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SBD Global/July 10, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan Eyeing Gold Coast CEO Travis Auld For New-Look Exec Team

Australian Football League side Gold Coast CEO Travis Auld is "looming as one fresh face" in AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan's "new look executive team as the new AFL boss sets in place a long-term plan to bring more fans to the football," according to Caroline Wilson of THE AGE. Not only is McLachlan devising a "more traditional football fixture" for '15, but he is driving with the "strong support of the AFL Commission a push to make AFL games a more enjoyable experience for the public from the time of ticket purchase through to the journey home from stadiums." Auld has been "sounded out by McLachlan with a view to bringing on board his expertise in building a fan base from scratch and overseeing the construction and running of an award-winning stadium which remains totally controlled by the club." The "early purchase of Etihad Stadium remains a priority target of the AFL." Auld's experience would "prove invaluable should the purchase become a reality." As part of a series of "fan-friendly initiatives, McLachlan is also expected to scrap the unpopular and overly complex variable ticket pricing with a view to simplifying and rebranding" the "controversial" '14 league policy of pricing games and seating "in line with demand and popularity." The AFL will "also study the cost of booking tickets, transport and parking -- something Auld has dealt with at Metricon Stadium with positive results -- along with the vexed question of food and beverage costs at AFL grounds." The league is also reviewing "restrictive attempts by stadiums like Etihad which prevents fans from bringing their own food into the football" (THE AGE, 7/9).
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