AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan says the league is paying roughly $3 million per week to keep the competition alive.
The league announced on Wednesday that all Victorian clubs will be based in Queensland for the remainder of the home and away season, likely to last approximately 10 weeks.
It’s a dramatic shift from the original plan to be away from Victoria for 32 days but the rapidly changing COVID-19 environment has forced the AFL’s hand.
McLachlan confirmed $3 million per week was the rough figure being paid to ensure the game continues through the current health crisis.
“Clubs move around and there may be more, there may be less, but that’s broadly the number,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“This is financially challenging for our industry and we’re making obviously tough decisions.
“We’ve got a big balance sheet, we’ve got great broadcast partners, incredible support from our sponsors. I feel very good about where we’re at.
“This is obviously more expensive than the alternative but it’s manageable.”
McLachlan said the ability for families to join players in Queensland after quarantining for 14 days would hopefully make the extended period away from home more manageable but he still understands if any player opted to return to Melbourne.
“Some may not (stay) but I think the ability now to take families and partners and to be in Queensland once they transition through quarantine … I’m confident that players will embrace that,” he said.
“It’s not for those who’ve had a partner for a few weeks, but anything that’s of substance.”