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Keith T

Getting the crowds back!

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The game has to be moved back to winter, too many other things to do when the weather is good. Just to prove the point just look at the crowd last Thursday for our last game at home on a lovely summers evening, 575, very disappointing. Last week against Keighley we were up against England v Scotland on the box and it started pouring down 30 minutes before kick off, I said we would be lucky to get 500 but more than 600 turned up.

None of the four promoted teams have seen a rise in attendances, Donny's crowds have been pathetic even though they are going well. So what's the problem ? Personally I think £15 is too expensive to watch semi-professional rugby league, and the concessions are not low enough to encourage the next generation to come down and watch. Did we have any promotions on for kids this year ? I know haven did for a couple of games.

It's a big problem for all the clubs because if they reduced the admission cost they wouldn't make up the shortfall with the extra people that might be tempted to attend. Most clubs have an hard core of supporters who would probably attend whatever the cost. If gate revenue decreases then player spending has to be cut to make amends, otherwise we would all be in the situation a few clubs have found themselves in over the past few years (no names mentioned). You can't spend what you haven't got, I don't want my club ever to be in that position again.

It's a worrying situation and I can't think of an answer, it's obvious that the muppets who run the game don't give a damn about the consequences of the demise of RL outside of SL. What do the amateur league players and spectator think of the move to summer ? I played Rugby on a Saturday and football on Sunday, I don't think my wife and family would have been so understanding if it had been during the summer months !!!

It will be interesting to see the crowds for this weeks games, Liverpoll v Man Utd and Spurs v Arsenal live on TV. I know a few on here scoff at people watching " wendyball" but it does affect attendances.

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My opinion on summer rugby after 2 seasons is on the community section summer/winter thread.

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People blame Super League or the lack of Promotion and Relegation and the RFL for all the ailments of the game below Super League but in my opinion none of those have caused as much damage as playing in the summer months.

Televised soccer and rugby matches in pubs and clubs already keep crowds down because of the drink culture we have in this country where they would rather sit in a pub or club with a pint watching a game on the box for free than go to a live local team game. That happens whether it is winter or summer but it is all the other things that happen in the summer months that are starting to tell.

It isn't only the support for lower league rugby league it also in the amateur game with many clubs struggling to put out teams, even on our own doorstep where we have Seaton withdrawing from the Cumbria League because they cannot field a team for their last 3 games of the season.

We can all be quite selfish and say but it's nicer standing or sitting watching when the suns shining but at what cost at the end of the day? We get the old red herrings of postponed matches in winter but look at this year for us we had a game postponed in April that added to our fixture congestion. As anyone ever worked out how many games we actually lost in the winter seasons except for maybe one bad year?

I believe that if the game is to survive below Super League, which let's face it is kept alive by the Sky money, then we have to move back to the traditional playing season with possibly a mid-season break like some continental soccer leagues have. Leave the summer to Super League and kids rugby league that way there would be wall to wall rugby league and amateur clubs would be kept going all year round. From Town's viewpoint there would be less of a clash where fans have to decide if they are going to a Town match or a Comets meeting.

Whatever us diehards will be there but we need to think more outside of our little box.

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I just don't see that as the one-stop shop for the solution to the ailment . People have watched in numbers in the summer era ... Eight years ago , ten years ago etc many lower league clubs were relatively well attended , some doubling or tripling today's figures in lesser leagues! For me it's a red herring . There's something deeper , some apathy that's hit to the core . There's not always alternative interests but people still can't be bothered . Summer rugby ain't changing . It is conducive to watching , and I'm afraid administrators have got to brain storm for solutions within that parameter . It's a fascinating debate and one all clubs will be mightily interested in .

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For amateur players and volunteers its difficult if they have games on Saturdays to go to games on Sunday that's a full weekend of rugby in summer months when there's so much more to do

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In the last 2 seasons before summer rugby league the average crowds for teams outside First Division were 93-94 - 1,316 and 94-95 - 1,368 that is for 16 teams. Since then there have been seasons when the crowds have fluctuated as when Castleford were in the National League 1 which pushed the averages up but the last three seasons before the current one the figures are 2010 - 1,068 for 22 teams; 2011 - 1,116 for 21 teams and 2012 - 945 for 20 teams.

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I don't buy the move to winter will solve the problem thinking.

The football season runs through winter so every Sunday at 4pm there is a match on sky. It's barely above freezing, it's blowing a gale and pssising down. The choice is then for the maybe fan who used to watch years ago to go out in the cold and pay £15 to watch a semi pro game in poor conditions, or sit on the sofa with a can and watch the footy. Is this any different from the argument that some of you have used on here on why we should move to winter??

For what it's worth I think that in Towns sake it won't make much difference whether it is summer or winter as there will always be an excuse for the maybe fan not to come down.

But through a multitude of factors people now need a reason to show up. IMO that reason can be done in two ways. One is put a team together that is capable of winning the Championship ( not likely unless somebody wins the lottery)

Two is to offer something different that can persuade the stay away fans to come back down. I'm not gonna pretend I know the answers to this as I know many ideas will involve a lot of work for directors and staff that already work hard. But a famous quote goes along the lines of " the definition of madness is to do the same thing you always have done but each time expect a different result"

So if a decent team on the pitch won't bring the crowds back what will?

