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Super League finals crowds are dire, especially compared to NRL


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81 replies to this topic

#41 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 02:48 PM

QUOTE (Marty Funkhouser @ Sep 19 2010, 03:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Of course but the point re regular season v play off matches is surely worthy of investigation...

Why do Rugby League fans in Australia flock to play off games, whereas here more would watch a match with sometimes absolutely nothing at stake...??


There's far more of them but they attend games less often. I've already explained the season ticket difference.

Take this for example, Wests Tigers averaged 19,000 this year with approximately 4,500 ST holders. Wigan however averaged 15,700 yet have something like 10,000 ST holders.

Therefore we have far more regular fans attending games through season tickets. We are comparing ourselves with the NRL when the reality is that the NRL does poorly for it's size. They get barely double what we do despite much higher viewing figures and exposure. The AFL shows what crowds they should be getting. They tend to have a walk up culture where fans pick and choose the games. This inevitably means that come the finals time they are more likely to attend.

#42 Allan Marsden

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 02:55 PM

QUOTE (Maximus Decimus @ Sep 19 2010, 03:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Quality over quantity and yet you're suggesting we have an advantage over the Aussies? They have something like 4 times more registered RL players than we do.


You are actually qualifying and supporting my POV Maximus. Quantity should produce more potential players but quality of development and subsequent standards is far more important and can overcome disadvantages.

We have the demographic advantage. In terms of market appeal we have far less. However, the Australians have fostered a winning mentality, a greater drive towards participation and the coaching / competition thereby provided is far better. They have made more from a position of disadvantage. Perhaps if people stop trying to pretend we are this great nation and that there are farcical so called reasons like demographics then we would move forward internationally. Unfortunately, our culture is detrimental to sporting success. It wasn't in the past and the Australians learnt about modern RL from ourselves, advanced it, took knowledge from elsewhere, the USA etc and got better and better. In 1982, so called respected figures were trotted out to say ah but ah but they are only fitter, we are proper RL players with more skill (Ironic you still get some British fans that believe that) We actually started to close the gap between 1986 - 1992 but thwe great British trait of envy and jealousy resulted in this overwhelming and ridiculous shout for equality and the gap now is greater than then and will widen unless more British players play in the NRL.

In terms of attendances. Every game is televised in Australia, some on terrestrial TV so we cannot blame TV. Maybe TV helps or should help promote a sport. Some Australia games have teams far further geographically apart than we encounter so we cannot say ah but disance etc. Maybe the simple truth is RL is high profile in Australia compared to Britain and that Australia develop sportsmen / women far better than Britain to the point the profile of the sport becomes less important. We are a low profile sport in a country that poorly develops sportsmen and women IMO.

#43 Hannibal

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 03:21 PM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 19 2010, 03:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You are actually qualifying and supporting my POV Maximus. Quantity should produce more potential players but quality of development and subsequent standards is far more important and can overcome disadvantages.

We have the demographic advantage. In terms of market appeal we have far less. However, the Australians have fostered a winning mentality, a greater drive towards participation and the coaching / competition thereby provided is far better. They have made more from a position of disadvantage. Perhaps if people stop trying to pretend we are this great nation and that there are farcical so called reasons like demographics then we would move forward internationally. Unfortunately, our culture is detrimental to sporting success. It wasn't in the past and the Australians learnt about modern RL from ourselves, advanced it, took knowledge from elsewhere, the USA etc and got better and better. In 1982, so called respected figures were trotted out to say ah but ah but they are only fitter, we are proper RL players with more skill (Ironic you still get some British fans that believe that) We actually started to close the gap between 1986 - 1992 but thwe great British trait of envy and jealousy resulted in this overwhelming and ridiculous shout for equality and the gap now is greater than then and will widen unless more British players play in the NRL.

In terms of attendances. Every game is televised in Australia, some on terrestrial TV so we cannot blame TV. Maybe TV helps or should help promote a sport. Some Australia games have teams far further geographically apart than we encounter so we cannot say ah but disance etc. Maybe the simple truth is RL is high profile in Australia compared to Britain and that Australia develop sportsmen / women far better than Britain to the point the profile of the sport becomes less important. We are a low profile sport in a country that poorly develops sportsmen and women IMO.

