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RayCee

RL in the US - The Reality

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This article is interesting:

http://sbcamericas.com/2018/07/09/rugby-league-and-the-united-states-match-made-in-heaven-or-mis-match/

It's quoting Peter Illfield, a guy I have corresponded with some time back about RL in the USA. I agree with some things he says but not others.

He mentions that the 2025 WC has nothing to do with USA or Canadian RL authorities, nor were they consulted. 

He doesn't seem to grasp the Denver match was to test the waters for the WC, he sees it as  a money grab. I don't agree, it's unlike to rake in much profit. 

He also feels there isn't the money to properly establish RL in the US. It needs backers but the way RL is in the US at the moment, it's not an attractive proposition. It's a catch 22 scenario as it needs money injected to lift the sport, so that it is seen as a sport worth investing in.

I think at present RL in the US has plateaued and unless something takes it to another level, will at best remain as it is and at worst, wither. 

Edited by RayCee

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The reality of RL in North America is there’s one random full time pro franchise that has come from nowhere and literally a handful of tiny amateur clubs (more like teams) concentrated in four pockets that play no more than 10 games per year if they’re lucky. There’s no juniors and only the Canadian provincial teams that started maybe a year ago in the women’s game.

The USARL took over in the US on the promise of better administration of the game there but after briefly growing and improving slightly it has gone backwards. This article seems to imply that now someone else has come along promising something new they don’t like it, without any irony. But then he also says this is the only way. It’s confusing.

The question is whether a top down approach divorced from the local governing bodies is better than letting them run the show alone and build from the bottom. That’s what they’ve been doing and it has achieved little. So sending in promoters with a commercial interest and investors who want to copy the Wolfpack model is about the only choice, if choice even exists. The likes off the USARL need to do what they can to benefit from it. It seems like what they want is for the professional clubs (if there are any), promoters and the likes of the NRL and RFL to work with them on a coordinated approach - pro events occurring where RL exists to help it grow and pump money into it. Seems like a good idea but it’s not very likely because they all have different agendas. 

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3 hours ago, East Coast Tiger said:

The reality of RL in North America is there’s one random full time pro franchise that has come from nowhere and literally a handful of tiny amateur clubs (more like teams) concentrated in four pockets that play no more than 10 games per year if they’re lucky. There’s no juniors

The question is whether a top down approach divorced from the local governing bodies is better than letting them run the show alone and build from the bottom. That’s what they’ve been doing and it has achieved little. So sending in promoters with a commercial interest and investors who want to copy the Wolfpack model is about the only choice, if choice even exists. 

This reality has been available to look up for two years now, a few enthusiasts play the league version of Rugby whilst literally three thousand Union clubs and a quarter of a million players in North America play the established union version of the rugby game.

When we talk about North American expansion via investment, in that two years there has been no such investment from North Americans. TWP are an Australians investment and are an English club in an English league struggling with playing 3,000 miles away. New York was an English investment that was deemed inadequate. What also has to be realised is REAL investors in Union in North America spotted the possible competition and have planned to set up pro Union clubs in Ontario, New York and Boston to ensure League is killed at birth. The article fails to mention RU, and when mentioned on here it’s always dismissed, even though the reason we cannot get out of the M62 is the rest of Great Britain is playing Union to very high levels of participation and investment.

After the Denver game in which the crowd didn’t come up to scratch and was heavily excused, it was noted that Mr. Moore “had almost certainly made a loss” on his promotion.This was the big toe in the water and one wonders whether that was that and whether the idea that the award of the 2025 world cup to North America was “provisional” will mean that it may get pulled unless something explosive happens?

As for "Copying the Toronto Model" this was one billionaire Aussie buying a pro team from here, failing to invest anything in juniors and struggling with the logistics of a 3,000 mile travel headache. Surely you mean "copying the Toronto mistake"??

Lets not keep up the myth that this very heavy loss making venture that is a logistical nightmare is somehow a "model" for others to follow. 

4 hours ago, RayCee said:

This article is interesting:

http://sbcamericas.com/2018/07/09/rugby-league-and-the-united-states-match-made-in-heaven-or-mis-match/

He mentions that the 2025 WC has nothing to do with USA or Canadian RL authorities, nor were they consulted. He doesn't seem to grasp the Denver match was to test the waters for the WC, he sees it as  a money grab. 