The only thing I can think of is for the club to target certain games where the opposition doesn't have to travel too far and ask the clubs & the RFL to play them on either a Friday or Saturday evening. As not many away fans bother travelling on a Sunday anyway we may even get more away fans who won't have work the next morning so can get tanked up on the bus or stay in the lakes. This will also allow the families to have their weekend in the sun doing what families do and then watch the rugby afterwards. Groups of lads can watch it then head up town ( or stay in the club if they put entertainment on)

I don't know all the answers but I think tweaking the summer times is better than going back to the bad old days of winter. It must be worth a try...... Ok I'll get my coat for that last bit!!!

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York got promoted from the bottom tier in 2005 with average crowds of 2000 ( Skolars , Gateshead and Blackpool involved ) and got relegated the year later with 1700 average !! Fans are out there , we know that better than anyone . People are interested but not enough to turn up . How many of us talk town with folk , but they don't go down to watch ?? All a club can do is provide a good , winning team playing in a good environment to watch with decent pricing . A marquee player helps .Chicken and egg as that takes funds .I'll keep doing the lottery and do my bit . If the answers were easy all clubs would be puttin them into practice . This season has been especially disappointing . Ten years waiting for this , I was sure we'd be averaging over 1000 . Sadly not , we deserve to be . All clubs will be brainstorming looking ahead to next year . Offers ,concessions , kick off times , signings etc . And publicity of course , getting the word out throughout the community and beyond . Big factor for any club that . I don't know about budgets but hopefully we can publicise the club and games around the county ... We are Cumbrias leading club after all !!!!

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The talk of this x amount of millions on a leisure complex too talked about are we missing a trick here, there's a similar set up at the dw stadium great stadium and complex next too it, sure to go we could get Tesco in on it and build something similar for a few million or have 2 stadiums that are dated at best with 200 yards of rack other then another 100 yards down the road a lovely new leisure centre? It works just look silly to me

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Not a defeatist attitude just a fact.

It isn't a fact though is it, how can something that might or might not happen in the future be an fact? I bet when town came into existence there were naysayers who said it will never work, too far from RL heartlands etc. If they had just shrugged there shoulders and agreed then we wouldn't have existed as a club.

The problem with crowds is a simple and age old one, floating fans are fickle and won't watch a losing side, and fans round here are as bad if not worse than most. I bet if we were top 2 this season towards the end our crowd would have doubled.

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We need to try something new next season simple as, negativity to people expressing ideas well that's fair enough but I will continue to do so as I do want us to be a 4 figure rugby team attendance next season and with new ideas we could do it

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Should never be negativity to ideas . The more ideas the better . We're playing in summer , that's a fact we can't alter in the foreseeable future , so within that envelope any ideas are welcome . Nothing's silly if it hasn't been tried and failed . We need as much brainstorming as possible and you'll get the odd gem to at least partly counter the killer apathy we see as the key problem.

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There shouldn't be negativity but if the club want to progress they must retain existing revenue and grow additional revenue that's hue businesses increase success regardless of the industry.

Also saying the crowds would double based on better results actually supports what I said.

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There shouldn't be negativity but if the club want to progress they must retain existing revenue and grow additional revenue that's hue businesses increase success regardless of the industry.

You make it sound so easy yet in reality there is very little money in RL, and even less chance of bringing extra revenue in.

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So don't sacrifice what you already have then or you'll be even worse off if it doesn't work.

New ideas to generate new revenue - great, ideas to sacrifice some almost guaranteed revenue - financial suicide.

Speculate to accumulate doesn't necessarily work in this business model as there are outside factors which dictate the success of the business i.e. a winning team on the field.

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There are often a few hundred people watching the amateur games every saturday. As far as i know there has definatly been no promotion for town games there. Why not get people down to the grass roots of the game where people are watching and crowds are good and promote the game.  The new Cumbria league this year has been closest for a while and people who love RL turn up.. This is where the club should aim to attract supporters new and old.

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I agree with what you are saying Brett but don't forget that most of them watching the local amateur games only have to put a donation in a box to watch. How many of them would pay £14 or £15 to go and watch Town?

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I agree with what you are saying Brett but don't forget that most of them watching the local amateur games only have to put a donation in a box to watch. How many of them would pay £14 or £15 to go and watch Town?

I was thinking the same thing K.T, a lot of the amateur r.l watchers watch amateur r.l for that reason.

its always hard to entice people back to support Town,and it only takes one bad result for them to plan their Sundays well away from D.P.

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It's worth a try but I would imagine that most people go to watch amateur because its cheaper and if they're price sensitive to such a degree they still won't come. The odd few might which over a season equates to nice chunk of revenue.

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i think we need to push on next season and try to attract some youngstersdown to D.P. we saw how many youngsters came to the mini olympics ,if only we could get a fraction of those back through the gates,cut price deals for kids,or even a free entry to some games.

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I read on the T&S website before one of the games this season the town council offered 100 FREE places in the local secondary schools and only 25 kids took it up so if they won't come for free how do you get them there?

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