AFL Left Red-Faced After “Sell Out” Shanghai Match Turns Out To Be Utter Flop

AFL Left Red-Faced After “Sell Out” Shanghai Match Turns Out To Be Utter Flop

The AFL has been left red-faced after hyping up a game between St Kilda and Port Adelaide in Shanghai, which in reality turned out to be an utter flop.

The game was advertised as a sell-out match, but the photos from Sunday’s game have revealed a different story.

More than half the crowd was missing at Shanghai’s Jiangwan Stadium, and social media were quick to point out the empty chairs.

One person tweeted: “This must be the least crowded place in China.”

Another said: “Shanghai falling in love with the game. 0.002 per cent of the city packing the occasional seat.”

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The AFL’s decision to head to China has been an issue of contention for the past few years, as many people, perhaps rightly so, saw it as a waste of money.

AFL chief executive Gillion McLachlan has no qualms about the empty stadiums, however, telling it was a “big risk” but it was starting to pay off.

He said: “This is our third year and it’s been going well.

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“The game has been breaking even since year one, and that first couple of years has been significant.

“It takes time to build relationships but if you take a medium-term view, as I said, three-to-five years, then there are proper targets, because we believe in our game and we believe in the opportunities with Chinese business.”

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