AFL Prize Money

The AFL stands as Australia’s most elite and competitive professional sports league for playing Australian Rules Football. It started off as an organization back in 1897 and now stands as one of the nation’s favorite sports leagues.

In this article, I’m going to let you know what AFL 2023 prize money is.

For those who don’t know what Australian Rules Football is, It is a unique sport that has been played for over a century. It features two teams of eighteen players who compete on an oval-shaped field with an oval-shaped ball. The objective is to kick the ball through a set of four goalposts at either end of the field to score points. Players can also move the ball by hand, passing or punching it with their closed fists. AFL is a football league of Australian Rules Football.

The AFL (Australian Football League) season runs from March to September and consists of 23 rounds plus finals games. The top eight teams at the end of the regular season compete in a four-week finals series to determine the premiership winner.

Brief Overview of the 2023 AFL Prize Money

As of 2019, the premier receives $1.2 million in prize money, with $660k for the runners-up. However, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the prize money for 2020 was reduced. In 2010, the AFL doubled the Grand Final prize pool to $3.4 million, split between Collingwood and St Kilda players and clubs as recognition of their efforts in staging back-to-back deciders.

As we look ahead to 2023, we see that prize money is expected to increase once again based on recent trends within the league’s revenue growth. Exact figures have not yet been released, but it can be expected that the winners of the 2023 Premiership will receive a record-breaking prize package.

Grand Final Winner and Runners-Up

The Grand Final is the most important game in the AFL season, with the winner crowned the premiers for that year. As such, it comes with a significant prize purse. The winning team receives a substantial amount of prize money, while the runner-up also gets a decent consolation prize. In 2021, the Grand Final winner, Melbourne, received $1.8 million in prize money, while runners-up Western Bulldogs took home $900k. This was an increase from 2021 when Richmond won $1.4 million, and Geelong received $900k as runners-up.

Early Years (1897-1949): The First-Ever AFL Premiership

In 1897, eight teams competed for the first-ever premiership in the newly-formed Victorian Football League (VFL), which later became known as the AFL. The winner was awarded a trophy called the Challenge Cup along with £25 prize money. At that time, this was considered a significant amount of money.

The prize money structure changed over time during these early years. In 1908, for instance, winners were awarded £50 while runners-up received £25. By 1925, winners received £200 while runners-up received £100.

Changes in Prize Money Over The Years

As time passed and more teams joined the VFL/AFL competition, prize money increased to keep up with inflation and maintain competitiveness among players and clubs. For instance, in 1954, when Footscray won their first premiership, they received prize money totaling £5250 – a considerable increase from what was offered decades earlier.

In more recent times, changes in revenue generated from broadcast rights deals have resulted in significant increases in prize money offered to winning teams. For instance, between 2011-2016, winners were awarded $1 million while runners-up received $500k – a far cry from what was offered during those early days of AFL.

Modern Era (1950-2022): Increase in Popularity, Revenue, and Record-Breaking Prizes

The AFL has experienced a significant surge in popularity over the years. This rise in popularity has contributed to the increase in revenue generated by the league, which is reflected in the prize money awarded to premiership winners. For instance, between 2017-2021, premiership winners were awarded $1.5 million while runners-up received $900k.

These modern times have also seen record-breaking prizes being awarded to premiership-winning teams. In 2019, Richmond Football Club won their second premiership title in three years and received a whopping $2.5 million – the highest ever offered by the AFL.

Prize money has always been a significant part of AFL history and has evolved significantly over the years due to changes in revenue, popularity, and other factors affecting the game. These changes have resulted in increases in prize money offered to teams as well as record-breaking prizes being awarded – all contributing towards making AFL a highly competitive sporting event.

Factors Affecting Prize Money

There are several factors that can influence changes in prize money within any league or sport: viewership numbers (both TV ratings and stadium attendance), sponsorship deals ( partnerships with major brands), merchandising sales (official merchandise vendors), and overall popularity amongst fans/media. The AFL is no different, and the league has experienced a steady increase in revenue streams over the years.

The introduction of new teams, like Greater Western Sydney and Gold Coast Suns, has brought with them new audiences and increased viewership numbers during regular season matches. Additionally, the success of marquee events like the Grand Final has helped boost the league’s visibility.

However, it is also important to note that factors such as a global pandemic or economic recession can also significantly affect prize money. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-21, AFL had to make significant cuts to its prize pool as a result of reduced revenue-generating opportunities such as ticket sales and corporate sponsorships.

Winning Teams and Players

Since its inception in 1897, the Australian Football League (AFL) has undergone several name changes and expansions but has remained a beloved sport in Australia. The league includes 18 teams across the country, with Victoria boasting 10 of them.

Over the years, there have been 14 different teams to win the Premiership Cup, with some winning multiple times. The Carlton Blues have won the most AFL premierships with a total of 16 wins, followed by Essendon and Collingwood, who are tied at 15 each. Other notable teams include Richmond with 12 wins and Hawthorn with 11. In 2020, the Richmond Tigers became back-to-back champions after defeating Geelong Cats in a historic grand final held at The Gabba in Brisbane.

Highlighting Some Remarkable Players Who Have Won Multiple Times

Just like teams, there have been several players who have made history by winning multiple premiership titles. One such player is Michael Tuck, who played for Hawthorn from 1972 to 1991 and won seven premierships during his career.

He holds the record for most Grand Final appearances with a total of eleven. Another notable player is Leigh Matthews, who played for Hawthorn from 1969 to 1985 before becoming coach of Collingwood and then Brisbane Lions. Matthews won four premierships as a player and coached both Collingwood and Brisbane Lions to win three each.

Other remarkable players include Graham Farmer, who won six premierships playing for Geelong Cats, and Ian Stewart, who won five playing for Richmond and St Kilda.

Future Prospects for AFL Prize Money

Increasing AFL prize money is anticipated by experts and predicted to persist into the future. AFL’s recent surge in popularity and revenue is reflected through increased player/team payout.

One factor contributing to the potential increase in AFL prize money is the league’s ongoing expansion efforts. The addition of new teams to the competition means more revenue from ticket sales, merchandise, and media rights – all of which will contribute to an increased prize pool.

Additionally, as the AFL continues to attract top talent from around the world, players’ salaries are likely to rise further, pushing up overall costs and subsequently increasing prizes.


Throughout this article, I have explored the rich history of AFL Prize Money and its significance in the Australian Football League. Although, AFL 2023 prize money is not confirmed yet. Over time, as revenue increased and popularity grew, so too did the prize money on offer.

Read Also: Who Won the Most AFL Grand Finals in History?

Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports.