China hosts first Aussie Rules game

Port Adelaide Power defeated Gold Coast Suns 110-38 in Shanghai.

China hosts first Aussie Rules game

Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

China hosted its first Aussie Rules game this weekend, as Port Adelaide Power took on the Gold Coast Suns in Shanghai.

The match cost some $4m Australian dollars to host, and some of Port Adelaide's Chinese backers are believed to have paid three-quarters of the cost to stage the game in the Chinese city.

They also gave the Gold Coast Suns $500,000 to move their home fixture from the Gold Coast to the Jiangwan Stadium.

The game was played in front of a crowd of around 10,000 people, half of whom were Port fans, while several curious locals were also in attendance. 

Speaking about the impact of the spectacle on Chinese spectators, AFL boss Gillon McLachlan told The Australian:

"There's a bit of oohing and ahhing; I don't know whether they're getting it. There's a lot of Chinese here up in the stands and they're gasping, I think they love the hard hits. It's a pretty entertaining game of footy."

He added that they want to stage more of these games in China in the future.

"We want to invest in the long-term and the aim is this not to be one-off. I'm confident it will go ahead and we'll invest here for the long-term."