He also feels there isn't the money to properly establish RL in the US. It needs backers but the way RL is in the US at the moment, it's not an attractive proposition. 

I think at present RL in the US has plateaued and unless something takes it to another level, will at best remain as it is and at worst, wither. 

It was a  money grab Ray, which cost Moore who "almost certainly" made a loss on it. The "Governing bodies" of RL in USA and Canada are hardly capable of staging a World cup, the Canadian governing body was Eric Perez, and the USA governing body won't even be as big  as the the governing body of of the amateur NCL here. Yes it needs rich backers of which none have come forward in two years, all we have has is Perez's tiresome hints and mumblings something big is going on.

That it's not and that staging a major test in the USA was a loss maker then what price the RL world cup even going ahead? Who is going to make up the losses? Maybe Perez's $$Billionaire TV friends?

This leaves the headache of TWP's likely march into Superleague? What is the point as we now know nobody is following them and they aren't stimulating any development of the game in Canada, or the World cup 2025. They are a logistical nightmare for other clubs and exist mainly for the titilation of one man.

I note Elstone has started saying clubs who do not develop juniors may not be allowed in Superleague. Everyone pointed to him meaning Salford (who will fall for reasons other than no academy) and they scrambled to excuse TWP with daft ideas how they could meet this new criteria for entry. I think he probably meant Toronto as if the investment in NA has failed, if the World cup tester has lost money, and if the analysis is RL has no chance there, and above all if the World cup is pulled what is the point of TWP?

Finally note Elstone's praise for Toulouse, it's quite clear who he and therefore the SL clubs prefer to be entering SL next season. If that happened at least it would be some sort of compensation for the impending death of the American dream....

Edited by The Parksider
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1 hour ago, The Parksider said:

This reality has been available to look up for two years now, a few enthusiasts play the league version of Rugby whilst literally three thousand Union clubs and a quarter of a million players in North America play the established union version of the rugby game.

When we talk about North American expansion via investment, in that two years there has been no such investment from North Americans. TWP are an Australians investment and are an English club in an English league struggling with playing 3,000 miles away. New York was an English investment that was deemed inadequate. What also has to be realised is REAL investors in Union in North America spotted the possible competition and have planned to set up pro Union clubs in Ontario, New York and Boston to ensure League is killed at birth. The article fails to mention RU, and when mentioned on here it’s always dismissed, even though the reason we cannot get out of the M62 is the rest of Great Britain is playing Union to very high levels of participation and investment.

After the Denver game in which the crowd didn’t come up to scratch and was heavily excused, it was noted that Mr. Moore “had almost certainly made a loss” on his promotion.This was the big toe in the water and one wonders whether that was that and whether the idea that the award of the 2025 world cup to North America was “provisional” will mean that it may get pulled unless something explosive happens?

As for "Copying the Toronto Model" this was one billionaire Aussie buying a pro team from here, failing to invest anything in juniors and struggling with the logistics of a 3,000 mile travel headache. Surely you mean "copying the Toronto mistake"??

Lets not keep up the myth that this very heavy loss making venture that is a logistical nightmare is somehow a "model" for others to follow. 

It was a  money grab Ray, which cost Moore who "almost certainly" made a loss on it. The "Governing bodies" of RL in USA and Canada are hardly capable of staging a World cup, the Canadian governing body was Eric Perez, and the USA governing body won't even be as big  as the the governing body of of the amateur NCL here. Yes it needs rich backers of which none have come forward in two years, all we have has is Perez's tiresome hints and mumblings something big is going on.

That it's not and that staging a major test in the USA was a loss maker then what price the RL world cup even going ahead? Who is going to make up the losses? Maybe Perez's $$Billionaire TV friends?

This leaves the headache of TWP's likely march into Superleague? What is the point as we now know nobody is following them and they aren't stimulating any development of the game in Canada, or the World cup 2025. They are a logistical nightmare for other clubs and exist mainly for the titilation of one man.

