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League Express



Member Since 08 Mar 2009
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#2980646 What can we do to increase attendances?

Posted by keighley on 20 August 2014 - 07:39 PM

Under the same format as the NFL i do. 


I dont think the owners of Leeds, Saints, Wigan et al have any problem spending money, i think its pretty clear they have no problem investing in the game. I think they do have a problem with the 'free money' aspect that some people think investment is. 


The whole history of the top clubs is selfish, me me me and wanting more of the pie and denying it to others. Good luck with your NFL scenario. Acting for the greater good is not in their DNA. Just look at the spoiled brat reaction to the new redistribution of funds to the Championships when some of them almost took their toys home and refused to play with the other kids.

#2980491 What can we do to increase attendances?

Posted by keighley on 20 August 2014 - 02:29 PM

you can't break even on 7k attendances, you can simply spend less and do what London did this year but that goes in the minus column. 


I honestly don't know but have none of the sub 10,000 club broken even.? If they haven't we are looking as a disaster in the making as we fall to the size of the 5x 10,000 clubs that are out there.


It's quite simple really if we want to survive. Try to improve gates at every club but, in the meantime, live within your means or face extinction.

#2980020 What can we do to increase attendances?

Posted by keighley on 19 August 2014 - 02:06 PM

The demography of rugby league is far too narrow. This is counterproductive in many ways and has an debilitating effect on interest.
That demography is working class/ lower middle class.

These people people have the lowest disposable income of the population.this US inhibiting especially when the economy is in a bad way.

Because if this aspirational sections of the population don't want to be associated it.

Because of this high end sponsors are deterred

Because of this the media has a negative view because it makes rugby league an easy target for stereotyping and is of interest to a narrow regional and socio/economic profile.

To overcome this we have to get fairly rich to very rich background, people who are going somewhere with their lives or at least believe they are. And we need to get posh people interested.
We sat we are inclusive but we aren't really because we put people off passively.


Don't you think that the very rich owners we have in the game now are upper class ?


I can only speak from my own experiences but my family and myself all come from the working class but that was now a couple of generations ago and now all of us are middle class, if not upper middle class, but the love of the game we learned from out fathers and grandfathers has endured and many of us still follow the game.


I think there are many thousands of families like this who have moved on up. Maybe the demographic of the game is changing? It would be good news if it were. We need all demographic levels to be supporters of the game.

#2980007 What can we do to increase attendances?

Posted by keighley on 19 August 2014 - 01:43 PM

There are, in my opinions, three things we can do to increase attendances right now (ignoring any structural reforms or expansion)


1) improve the match day experience. Too many poor grounds with poor facilities getting poor attendances, too many clubs thinking that the experience outside of the game itself is superfluous, too many clubs thinking that a kids choir or some mini's on the pitch classes as entertainment. Super League is the biggest, toughest, sporting challenge for 10000miles, with huge collisions, deft skill, outstanding athletes, lets act like it, there should be fireworks, explosions, music, pomp and ceremony. Pre match at SL should feel like the ringwalk for a heavyweight title fight at caesers palace, not like saturday night when there is a turn on at the local working mens club.


2)Take control of the narrative. Thats not about telling us the games are important because of the convoluted structure, its not really about hyping up whats at stake. Its about telling us why this particular game between this set of players is particularly important. Its about making sure that people know Ryan Hall is one of the best wingers in world rugby, its about knowing the challenge of whoever faces him. Its about making sure people know that Leeds have a top top quality back line, possibly the best in a generation. Its about people knowing what a monster Justin Carney is, the constant danger that Daryl Clarke creates. Think pro-wrestling or boxing, where we see a story written as the background to the match, that the match itself becomes infused with this wider meaning, the power puncher v the artist, the unstoppable force v immovable object.


3) Events, Events build interest, they elevate the visibility. Doesnt always have to be a huge investment (though some will be). It doesnt cost us anything other than a little imagination to see we have a game set aside because of the WCC, Why isnt that the rematch between the GF teams on a standalone weekend to begin the season? We could go a bit further and put it on in a larger stadium and really build it up, but even if we didnt, there is a free bit of interest, visibility and narrative for us without us doing anything other than changing a fixture around. We see it a little with the traditional easter games, build them up more, perhaps a double header or two. Heritage round, not only for the jersey sales but remembering a certain game, even Leeds v London could have been hyped up a bit more as remembering the '99 Challenge Cup final, get a few of the old boys to walk around the pitch at half time, produce a short VT for the big screen. These dont cost us a lot of money. We can also look at putting games on in bigger stadiums, get imaginative and work with potential sponsors, see the NRL's Marvel Superheroes round. Leeds and Wigan did it last year with the Man of Steel game. Something like that would be brilliant for our game over here. 


