Tassie Hawks Return for 2014 Thu 20 February 2014 Michelle O'Byrne Minister for Sport and Recreation Tasmanians will welcome the Tassie Hawks, reigning AFL Premiers, back to Aurora Stadium tomorrow night for their NAB Cup game against North Melbourne. The Minister for Sport and Recreation, Michelle O’Byrne, said the match-up will be followed by the Club’s annual Community Camps around the state. “Tomorrow night’s match-up will be the first Hawthorn match played under Aurora Stadium’s new lights. “The $1 million lighting upgrade is the latest addition to the infrastructure at the stadium and was funded as part of the Government’s jobs package. “They shone down on the hugely successful Ricky Ponting Tribute Match earlier this year.” Ms O’Byrne said Hawthorn had a hugely successful year in 2013 and Tasmanian fans would be looking forward to a hard fought season defending the flag. “Thousands of people turned out to see the players and the Premiership Cup at community events around Tasmania after their Grand Final victory. “We have truly embraced the Hawthorn Football Club as our own, with local members making up around 14 per cent of the club’s total membership.” Ms O’Byrne said the relationship continued to strengthen, particularly through activities like the annual Community Camps, which aim to engage as many people in as many communities as possible. “This year’s Community Camps will give Tasmanians the chance to get up close to the players at a range of activities right around the state. “Players will visit communities from Burnie and George Town in the north to the Tasman Peninsula, from Strahan and Queenstown to Triabunna, as well as visiting students in their school classrooms.” The Hawks will again play four Premiership Season games at Aurora Stadium this year, including for the first time a game in Round 1. The return on investment to Tasmania from the Hawthorn sponsorship is estimated at around $15 million per year, attracting significant numbers of visitors to the state and generating regional economic activity. “AFL games attract large numbers of visitors who stay around three nights in Tasmania and spend an average of over $300 per day while they are here. “The Hawthorn sponsorship gives Tasmania marketing exposure we simply couldn’t buy – the media exposure as a result of the 2013 Grand Final win has been valued at $7.9 million.” In addition to the benefits of the sponsorship Hawthorn Football Club provides $5,000 to each of the three Tasmanian regional junior league competitions and an annual grant of $150,000 to AFL Tasmania to support its community development programs.