02 Jul 2024

Gather Round’s growing economic contribution to SA as 2025 dates locked in


The 2025 AFL ‘Gather Round … A Festival of Footy’ will run from Thursday 10 through to Sunday 13 April, coinciding with school holidays across the country so more families can get amongst the footy action in South Australia.

The Barossa Valley will host AFL Premiership matches for the first time, with facilities at Lyndoch Recreation Park presently being upgraded.

The 2025 Gather Round will align with the middle weekend of school holidays in Victoria and Queensland and the first weekend of school holidays in South Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales. 

Announcing the dates as early as possible enables fans to book travel and accommodation in advance of the weekend.

It comes as independent analysis undertaken for the AFL by IER reveals the 2024 AFL Gather Round contributed $91.6 million to South Australia’s economy – a 10 per cent increase on the inaugural Gather Round in 2023; while the total number of visitor nights increased by 40,209.

Across the nine matches, 265,011 attended a game, with 33 per cent being interstate visitors. The event attracted 45,847 visitors to South Australia and supported 655 full-time equivalent jobs.

The research found that around 93 per cent of these visitors spent at least one night in South Australia, with interstate visitors spending on average 4.5 nights in South Australia.

The benefit was not just for Adelaide, with IER’s analysis showing of the 191,669 visitor nights created, 52,026 were outside of the city.

Premier Peter Malinauskas said Gather Round was an extraordinary success in 2024 and built on the strong foundations set with the inaugural event in 2023.

 “A $91.6 million economic contribution is a significant return, as are the almost 200,000 visitor nights,” Premier Malinauskas said. 

“That represents tens of thousands of interstate visitors filling our hotels, and spending money in our cafes and bars.

“But it’s not just the direct benefit. Gather Round matches and events like the Norwood Food & Wine Festival provide an opportunity for our state to tell its story.

“We look forward to making the 2025 event bigger and better again – with the Barossa Valley set to feature for the first time.”

AFL CEO Andrew Dillon said this year’s Gather Round was an incredible success, it was always going to hard to top the original, but the sequel delivered one of the best footy experiences of all time. 

“The timing of the 2025 event and the April school holidays will give fans and families the best opportunity to be able visit South Australia. It has been a proven strategy over the first two years, especially considering the interstates visitors making up 33% of match attendees,” Mr Dillon said. 

“Our planning has already begun, and I’m excited to be able to announce more details later in the year, making 2025 Gather Round our best yet.”