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Giants footy director says potential home game overseas is all about viability

Hour of Power

GWS Giants football director Jimmy Bartel says the potential to play a home game overseas is all about the long-term viability of the club.

According to a report in today’s The Age, the Giants are looking at the possibility of hosting a home game in the United States.

The game could be played in California, backed by Tourism Australia.

Speaking on Macquarie Sports Radio, Bartel said it was crucial the proposal was taken seriously.

“You want to take a proper game (for premiership points), you don’t want an exhibition or mickey-mouse game because fans see through that,” he said.

“We currently have seven games at GIANTS Stadium and three in Canberra which leaves us another home game.

“You also want to become financially viable by yourself, so you’re not relying on the AFL to give that distribution of money.

“You’ve got to explore other ideas, if it wasn’t for some creative thinking or some foresight, the Giants wouldn’t have been born. You’ve got to have that mindset at the Giants.”

Bartel said the potential game overseas would benefit the club overall despite taking a home game away from Giants fans.

“We’re not alienating our fans, it’s just one game,” he said.

“What you’re doing is making yourself financially viable (in the future) so you can provide greater services for your fans now.

“There’s only 24 million in people in this country and we have 84 professional sporting teams, which doesn’t include individual sports or Olympic sports.

“GWS v Gold Coast, 7,000 people will go to that game.

“If you can link this in with Tourism Australia and other brands, you could probably get 8-10,000 in California anyway.”

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Hour of Power