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ParisSurtout

Stadia we should use for the 2013 World Cup

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Wellsy4HullFC    1,577
Wembley has never been tried for a World Cup semi final. So there is no direct equivalent evidence to go on.

However what we do have is a World Cup pool game, when an England vs Australia match in 1995 got 41,271 at the Old Wembley. We also have the pool game from 2000, held in the worst English storm weather in 100 years, when the rail lines to the north were shut down, yet still attracted 31,000 to the enemy territory of Twickenham.

It is reasonable to assume that a semi-final involving England could top the 1995 pool match crowd of 41,271, and go well over 50,000 -- maybe even hit the 73,000 plus World Cup record -- if properly promoted.

Wembley has not been used for a semi-final. But large stadia have been used for semi finals, and have never sold out or come close to it. Old Trafford got 30,000. If you used Wembley and Old Trafford for the semi finals, the one that doesn't involve England will most likely struggle to even fill a quarter of the stadium.

You can't compare it to group games because you KNOW who is playing in the group game so you can market for it for months. You don't know who will be in the semis. It would be a huge mistake to use stadia that are too large. You seem to forget these stadia you're suggesting will need paying for, as well as this massive marketing campaign you want to fill them. Will it turn a profit? Not if you do it your way. The amount of marketing you'd need to fill these stadia for the semis (as well as paying for the actually costs of the stadiums themselves) would not be made back from the profit from the games.

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Big Picture    311
Wembley has not been used for a semi-final. But large stadia have been used for semi finals, and have never sold out or come close to it. Old Trafford got 30,000. If you used Wembley and Old Trafford for the semi finals, the one that doesn't involve England will most likely struggle to even fill a quarter of the stadium.

You can't compare it to group games because you KNOW who is playing in the group game so you can market for it for months. You don't know who will be in the semis. It would be a huge mistake to use stadia that are too large. You seem to forget these stadia you're suggesting will need paying for, as well as this massive marketing campaign you want to fill them. Will it turn a profit? Not if you do it your way. The amount of marketing you'd need to fill these stadia for the semis (as well as paying for the actually costs of the stadiums themselves) would not be made back from the profit from the games.

Why can't you market a semi-final for months (or years since the World Cup is 3 years away)? A semi-final should be much bigger than any group games, it's only one step away from the final of what should be the biggest event in the sport. Are you suggesting it's not bigger than the group games? A World Cup is special and real fans should want to see the big games regardless of who's in them.

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Wellsy4HullFC    1,577
Why can't you market a semi-final for months (or years since the World Cup is 3 years away)? A semi-final should be much bigger than any group games, it's only one step away from the final of what should be the biggest event in the sport. Are you suggesting it's not bigger than the group games? A World Cup is special and real fans should want to see the big games regardless of who's in them.

Absolutely not suggesting that, no. You can market it all you like, but you won't truly start to sell a lot of tickets until the teams are determined. If the majority of the fans would want to watch England in the semi, they will wait until they know which semi final they are in. If they are playing a small nation, not as many will come. If the other semi final is Australia/New Zealand vs say PNG or France, how many people would turn up to Wembley for that?

A semi-final should be much bigger than the group stages. Doesn't mean it will be better attended (look at the semi finals of the Challenge Cup for example).

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Big Picture    311
Absolutely not suggesting that, no. You can market it all you like, but you won't truly start to sell a lot of tickets until the teams are determined. If the majority of the fans would want to watch England in the semi, they will wait until they know which semi final they are in. If they are playing a small nation, not as many will come. If the other semi final is Australia/New Zealand vs say PNG or France, how many people would turn up to Wembley for that?

A semi-final should be much bigger than the group stages. Doesn't mean it will be better attended (look at the semi finals of the Challenge Cup for example).

I wouldn't suggest a stadium like Wembley for a semi-final, it's clearly too big. I'd look at venues like City of Manchester Stadium and Ricoh Arena instead and offer ticket packages that incorporate group games and knockout stage ones together as a way to fill them. I'd offer discounts for SL, Championship (both levels) and NRL season ticket holders and when tickets for more than one game are bought at the same time, have family ticket packages where the kids are included and price the group games according to which countries are in those groups. I'd allow fans to combine discounts too, so season ticket holders could get an extra discount when buying tickets for more than one game at the same time. The key thing is to make it attractive and compelling for the fans to attend.

I'm not sure the Challenge Cup can be used as a direct comparison when it features teams fans see all the time in league games.

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Wellsy4HullFC    1,577
I wouldn't suggest a stadium like Wembley for a semi-final, it's clearly too big. I'd look at venues like City of Manchester Stadium and Ricoh Arena instead and offer ticket packages that incorporate group games and knockout stage ones together as a way to fill them. I'd offer discounts for SL, Championship (both levels) and NRL season ticket holders and when tickets for more than one game are bought at the same time, have family ticket packages where the kids are included and price the group games according to which countries are in those groups. I'd allow fans to combine discounts too, so season ticket holders could get an extra discount when buying tickets for more than one game at the same time. The key thing is to make it attractive and compelling for the fans to attend.

