Sunday, September 04, 2005

Summer is looking good for the A-League

A remarkable cross-over in the fortunes of two football codes occurred this weekend in Melbourne, Australia's second largest city. Just one week after the indiginous Australian Football league reported the most successful crowds of its 109 regular seasons (averaging over 35,000 per game over 22 weeks), the AFL's sole play-off in Melbourne on Sunday attracted less than 26,000 patrons.

Played in the 60,000-capacity, football/cricket-roofed Telstra Dome (currently envied by English Premier League club, Birmingham City) the crowd for the semi final between reigning premier Port Adelaide and the fifth-placed Kangaroos was the lowest in Melbourne in 63 years.

However, just across town, the second round of Australian soccer's new A-League brought Melbourne Victory its first home game at the 18,000-capacity Olympic Park.

With all tickets sold 90 minutes before kick-off, 17,960 crammed the venue to watch Melbourne's fighting 2-2 draw with Perth Glory.

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