The Giants and Bombers have big plans for their future games. Picture: Getty Images
The Giants and Bombers have big plans for their future games. Picture: Getty Images

California dreaming: Bombers, Giants plan shock US clash

Essendon and Greater Western Sydney are pitching to play an AFL match for premiership points in either Los Angeles or San Francisco as early as 2022.

The radical idea is expected to net the clubs more the a million dollars and will be a GWS "home" match.

Originally pitched by Kevin Sheedy, who coached both clubs, the idea has become a reality under Bombers CEO Xavier Campbell and Giants CEO Dave Matthews.

The current plan is for the fixture to be played either to launch the season or during the bye rounds.

 

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It will be played early in the morning local time, which will translate to a night TV start time for Australian audiences.

"Being bold means we need to challenge the status quo," Campbell said.

"Not for the sake of it, but because our growth depends on it.

"Plans and discussions are very much in their infancy, but talks have revolved around the relocation of a GWS home game, with the opportunity to position the match as one of the early marquee games of the premiership season.

"We believe this has the potential to present a compelling and unique opportunity to create a significant TV spectacle, while also exposing and unlocking the game of AFL, and the Bombers' and GWS' brands to California - the world's fifth largest economy in its own right."

Essendon has previously investigated playing for premiership points in India.

In 2017, the Herald Sun uncovered VFL documents which outlined a plan to relocate a Melbourne based club to LA.

Dylan Shiel and his Bomber teammates could be off to the US. Picture: AAP Images
Dylan Shiel and his Bomber teammates could be off to the US. Picture: AAP Images

 

The club was to be called the LA Crocodiles and would have played home matches at the Rosebowl in Pasadena or the Los Angeles Coliseum.

A formal submission was presented to the VFL commission in September 1987, but it was rejected at a board meeting one month later.

The AFL has previously played games internationally for premiership points in China and New Zealand.

Pre-season games have been played in Dubai and exhibition games have been held in London.

The cover of LA Crocs VFL team submission.
The cover of LA Crocs VFL team submission.

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