I'm not sure the Challenge Cup can be used as a direct comparison when it features teams fans see all the time in league games.

I wouldn't even touch Ricoh Arena for the entire competition. A 30k stadium in a non-heartland area is a massive ask to get any sort of decent crowd, especially for a potential non-England game. Until the format is announced, I don't really want to suggest stadia for the semis, but I would most definitely keep them both in the heartlands, with only a slight possibility of one in London (but not Wembley FFS, it's huge!).

There is also a lot more to marketing than just offering good deals (not saying you're suggesting that, but needs a mention). If people don't know about these offers, it won't make a difference. And if you're preaching to the converted, you could end up losing money.

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Big Picture    311
I wouldn't even touch Ricoh Arena for the entire competition. A 30k stadium in a non-heartland area is a massive ask to get any sort of decent crowd, especially for a potential non-England game. Until the format is announced, I don't really want to suggest stadia for the semis, but I would most definitely keep them both in the heartlands, with only a slight possibility of one in London (but not Wembley FFS, it's huge!).

There is also a lot more to marketing than just offering good deals (not saying you're suggesting that, but needs a mention). If people don't know about these offers, it won't make a difference. And if you're preaching to the converted, you could end up losing money.

Considering the Midlands' reasonable proximity to the heartlands it's a reasonable risk to have one game there, and the bigger it is the more it should appeal to people in the Midlands who I'm sure include many former northern residents who'd be fans of RL. Ricoh Arena's management is open to hosting all manner of events so they might come forward with a great offer and it's a lot smaller capacity than new venues in London are. I do think that with more countries than 1995, having one more game outside the heartlands than there was then would be a way to show some modest growth in the sport's national appeal.

Part of the marketing has to be building up the World Cup as the pinnacle of the game, like they are in other sports. Then combine that with great ticket offers to get fans excited about seeing it.

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Wellsy4HullFC    1,577
Considering the Midlands' reasonable proximity to the heartlands it's a reasonable risk to have one game there, and the bigger it is the more it should appeal to people in the Midlands who I'm sure include many former northern residents who'd be fans of RL. Ricoh Arena's management is open to hosting all manner of events so they might come forward with a great offer and it's a lot smaller capacity than new venues in London are. I do think that with more countries than 1995, having one more game outside the heartlands than there was then would be a way to show some modest growth in the sport's national appeal.

Part of the marketing has to be building up the World Cup as the pinnacle of the game, like they are in other sports. Then combine that with great ticket offers to get fans excited about seeing it.

But in order to show that, there has to have been one. Is there one? Playing-wise there is. But spectator-wise there is no such evidence. And it's all well and good saying the bigger the game the better, but when we don't know which teams will be playing then it is essential that there is a core audience to fall back on should an unattractive fixture pop up. It could be a game like New Zealand vs France, which would be a massive flop in a 30k stadium in Coventry. This is what I think people keep forgetting when they say put games in these huge stadiums and watch people come in for the semis. They forget that there are only 3 big test draws in the competition, which means one of the semis will be a lot less interesting to the average punter (and on top of that, there is less appeal to watch New Zealand than there is Australia which is shown in past attendances, so a game involving them and second tier test nation will be very hard to sell).

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Big Picture    311
But in order to show that, there has to have been one. Is there one? Playing-wise there is. But spectator-wise there is no such evidence. And it's all well and good saying the bigger the game the better, but when we don't know which teams will be playing then it is essential that there is a core audience to fall back on should an unattractive fixture pop up. It could be a game like New Zealand vs France, which would be a massive flop in a 30k stadium in Coventry. This is what I think people keep forgetting when they say put games in these huge stadiums and watch people come in for the semis. They forget that there are only 3 big test draws in the competition, which means one of the semis will be a lot less interesting to the average punter (and on top of that, there is less appeal to watch New Zealand than there is Australia which is shown in past attendances, so a game involving them and second tier test nation will be very hard to sell).

There is to an extent, it's just a matter of harnessing it and increasing it. Past games at Wembley attracted about 30,000 fans from southern locales and no doubt many from Midland ones too, plus there were 33,758 at the 2000 RLWC opener at Twickenham for a night game despite the near impossibility of northern fans getting down for it at the time. That crowd was only 7500 less than the 1995 opener at Wembley, so quite good in the circumstances. That's something they can build on.

There's no problem structuring the tournament so that barring a huge upset the big 3 will make the semi-finals. The key is to make the games into events that people will want to see regardless (it is a World Cup after all!) and sell them out in advance. They have 3 years to plan this and they appear to have government backing lined up too. If they can't work out how to make one game work at a Midland venue, what does that say about the sport and its' long-term prospects in the UK?

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