The RFL seems intent on varying between trying to reinvent the wheel to sell another 1million tickets, or giving up and just lowering prices and ambitions. What we need to do is sell another 1k tickets for the next match, and when we have done that sell another 1k, when we have done that, sell another, and another and another, and then that match is gone, we do the same for the next match, and the next. 


I must say that I really liked the WC with the flag presentations, the trophy introduction, the choirs, and dancers. it really did make each game, even in Workington and Rochdale seem like an event and greatly added to my enjoyment and anticipation of the main event, i.e the match.

#2978774 Aus v NZ

Posted by keighley on 17 August 2014 - 02:47 PM

Exactly, on the other side of the world. There would have been 75,000 at the World Cup final whoever had got there as it was nearly sold out before anybody knew who the finalists were.


It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that the finalists would be Aus, NZ or England and a more than even bet that the finalists would be Aus and NZ.

#2978709 York - The Games Sleeping Giant?

Posted by keighley on 17 August 2014 - 12:13 PM

York will  never produce a sustainable SL side, there you go, I said it. History and demographics go against them.


Its hard enough for Davy to try and get Huddersfield up to speed let alone getting York up there.


This is why you need large population densities were the top clubs are, York have the right population for an SL club, all other things going in their favour, unfortunately all other things go against them.


You said it so it must be right. Really. History in this case is irrelevant, They probably do need a Davy but who knows what is out there ? Who ever heard of Khoukash before he surfaced and saved Salford ?


As you say they have the population. Isn't the big argument against Leigh and Fev that they don't have it, so York must have a step up on them and Widnes and Castleford for that matter, who seem to be doing OK in SL.


If all the necessary elements come together in York, i.e stadium, team, cash, there is absolutely no reason why they can't be a SL team. You can do your King Canute impersonation and forbid the tide to move but you do not and cannot know that there can never be a SL team in York or several other locations for that matter.


Every one and his dog are pushing for Toulouse. I don't see the difference between them and York. They are a in a small league where they have won  trophies on the back of small gates. York are very close to doing the same. Both are being promised new or upgraded stadia, neither appear to have adequate financing in place in spite of big promises emanating from France.


The game is looking to expand to who knows where, Birmingham, Leicester, you name it and they hope for SL teams to arise in some such locations. I fail to see why York are not higher on the list for potential SL teams than any of these fantasy places.


Now don't jump on your high horse and state they are not ready for SL because they certainly are not. I am talking about today or in the next couple of years but in the future.

#2978442 Aus v NZ

Posted by keighley on 16 August 2014 - 05:19 PM

If given time to build a 3 test series between the kangaroos and kiwis would blow this garbage out of the water and could even match the SOO, the kiwis have never been in a stronger position what with the number of kiwis coming through the ranks at all of the 16 NRL clubs. Makes you wonder what the ARL and NZRL are waiting for, matches could be played in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, Wellington etc.


The last time Aus played NZ at RL with something at stake they filled a 75,000 stadium on the other side of the world.

#2978155 Why the empty seats?

Posted by keighley on 16 August 2014 - 12:34 AM

Everyone of those points has been debunked time after time.


Good Grief.


What some people consider points needing debunking, others find much truth.


Heavens above.

#2978001 Rochdale Hornets announce a record profit

Posted by keighley on 15 August 2014 - 07:29 PM

It's a shame they have been relegated but next years third division should be quite a struggle and if Hornet are in the mix, and they should be, hopefully they will maintain, if not increase their gates.


I wonder if the full house at Spotland for the WC game had any knock on effect on the increased attendances for the Hornets ?

#2977068 Looks simple

Posted by keighley on 14 August 2014 - 01:03 PM


Thanks, Janner boy.You have my vote as techy of the year. Much appreciated.

#2976788 Amnrl officially dead

Posted by keighley on 13 August 2014 - 08:47 PM

Good. Get the USARL recognised, given RLIF membership and get the States into the World Cup pronto. They made he quarters last time. The game cannot ignore a country as big as the States which has an affinity for the type of game we play, namely, running with the ball and tackling.

#2976725 Expansion

Posted by keighley on 13 August 2014 - 07:07 PM

Give us an example of when expansion HAS worked in the way that you describe then we would have a better idea of what you mean.

  • ckn likes this

#2976453 Why the empty seats?

Posted by keighley on 13 August 2014 - 01:00 PM

Good post, although I'm not 100% sure I agree with your last line. I think the format is ok, a few tweaks could make it better imho, but nothing too radical.
Where I do think the RFL should be working is on making the Semi Finals more prestigious - with all due respect, going to Leigh and St Helens for Semi Finals is simply not going to attract neutrals to the event. It looks, feels, and is, small time.
I'm all for more events in RL, a semi final double header would be something I'd focus on, this may help to attract neutrals rather than just the fans of the four teams, particularly if played in an attractive ground in a decent city.  24k - that seems to be the level of these games now, should easily be achievable in an attractive ground, and with a real push for neutrals I feel we could get a crowd of 30k and then look to progress on from there.
I can't help but think that 25-30k on one day would look much bigger than two modest crowds in small grounds. Man City's ground, or even Elland Road could host these, although I'm not a fan of the latter as a stadium.
I think by building this up as an event we could then use this as a promotional tool, ie. playing in Birmingham, Coventry, Milton Keynes etc. 
A little ambition is required here imho.

