Bumper AFL draw for 2013 Wed 31 October 2012 Lara Giddings Premier Michelle O'Byrne Minister for Sport and Recreation The unveiling of the 2013 AFL roster today has revealed a crackerjack season ahead for Tasmanian footy fans, kicking off with reigning premiers Sydney Swans in their first Hobart match. The Premier, Lara Giddings, said the matches lined up for the North and South will once again bring elite level football to Tasmanian fans and deliver an economic boost in the winter months. "We have worked hard to strengthen our relationship with AFL football in this State because we know that it creates jobs and opportunities," Ms Giddings said. "The value of our investment was demonstrated this season, when the Hawks ran out on the MCG for the Grand Final with the Tasmanian logo emblazoned on their guernseys. "The value of this exposure and the shared pride felt by Tasmanians to see their adopted team compete at the highest level should not be underestimated. "Millions of dollars in net economic benefit and hundreds of jobs flow from these matches - and of course we get to enjoy top class football. "Hawthorn has made Tasmania their second home, and we look forward to seeing North Melbourne build on their first year in the State. "The debut season for the Kangaroos was a great start and I am sure their two matches next season against Sydney and Port Adelaide at Blundstone Arena will create a huge amount of interest." Ms Giddings said AFL football added to an exciting line up of events next winter that will help drive economic activity during the traditionally slow period. "2013 will be the year of festivals for Tasmania; kicking off with the Taste of Tasmania, the Tamar Valley Beer Festival and Mona Foma, leading into 10 Days on the Island and the Festival of Voices and then capped off with Dark MOFO - an exciting new winter smorgasbord of arts, music and food." The Minister for Sport and Recreation, Michelle O'Byrne, said having such an array of elite AFL in Tasmania is also a powerful promotion for sport and physical activity. "Hawthorn and North Melbourne play fantastic football in Launceston and Hobart, but they also have a strong focus on engagement with Tasmanians and play a significant role in getting our community active." Ms O'Byrne said football fans would welcome the chance to see expected improvers Fremantle and Brisbane at Aurora Stadium again, as well as Greater Western Sydney playing for premiership points for the first time in the North."There will also be the anticipation of Brian Lake lining up against his old team for the first time, when the Hawks take on the Western Bulldogs in Round 17."