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Gill eyes increased capacity after 'big success' in Shanghai

Nat Edwards // AFL Media  May 15, 2017 9:25 AM

Highlights - Rd 8 2017 v Suns - PTV Highlights from the Power's win over the Suns...

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AFL CHIEF executive Gillon McLachlan has declared the China experiment a success and says the first priority will be to increase the crowd capacity of Jiangwan Stadium.

Tickets for the game between Port Adelaide and Gold Coast sold out within two hours, with the final attendance figure at the Shanghai venue reaching 10,118.

There was widespread criticism on social media however, with vision of the television broadcast showing some sections of the stadium completely empty.

However, McLachlan was quick to point out that those sections were off-limits to spectators.

The League boss said a review of the game would take place immediately.

"We think we've invested for the long-term here - we'll continue to work with the local authority and the layers of government in this country," McLachlan said after the game.

"But today's been a big success, I'm sure they would have enjoyed today.

"There are challenges here - all the tickets were sold and then you have down that end, left of screen, some corporate marquees.

"'So a lot of people would have been in there, eating and drinking. You saw where the public seats were, every seat was full.

"The priority now is probably to increase capacity."

McLachlan didn't have exact figures on how many locals attended the game, but predicted there were around "two-to-three thousand".

"It was amazing, the noise bubbling behind me. They got into the game," he said.

"Someone was yelling 'go Richie, go Richie' and then someone turned around and said, 'No, it's Ah Chee'. They clearly followed the Suns' colours.

"Everyone sees the opportunity in China and they certainly see it clearer today.

"Like all progress, people see obstacles when things are harder.

"People (now) see a clearer path and maybe an easier path."

While all of the infrastructure at Jiangwan Stadium will be dismantled in the next 24 hours, the turf will continue to be maintained over the next 12 months in preparation for next year's Shanghai fixture.

McLachlan said the locals will have "the best frisbee turf in the world".

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