Thats a good post. I also think that any Championship teams that survive to mix it with the Sl teams should be given an automatic home draw if drawn against a SL team. The appearance of a SL team at Workington or Keighley or Gloucester or Wrexham would help promote the local club and could draw new supporters and get big crowds to the event whereas the same teams appearing at DW stadium or Headingley are met with seeming disinterest from the SL fans.

#2976426 Expansion

Posted by keighley on 13 August 2014 - 12:14 PM

yeah and Widnes, Salford, Hudds, and London survive on owner largess at the moment, and Wakefield have been bust more time than Nigel Woods pants. Cas have had a season of success but we already know their team is about to be largely dismantled. These clubs arent operating at an SL level. 
The fact is, if you are in SL and you can't reach 10k, you survive on either an owner pumping money in, or you go bust. 
If Leigh, Fax or Fev come in to SL, then they either survive on their owners money (do their owners have £500k-£1m a year to give them?) or they go bust.

nobody is arguing all clubs in SL average 10k, people are telling you, and owners themselves are telling you, that you need 10k crowds to be an actual business in SL. That if you dont get 10k you either need an owner with a lot of cash, or you go bust.
You arguing that Fev, Fax and Leigh could, with a bit of luck and a wet sail, get the same crowds as teams who are already failing isnt the good argument you think it is.
The problem isnt that all clubs average 10k so the lower league clubs can't compete, its that not enough do and that means clubs can't survive. 
And before you go to your stock answer of that meaning we have an 8 club SL, it doesnt, it means we build more clubs with 10k averages, and when we get maybe 10 teams averaging 15k and 5-10 averaging 10k, we move it forward again, to aiming for 20k increasing the quality, facilities, players etc congruent with that.

You are in fantasy land. We can't average 10,000 and you are after 20,000 averages. It has never ever been close to happening in over 100 years of RL in the UK. It's not even happening in Australia where the game is in a dominant position.

You have to play the hand you are dealt and we have not been dealt a hand where those kind of figures can be achieved. Our biggest teams are in small places relatively speaking with the exception of Leeds and Hull, where we have two teams. London also is huge but the inroads we have there are still minimal and with no great prospect of improvement in the near future.

Beyond the current top half dozen or so there are no as in NO candidates to jump up to 10,000, never mind 15,000.

The game must structure it's finances so that clubs can compete on 5 to 7,000 averages assisted as may be in each individual case with investor support or sponsorship funds.

If this means playing less to the players, then so be it. The clubs, as you rightly say, need to live within their means. If this results in some player loss to RU, well it's happened before and we survived largly unaffected.

If this is not done, there will be bankruptcies and maybe club s will be lost permanently and the top tier will shrink to a number too small to be tenable.

Don't get me wrong, I would like your ideas to come to fruition but I see no signs of it. In fact attendances are going down not up an d the game must deal with this reality.

Learn to live with less or contract and possibly die.

This would then enable smaller clubs to survive on these smaller attendances and maybe some of them might approach the 10,000 plateau in the future with SL membership and/or success.

#2976253 Why the empty seats?

Posted by keighley on 13 August 2014 - 12:30 AM

Wembley is known as a venue for huge showpiece events. Old Trafford is the home of Manchester United and soccer aid.

I've nothing against the ground. I just think we need to question the assumption that our biggest club match of the season has to stay there.

The biggest club match in any sport is played all over the USA and invites bids much the same way as I'm proposing for the GF.

Each superbowl has a unique brand, a theme, a hook, something that makes each year different and special.

I think our grand final lacks that.

We're selling the same product to people year after year. Asking them to visit the same ground often to watch the same team.

Wembley doesn't suffer from this due to the symbolism of the stadium, and it's ability to thrust any event held there into the public eye.

Take both of next year's cup semis to derby, Leicester, Coventry (having asked them to bid)... Announce it now. Sell tickets for it now.

Take rugby league fans somewhere new. Sell the sport to new people.

I hear what you say but if RL dominated British sport like the NFL does US sport, we could move the final around at will and fill different stadia easily.

Come to think of it though, when Wembley was being rebuilt, we got decent crowds at Murrayfield, Millenium Stadium and even Twickenham for our finals.

I don't know if we attracted many Scots or Welsh to the games though.

I also think some variety in the teams competing in the semis would help. I think the novelty of different teams in the Cas v Widnes semi contributed to a passionate and decent sized crowd given the size of the two towns involved.