Richmond's Victorian-based members haven't been able to attend a match in person all season but the reigning premiers have surpassed the magical 100,000 member mark for a third consecutive season.
There were dire predictions when the COVID-19 pandemic hit that it would result in a significant fall in club memberships, but the evidence points to the contrary.
The AFL and clubs have reported that about one per cent of members have requested refunds across the competition.
The Tiger Army in all its power.Credit:Getty Images
At Punt Road, the situation is particularly remarkable, but points to the power of the Tiger Army, which has enjoyed premiership success in 2017 and 2019 after decades in the wilderness.
The strong membership numbers – and the revenue that comes with them – emerge at the same time as football economics are being reset due to the coronavirus, with the AFL and numerous clubs undergoing drastic cost-cutting, including the laying off of staff.
“Our members are just extraordinary,” Richmond chief executive Brendan Gale said.
“They laid the foundations for our recent success and have stood firm during this incredibly difficult period.
“They should be proud of what they have achieved – for the third time – and I know the playing group feel the strength of our membership base.
“We are facing unprecedented financial challenges now, and into the immediate future, and the continued support of our members will help the club absorb this stress. It will enable us to come out of this pandemic as strong as we were when we went into it.”
The Tigers' membership tally stands at 100,196 after achieving six figures in 2018 (100,726) a year after the club won its first premiership since 1980 and then reached 103,358 members last year.
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