Away” package. There is no general admission for Eagles members at Optus Stadium, but the club offers a $180 five-game flexi package. Members who want to attend all home games must purchase a reserved seat for $420. There is no availability for those two categories though, so prospective members are encouraged to purchase a $55 “In the Wings” package to go on a waitlist for an access membership.

Reserved seating

All AFL clubs offer reserved seating packages for all (or most) home games throughout the season.

The Western Bulldogs’ “Silver 9” package ($305) offers the cheapest reserved seating for nine home games.

Adelaide, Brisbane, Collingwood, Fremantle, GWS, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide, Richmond, St Kilda, Sydney, Carlton and West Coast charge between $330 and $500 for their reserved seating packages.

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Many AFL clubs have guaranteed grand final ticket access as part of their membership packages, which often have lengthy waitlists and high price tags. It’s not surprising that the most expensive of the club memberships offering priority one access to a grand final ticket is Collingwood, at $660.

Carlton, preliminary finalists in 2023, have a $550 membership that includes access to a grand final ticket, which is in high demand.

Most clubs allow members to purchase a regular membership with a grand final guarantee “add-on”.

Arguably the best value in this category is for Melbourne-based members of interstate clubs. For example, Brisbane Lions members based in Victoria can buy a $173 “traditional Victorian” membership plus a $100 grand final guarantee. This package grants access to five Lions away matches at the MCG and Marvel. But the best deal is for those outside Queensland and Victoria is a $70 “AFL supporter package” plus a $100 grand final guarantee.

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