AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan today announced that 2016 AFL club membership had increased to a record 875,197 members.

Mr McLachlan said 11 of the 18 AFL clubs had now surpassed 50,000 members, with the same number achieving their highest tally in history.

The official AFL club membership tally was compiled after the July 31 deadline, rising by 4.67% on 2015 figures, with positive growth achieved by 13 of the 18 clubs.

The membership of AFL clubs comprised 740,793 club access members with match-day entry (compared to 724,410 in 2015) and 134,404 non-access members (compared to 111,726 in 2015).

Mr McLachlan said the result was testament to the loyalty and passion of football fans.

“To reach a record for AFL club membership with a rate of retention across the industry of 86% is a tremendous result,” Mr McLachlan said.

“The total number of AFL club members equates to one in every 28 Australians, which is a sign of the reach and strength of Australian football.

“The financial and emotional commitment fans make to their teams is the key reason why our game continues to prosper.”

Mr McLachlan said the fact membership records continued to be broken was a reflection of the hard work of so many people across the football industry.

AFL club membership has continued to break records for the past 26 years, with the exception of the year 2000, when the AFL season was moved forward by a month to accommodate the Sydney Olympics.

“All clubs are to be commended for their work in improving the fan experience, engaging new audiences and strengthening ties with existing members,” Mr McLachlan said.

“AFL clubs continue to find innovative ways to engage their members and ensure each member feels part of the club.”

St Kilda, Sydney Swans, Geelong, Western Bulldogs, and the GWS Giants led the way with all recording double-digit growth, while North Melbourne, West Coast Eagles, and Melbourne also achieved significant increases in their membership tallies.

With a fourth consecutive premiership in their sights, Hawthorn has risen to be the largest-supported club in the competition with a total membership of 75,351, narrowly edging out Collingwood (74,643) and Richmond ( 72,278)

Please find below the membership breakdown for each AFL club and the comparison figures for 2015.

CLUB2015 Members2016 MembersVAR
Adelaide52,92054,307 2.62%
Brisbane25,40823,286 -8.35%
Collingwood75,03774,643 -0.53%
Essendon60,81857,494 -5.47%
Geelong44,312 50,571 14.12%
Gold Coast 13,64312,854 -5.78%
GWS 13,480 15,31213.59%
Hawthorn72,92475,351 3.33%
North Melbourne 41,01245,0149.76%
Port Adelaide54,057 53,743-0.58%
Richmond 70,80972,278 2.07%
St Kilda32,74638,009 16.07%
Sydney48,836 56,523 15.74%
West Coast60,22165,188 8.25%
Western Bulldogs35,22239,45912.03%