How The AFL Became Australia's Most Watched Sport [Infographic]

The mighty Richmond Tigers just thrashed plucky interstate challenger the GWS Giants to take out the AFL 2019 Premiership. But up until 1990, the AFL wasn't even known as the AFL - it was the Victorian Football League.

With the expansion into New South Wales in 1982 and then Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia, the AFL was born. This infographic shows just how big the sport has become.

Although it's a couple of years old now, this infographic, courtesy of Jake Stevens, describes a brief history of the AFL and the rise of Australia's Game in states outside of Victoria. It's particularly relevant given the recent history in the AFL where more international players are beginning to filter in from places like Ireland and shows the appeal that it holds in terms of attendance.

South Australians really love to get out to the games (it's true, I tell ya), whereas those in NSW and QLD can't quite shake their love of rugby. With teams like the Gold Coast Suns playing so poorly, it's no wonder Queensland has the lowest average weekly attendance. It's also interesting that, in terms of world sport, AFL ranks fourth overall, behind the NFL, Bundesliga and Premier League.

Pretty awesome for a confusing Aussie game with terms like 'right foot NA-NA' and 'deliberate out of bounds'.

While it might be the most watched sport in the country, soccer still dominates the most played by juniors, but AFL continues to grow in non-traditional states like NSW and Queensland.

Have a look at the full graphic below, get excited for the Grand Final.


This story has been updated since its original publication.


    This article makes it look like there was no Aussie Rules in other States until they joined the AFL, which is only even partly true in NSW and Qld. SA and WA both had thriving local competitions for a century or so before that.

    Hell, the SAFL (now SANFL) was formed a couple of decades before the VFL!

      The timeline down the right side states there were other leagues around the country inbetween 1896 and 1990

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