The COVID-19 affected 2020 AFL season highlighted the strategic importance of the Gold Coast SUNS and Metricon Stadium to the competition but also resulted in financial challenges for the club.

Like many businesses and industries, the SUNS were negatively impacted by COVID-19, making a $953,442 loss for the financial year ending October 31, 2020 which was impacted by the Club’s inability to generate typical match-day related revenues.

“In what was a challenging year for all clubs and the league, the Gold Coast SUNS played a lead role in bringing the AFL competition and Grand Final to Queensland and also hosted 42 games at Metricon Stadium which was vital in keeping the season alive,” Chief Executive Mark Evans said.

“Helping secure and host the 2020 AFL season and Grand Final in Queensland delivered $47 million in economic value to the Gold Coast and $136 million to the State, which supported the SUNS promise to be a valuable part of the local community.

“The revenue retention and cost reduction strategies implemented in 2020 limited the negative financial impact of COVID-19 on the SUNS and there were many positives last year including considerable growth in awareness and interest in AFL in Queensland.

“I want to thank our passionate members who signed up in record numbers, our loyal corporate partners, the AFL and the Queensland Government for their support. And I want to make special mention of our staff and volunteers for their hard work, loyalty and commitment in a challenging year.”

With more than half of all Australians living in NSW and QLD, Mr Evans said the SUNS continue to play a key role in delivering on the AFL’s long-term strategy for growth of the game.

Key facts:

  • $953,442 loss for financial year ending October 31, 2020.
  • 2020 membership record of 16,236 - an 18% increase.
  • 50% increase in TV audience for SUNS games in 2020 and 32% increase in QLD TV viewership of AFL games.
  • The SUNS, as operators of Metricon Stadium, hosted 42 AFL games in 2020.
  • QLD continues to experience growth in AFL ‘participation’ with numbers tripling to a record 300,000 since 2010 (when the SUNS formed).
  • Gold Coast experienced 10% growth in participation in 2019 alone.
  • QLD has the second highest number of female participants in Australia (107,000 in 2019) and experienced 300% growth from 2014-2019.
  • QLD has the second largest schools-based competition with over 600+ teams in participation.