Six AFL clubs with MCG tenants will receive goodwill cash payments for home games worth between $150,000 and $200,000 this season, reports The Age.
In a deal a struck between the MCC and AFL – Collingwood, Melbourne, Richmond, Hawthorn, Carlton and Essendon will all pocket the extra cash bonuses.
The iconic stadium is charging the league a reduced ground management fee due to the tough circumstances and will forward the majority of those funds – estimated to be worth a total of $6 million – to the home sides.
Clubs were expecting no match day finances in 2020, with games to be played in empty stadiums due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Collingwood, Richmond and Melbourne are effectively guaranteed to take home $1 million each in a major coup. The Magpies will profit the most early, hosting three of their next four games at the MCG under the revised fixture – which will net them around $540,000.
It is also a big win for the Hawks, who stand to lose millions of dollars if they can’t play home games in Tasmania.
One senior executive described the goodwill gesture as “an early Christmas present”.
Pressure is now expected to mount on the AFL to organise a similar package for the clubs that play home games at Marvel Stadium – St Kilda, North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.
Essendon and Carlton, who split their home games between Marvel Stadium and the MCG, would also benefit from the potential arrangement with Docklands.