And you still don't know how to use the term demographic.

It is not purely a study of how big a country's population is.

Anyway, it's still a daft argument. Two different countries 10000 miles apart with totally different motivations.

No comparison whatsoever.

#44 Allan Marsden

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 03:33 PM

QUOTE (Hannibal @ Sep 19 2010, 04:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And you still don't know how to use the term demographic.

It is not purely a study of how big a country's population is.

Anyway, it's still a daft argument. Two different countries 10000 miles apart with totally different motivations.

No comparison whatsoever.


Nobody has said it was or is apart from you Hannibal. I think you need to think before you type and stop trying to cash cheques you cannot afford.

If there was no comparison because the 2 countries are so far apart then why did you try to make one but more importantly why did Australians start coming across the globe to learn about RL and take back what they learned in the late 50's and 60's. The international transfer ban was and ignorance always is the biggest hinderance to RL development wherever it may be.

#45 thirteenthman

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 05:31 PM

Comparing attendances between England and Australia is pointless owing to the different standing of the game in each country. Then there's the fact that the play-offs in this country are a relatively new invention. Actually a re-invention, but the majority of current fans won't remember play-offs (pre-1973) from the first time round. Should they be included in season tickets? No, because the RFL and the clubs should be working hard to push the fact that these are the most important games of the season.

All the clubs seem to spend a lot of time pushing their season tickets, which is understandable. But they really should be trying to attract the 'casual' fan much more than they do. For example, Wigan picked out the game against Warrington for a big marketing campaign and rightly got a big crowd. But did they do something similar for the play-off matches? Focusing on season tickets is fine if all your home matches are included, but when they're not it can work against you.


#46 Chairman M

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 05:54 PM

QUOTE (cookey @ Sep 19 2010, 11:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Garbage,people will willingly pay 80 to watch a meaningless game of cricket and the same to watch a friendly game of rugby union.If people won't pay 10/15 to watch an elemination game of rugby league,thet certainly can't expect to get it for 'free' within their season ticket - no doubt some would want a refund,if their team didn't make it to the play offs!!
Fair enough, but as a Leicester Tigers season ticket holder, trust me, the crowds are lower than the regular season for the RU play-offs as well.

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#47 ParisSurtout

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 09:00 PM

Wouldn't it have been better -- from a crowd size point of view, and fairness -- to follow the example of the NRL and hold both the SL preliminary finals (next weekend's games) at larger, prestigious "regional" grounds, which are in the region of the "home" team but not its home ground?

This kind of ground choice would do two things: (1) it would make the event more prestigious and thus attract more "neutrals"(2) it would make the ground less intimidating for away supporters and thus attract more of these.

In the NRL the Gold Coast Titans vs Sydney Roosters is being played at Suncorp Stadium (capacity 52,500), which is the regional headquarters of rugby league in Queensland (thereby giving Titans an advantage, while not giving them their own home ground). St George Illawarra vs West Tigers is being played at Sydney's ANZ Stadium (capacity 85,500) which is regional headquarters for NSW where "home" side St George is located, but not a home ground of St. George. By these choices the NRL is saying that these matches are very prestigious and can cope with very large crowds.

The English equivalent would be to hold Leeds vs Wigan at Elland Road and St Helens vs Huddersfield at Reebok Stadium, Bolton. They would not sell out, but I suspect that they would get a lot more fans than will go to either Knowsley Road's dreadful stadium (how many dozen neutrals would be motivated to go there?) or to Headingley.

Edited by ParisSurtout, 20 September 2010 - 09:16 PM.

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#48 Wendall

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 10:05 PM

QUOTE (ParisSurtout @ Sep 20 2010, 10:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wouldn't it have been better -- from a crowd size point of view, and fairness -- to follow the example of the NRL and hold both the SL preliminary finals (next weekend's games) at larger, prestigious "regional" grounds, which are in the region of the "home" team but not its home ground?

