The 19th team is here: Tasmania’s AFL entry confirmed

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Tasmania has been granted a licence to become the 19th team in the AFL.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan made the official announcement of Tasmania’s entry into the competition at North Hobart Oval on Wednesday afternoon, flanked by Tasmanian premier Jeremy Rockliff, deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, and Richmond star and Tasmanian Jack Riewoldt.

“It’s a big day for football, it’s a big day for Tasmanians, and I believe it’s a big day for all AFL supporters,” McLachlan said.

AFL’s Tasmania entry had been conditional on the construction of a new stadium on the waterfront at Macquarie Point, which the federal Labor government has funded to the tune of $240 million, while the Tasmanian Liberal government has pledged $345 million.

The project, budgeted at $715 million, is earmarked for completion in 2029, more than a year after the new team is set to take the field.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese formally announced the federal funding for the new stadium last Saturday and the clubs backed the plan at a meeting on Tuesday.

The final hurdle was a ratification of the team’s entry by the AFL Commission. The commission voted to approve it shortly after the presidents’ meeting.

Rockliff tweeted before the announcement that Tasmania was taking its rightful place in the AFL.

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