Total crowds are down since compared to when? Post war? 1970's 1980's? When?
Besides, I am a 'new' RL punter and I know quite a few other converts. So there are genuinely new fans that have been created
Compared to various times... , if we did a graph we are not at a high point in respect of total numbers but nor at a low point, indeed for SOME clubs the SL era has been a fantastic success but not for the MAJORITY of clubs in terms of numbers watching live or on tv.....it is another debate as to which is best for the game ..to have say a minimum average crowd in ALL professional clubs of 1000, but a high of 12,000 and more competitions and games and more spectators overall or many low averages numbered in the low hundreds but a few high averages for the top clubs with just two competitions and less games and less overall paying spectators..
Division one crowds used to average 5500 now they average 9400....
Yes fans levels outside the top division are down but not but as much as they are up in the elite. 22,000 more fans I think?You can get higher levels of overall fan "attendances" by adding more competitions but then you get such as Adrian Shelford playing 40 games a season.
The move to professionalism reduces the ability to stage more top competitions but £90,000,000 SKY contracts make up for any losses by having less fixtures.I'd also guess professional clubs have a really good take per head opposed to what it used to be in semi pro days.
If you are correct and the clubs now have a far superior take per head then can you tell me what is better??? 3.3 million spectators paying that take per head or 1.7 million spectators????
It is widely acknowledge the SL clubs get just shy of £1mill per season from the £90 mill contract, at an average of £20.00 per head (admittance only) this works out at 50,000 spectators they are been paid for...or 700,000 over the fourteen clubs...
How much is lost to the game overall?
Perhaps nothing in the "summer" era..
Would indeed the modern summer era passholder turn up for extra cup games or tour matches anymore..??? Probably not...
Whilst the average crowds of Leeds, Wigan, Warrington and Saints are to be applauded and ARE good for the game it does gloss over and take attention away from what lies beneath and wether it is admitted or not the game would not last much beyond a generation without the bottom 70% of the pyramid..