This kind of ground choice would do two things: (1) it would make the event more prestigious and thus attract more "neutrals"(2) it would make the ground less intimidating for away supporters and thus attract more of these.

In the NRL the Gold Coast Titans vs Sydney Roosters is being played at Suncorp Stadium (capacity 52,500), which is the regional headquarters of rugby league in Queensland (thereby giving Titans an advantage, while not giving them their own home ground). St George Illawarra vs West Tigers is being played at Sydney's ANZ Stadium (capacity 85,500) which is regional headquarters for NSW where "home" side St George is located, but not a home ground of St. George. By these choices the NRL is saying that these matches are very prestigious and can cope with very large crowds.

The English equivalent would be to hold Leeds vs Wigan at Elland Road and St Helens vs Huddersfield at Reebok Stadium, Bolton. They would not sell out, but I suspect that they would get a lot more fans than will go to either Knowsley Road's dreadful stadium (how many dozen neutrals would be motivated to go there?) or to Headingley.


I agree we need a big shake up of the play offs to me as a fan who goes to all the games the regular rounds have a better build up and atmosphere than play off games.

Take this week for example we have two fixtures at ageing stadiums, compare it to the NRL who have Suncorp and Sydney Olympic Stadium.

We need to be bold and make the play offs an event, at the moment they are fairly poor as events for the live fan. On TV ratings are high but most people it seems would rather watch on Sky and save money till the final.



#49 dallymessenger

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 05:14 AM

dumb thread

but anyway -

when the nrl finals were first expanded to a top 8 crowds were poor but the concept has become more accepted

the idea of home state advantage to the higher ranking team has helped

we used to have cowboys vs storm semi played in sydney before 14,000 etc

now for example the titans get a semi final this week at brisbane, sucorp stadium which will likely get 45,000 +

the problem also appears to be with live coverage on tv fans are choosing to watch it at home

Edited by dallymessenger, 21 September 2010 - 05:15 AM.


#50 clement

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 07:12 AM

QUOTE (my missus @ Sep 19 2010, 12:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
for gods sake what the hell have crowds got to do with anything, our games have been 10 times more entertaining than theirs, and for me that is all that matters, GET A LIFE.
you are joking arnt you


#51 boxhead

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 07:32 AM

QUOTE (Maximus Decimus @ Sep 19 2010, 03:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Quality over quantity and yet you're suggesting we have an advantage over the Aussies? They have something like 4 times more registered RL players than we do.



Registered Club players?
Is that including Juniors?

Where are those figures from Max.

#52 TheObserver

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 08:16 AM

QUOTE (Marty Funkhouser @ Sep 19 2010, 09:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I know it goes against the grain on here but i think the OP is correct and the point is very worthy of discussion....

The play-off games, mean more, are more intense and of a higher standard and yet draw much less than the regular season.., yet the opposite is true in the NRL..surely we should be at least having a look at the possible reasons..., clubs are missing out on literally hundreds of thousands of pounds of income...


Australian RL authorities only instituted regular finals series and Grand Finals since 1954. Australia has had 44 more years than England to build the tradition with fans.

Another factor could be the length of the season. The regular season began in February (late January for two clubs), with no pre-scheduled byes, so fans may decide to take a break. The NRL season only begins in the second week of March, five weeks later than Super League, with two byes built in.

#53 Blind side johnny

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 09:39 AM



Interestingly the play-offs in the Championship attracted the same sort crowds as normal league matches, and this will include a fair sprinkling of neutrals.

Maybe the comparisons are based upon too smal a sample to be valid. When we're all down on our uppers next year will be the time to be really concerned.

(btw RU authorities are already expressing concern about the slump in gates for their first few matches this season, which might more accurately reflect the economic crisis (sic).)


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#54 dallymessenger

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 06:30 AM

stolen from another forum


2010 ESL (6 matches so far)

Total = 67370 (11228/match)



2009 ESL finals (First 6 matches)

Total = 42499 (7'083/match)



If anything.. The matches for the finals have increased.

They have increased by 24'871 Or 58.52%!!!


