AFL Draft to be held at Adelaide Convention Centre

By / 11th of August, 2015

ADELAIDE will host this year’s 2015 AFL draft – snatching the prestigious event from the Gold Coast.

It will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Tuesday, November 24.

The event has been staged on the Gold Coast for the past three years.

The AFL announced their decision on their website shortly after 10am this morning.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said it was great to take the draft back to Adelaide.

"The nature of the event allows us to review the location every few years and it is exciting that another city, and another market of fans, will be able to witness the NAB AFL Draft live," he said.

"The AFL industry looks forward to descending on the great city of Adelaide in November when we welcome the next wave of talented footballers into the 18 clubs."

The AFL dragged out its decision to settle on a location and date for this year's draft, having considered a number of options around the country.

The Queensland Government's events department put forward a three-year offer to extend its stint as the home of the draft, but the AFL also looked at taking it back to Melbourne and was linked to exploring Sydney as a venue too.

The League hopes having the draft in Adelaide will attract more football fans to the event, having struggled to bring in sizeable crowds to the Gold Coast.

AFL officials have also monitored the success of the NBA and NFL in America in creating more excitement around their respective drafts, with a view for more prospects to attend this year's meet.

South Australian Aaron Francis is tipped to be the first player drafted from the state, while injured forward Ryan Burton, son of Rooster’s dual premiership forward Craig Burton, and half-back Riley Bonner are also possible first-round picks from the state's under-18 team.

Adelaide has not held the draft since it was staged at Football Park in 1997 when Port Adelaide drafted stars Chad Cornes and Nick Stevens.

The introduction of live bidding on father-son and academy prospects is also likely to add a new element to the draft this year.

South Australian Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said along with the players vying for selection, about 350 AFL officials, executives and media would also visit Adelaide.

 “The 2015 NAB Draft is not just for the players and clubs, but for fans as well,’’ he said.

“The decision to have the draft at the Adelaide Convention Centre further reinforces the State Government’s investment in the Riverbank Precinct.

“Adelaide Oval is now recognised as one of the best stadiums in the country and this has obviously played a key part in Adelaide being chosen as well.”