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2018 in the Championship experienced a drop in attendance numbers. Because this competition has a fairly high change over rate in the teams competing, it's not so easy to gauge the data. Average attendances have increased 11.5% over the past two years, although dropped 10.3% from 2017. Bradford's probable return in 2019 would be a significant boost to the averages. The 2018 list is below: 2018 1 Toronto 5,781 2 Leigh 3,539 3 Toulouse 2,437 4 Featherstone 2,316 5 Halifax 1,752 6 Barrow 1,239 7 Batley 1,082 8 Dewsbury 1,001 9 London 861 10 Swinton 840 11 Sheffield 704 12 Rochdale 549 Summer B 11,805 Total 249,125 Avg 1,818 For more detail and stats go to https://rugbyl.blogspot.com
2018 experienced a drop in attendance numbers. If I was in media, the click bait title would be "RL in crisis as attendance numbers plummet". However it is only a modest slip, but not a trend the game can absorb for too long. Total attendees have dropped 6.4% over the past two years. The 2018 list is below Leeds 12,807 Hull FC 12,175 Wigan 11,773 St Helens 11,479 Warrington 10,088 Catalans 8,354 Castleford 7,848 Hull KR 7,965 Huddersfield 5,721 Wakefield 5,244 Widnes 4,898 Salford 2,966 Magic W/E 64,319 Total 1,178,800 Avg 8,542 For more detail and stats go to https://rugbyl.blogspot.com/
In 2014 Nigel Wood launched the RFL's strategic plan covering the 7 years 2015 - 2021. The plan set targets covering various key areas of the sport, including playing numbers at amateur level, attendances for the professional game, TV viewing figures and commercial revenue etc etc. At the time the strategic plan was launched I thought it was a great idea - a welcome move towards both a more professional approach and greater transparency. Unfortunately since the plan was launched, the silence has been deafening. As a minimum I expected annual updates to be published showing progress against the various targets - but to date I've seen nothing, despite the fact that it's now 6 months since 2015, the first year of the strategic plan. Like any fan, I'm mainly focussed on how my club is faring. But I also want to know how the sport as a whole is faring health-wise. As things stand there seems to be nothing published on attendances (how has the new fixture format affected attendances in Super League & the Championship?) ; similarly TV viewing figures (which are vital to the game from a commercial viewpoint) are almost impossible to obtain ; and whereas other sports publicise the value of their commercial sponsorships, with RL the actual figures are always kept under wraps. It would be great if some RL journalist could chivvy and embarrass the RFL in to providing annual progress reports on the strategic plan, including an explanation of what action is to be taken in any areas where actual performance is below target. Sooner rather than later would be welcome, given it's now 6 months since the end of 2015.