#55 Bulliac

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 09:10 AM

QUOTE (TheObserver @ Sep 21 2010, 09:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Australian RL authorities only instituted regular finals series and Grand Finals since 1954. Australia has had 44 more years than England to build the tradition with fans.


That's not really true though, since play-offs have been used, with occasional interruptions, to decide the champions in England for most of the game's history and only relatively new fans, from the start of Summer rugby, maybe, would regard play offs as something 'new'.

Various systems have been used over the years, from the top four up to up to the top sixteen teams playing off (there was just the one division of 32 clubs at the time). In the years before the move to Summer, and the SL era, in a two division system, this had become separated from the championship (which, at that point was decided on a top of the league basis) and the play offs were known as the Premiership. This competition had the same problem with attracting crowds though.

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#56 Steve May

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 09:32 AM

QUOTE (ParisSurtout @ Sep 20 2010, 10:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The English equivalent would be to hold Leeds vs Wigan at Elland Road and St Helens vs Huddersfield at Reebok Stadium, Bolton. They would not sell out, but I suspect that they would get a lot more fans than will go to either Knowsley Road's dreadful stadium (how many dozen neutrals would be motivated to go there?) or to Headingley.



You've obviously never been to Elland Road then. It's a cackhole.

Your idea won't work in the UK for lots of reasons.

In any case, I suspect Knowsley Road will be pretty full this weekend and then it will be gone, so your particular point about that doesn't stand.

That's me.  I'm done.


#57 Steve May

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 09:35 AM

QUOTE (TheObserver @ Sep 21 2010, 09:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Australian RL authorities only instituted regular finals series and Grand Finals since 1954. Australia has had 44 more years than England to build the tradition with fans.


An excellent book to educate yourself on this topic.

For the vast majority of the history of the game in the UK the Champions have been decided by winning a play-off.

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#58 TheObserver

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 03:20 AM

QUOTE (Bulliac @ Sep 22 2010, 07:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's not really true though, since play-offs have been used, with occasional interruptions, to decide the champions in England for most of the game's history and only relatively new fans, from the start of Summer rugby, maybe, would regard play offs as something 'new'.

Various systems have been used over the years, from the top four up to up to the top sixteen teams playing off (there was just the one division of 32 clubs at the time). In the years before the move to Summer, and the SL era, in a two division system, this had become separated from the championship (which, at that point was decided on a top of the league basis) and the play offs were known as the Premiership. This competition had the same problem with attracting crowds though.


Bulliac and Steve, you are both correct. However the league leader system to decide champions was used from 1973-74 to 1997, for 25 consecutive seasons, so perhaps for some supporters of the game, it had become the norm, so it can take time to change people's attitudes. However, 4 posts back, Dallymessenger listed stats that showed a 58% increase in finals crowds from last year.

I posed the question in my earlier post whether the length of the season and finals might lead to fans taking a break from attending in early rounds of finals.

#59 ParisSurtout

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 05:19 AM

QUOTE (Steve May @ Sep 22 2010, 05:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You've obviously never been to Elland Road then. It's a cackhole.


You're obviously wrong, because I've been to Elland Road twice.

I wouldn't call Elland Road a cackhole because then I wouldn't have a word left to desribe Knowsley Road or Belle Vue, which are much worse places to sit (if you can without soiling your pants) than Elland Road.

QUOTE (Steve May @ Sep 22 2010, 05:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Your idea won't work in the UK for lots of reasons.

In any case, I suspect Knowsley Road will be pretty full this weekend and then it will be gone, so your particular point about that doesn't stand.


I cannot imagine why my point doesn't stand. My point was that Reebok Stadium at Bolton would attract a lot more Huddersfield and neutral fans than Knowsley Road will. Those people would be happier at Bolton.
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#60 TheObserver

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 05:43 AM

QUOTE (ParisSurtout @ Sep 23 2010, 03:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I cannot imagine why my point doesn't stand. My point was that Reebok Stadium at Bolton would attract a lot more Huddersfield and neutral fans than Knowsley Road will. Those people would be happier at Bolton.


The Challenge Cup semi finals are held at neutral venues very year.