A new Association football team, Melbourne Victory, was created in Melbourne in 2005 as a founding member of the Australian A-League. Within little more than a year it was drawing peak crowds of 50,000 to matches and averaged over 30,000. It was forced to move from an 18,000 capacity stadium to one holding 55,000. Previous new club foundations in the 1990s had not been successful, despite being associated with popular Australian Rules football teams, Collingwood and Carlton. The Victory, however, seems to have attracted a different and wider demographic to the game. For the first time the growth of the code in Australia in based on the domestic population, not waves of inward migration as was the case in the 1880s, 1920s and the post-Second World War period. Preliminary studies of the fan base suggest that the future for the Victory is likely to be different from the recent past.
This is an electronic version of an article published in Soccer & Society, vol. 8, no. 2/3, pp. 298-315. Soccer & Society is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1466-0970&volume=8&issue=2/3&spage=298
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