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AFL Football’s Home in Tasmania: Aurora Stadium

Five times each year, the Hawthorn Hawks play their AFL football games at Aurora Stadium, Tasmania’s crown jewel of football venues. Known as York Park for over a century, Aurora Energy renamed the stadium in a 2004 sponsorship deal. Over the years, Aurora Stadium has hosted concerts, rallies and most importantly Aussie Rules football. Launceston’s historic field symbolizes how the Tasmanian people, its businesses and its government work together.

Early Aurora Stadium History

It’s not a dump anymore! Or a swamp. Before the 1870’s it was both. But over time the citizens of Launceston used the large field more and more for all kinds of sports. Cricket, bowling, tennis, cycling … anything people were interested in. In 1919, the city decided to turn it into a formal sporting site. But the Northern Tasmanian Football Association arrived in 1923 and has left a mark on Aurora ever since.

Aurora Stadium Milestones

Aurora Stadium owns a treasure chest full of memories from over 100 years of existence. The floods of ‘29 and the trees planted in memory of footballers who lost their lives in WWII. The Northern Stand arsonist in 2008 caused up to $500,000 worth of damage. But anything broken comes back stronger. The Northern Stand has been replaced by a new seating area that seats over two thousand fans. Upgraded AFL-style changing rooms, corporate suites and an improved press area were added. Launceston, Tasmania, Australia and even the AFL have invested millions to upgrade this monument to the community. So many famous people and performers have visited Aurora Stadium. From the Crusty Demons motorcycle daredevils, to a Billy Graham revival attracting 17,000 people. But whether it’s the Tasmanian State League or the AFL, Aurora is the Tasmanian home of Aussie Football. A 2006 AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Richmond Tigers set the Aurora attendance record with a crowd of 21,000.

Aurora Stadium and the Hawthorn Hawks

Starting in 2001, Melbourne’s Hawthorn Hawks began playing in Aurora Stadium. Now, four regular season AFL games come to Tasmania and Launceston each year. And it’s no ordinary day at the oval when the Hawthorn Hawks are visiting. Four times since 2001, our Hawks have gone on to win the premiership, including a three-peat in 2013, 14 and 15. It’s estimated that each visit by the Hawks to Aurora Stadium creates between $1 and $1.5 million of economic activity to the community. So, when Alastair Clarkson brings the Hawks to Launceston, he’s not only got the fans cheering him at the stadium, he’s got all of Tasmania cheering.

Aurora was the Greek goddess of the dawn. Each new day brings something new at Aurora Stadium. One day, it’s the University of Tasmania’s main sporting venue. On another day, it’s the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame. Sometimes, a home away from home for the Hawthorn Hawks. But football finds a home in Tasmania’s Aurora Stadium.

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