I note Elstone has started saying clubs who do not develop juniors may not be allowed in Superleague. Everyone pointed to him meaning Salford (who will fall for reasons other than no academy) and they scrambled to excuse TWP with daft ideas how they could meet this new criteria for entry. I think he probably meant Toronto as if the investment in NA has failed, if the World cup tester has lost money, and if the analysis is RL has no chance there, and above all if the World cup is pulled what is the point of TWP?

Finally note Elstone's praise for Toulouse, it's quite clear who he and therefore the SL clubs prefer to be entering SL next season. If that happened at least it would be some sort of compensation for the impending death of the American dream....

TL;DR

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The point being missed in the usual suspect's post is that wherever the money and players are coming from, the expansion is in the form of Canadian supporters and sponsors, of which there are many, certainly for a lower division alien sport.

Similarly, almost 20k in Denver, even if it was organised by an Aussie is a great effort.

I find it truly bizarre that people think you only expand into areas that have players and investors already there. It is weird - it just cannot work. You have to invest money, time and effort to cultivate these things.

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To be fair to Parky, I also think the Denver test was a bit of a flop and makes the North American 2025 WC less likely.

I also agree France should be prioritised over Canada/North America because it is part of the social fabric, but there is room for both.

But I also agree with Dave. Let’s go with Toronto and see where it takes us.

The potential upside is worth it. If they fade away and die, so be it. After all, they are footing the bill.

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4 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

To be fair to Parky, I also think the Denver test was a bit of a flop and makes the North American 2025 WC less likely.

I also agree France should be prioritised over Canada/North America because it is part of the social fabric, but there is room for both.

But I also agree with Dave. Let’s go with Toronto and see where it takes us.

The potential upside is worth it. If they fade away and die, so be it. After all, they are footing the bill.

Of course we all wanted the Denver crowd to be bigger. But we need to look at it in the context of international RL.

This crowd was higher than all but 6 games in the recent RLWC in the heartlands.

It was higher than the tournament average of 13.6k.

It was higher than 3 of the 4 Kiwi 'home' World Cup games.

It will be higher than England's game against France in Leigh.

almost 20k is not to be sniffed at. 

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Just now, Dave T said:

Of course we all wanted the Denver crowd to be bigger. But we need to look at it in the context of international RL.

This crowd was higher than all but 6 games in the recent RLWC in the heartlands.

It was higher than the tournament average of 13.6k.

It was higher than 3 of the 4 Kiwi 'home' World Cup games.

It will be higher than England's game against France in Leigh.

almost 20k is not to be sniffed at. 

Indisputable facts, Dave. 

But the proof of the pudding will be if they go back. And I am not at all convinced it was enough of a "success" for them to do so.

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29 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

Indisputable facts, Dave. 

But the proof of the pudding will be if they go back. And I am not at all convinced it was enough of a "success" for them to do so.

Well Moore has said he wants to go again, and I assume the RFL and NZRL got their payment. So that did its job.

If we don't go back it is nowt to do with the crowd.

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5 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Well Moore has said he wants to go again, and I assume the RFL and NZRL got their payment. So that did its job.

If we don't go back it is nowt to do with the crowd.

Even though he said 40k was break-even...?

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2 hours ago, The Parksider said:

TWP are an Australians investment and are an English club in an English league struggling with playing 3,000 miles away.

I'd hate to see what they could do if they weren't struggling.

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40 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

Indisputable facts, Dave. 

But the proof of the pudding will be if they go back. And I am not at all convinced it was enough of a "success" for them to do so.

Aren’t England and New Zealand now tied into a contract that states they’re playing a mid-season international in the US over the next couple of years?

Edited by Oliver Clothesoff

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Just now, Man of Kent said:

Even though he said 40k was break-even...?

Was it 40,000? I remember seeing 30,000 quoted as the target crowd figure.

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Just now, Man of Kent said:

Even though he said 40k was break-even...?

Did he? Quote would be good.

He said he hoped for 40k.

Never seen a mention of 40k being break even, and a quote would be appreciated otherwise this will quickly become one of those 'facts' - I note that Parky has liked your post in record time.

This doesn't mention break even.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/nrl/mile-high-test-will-lift-rugby-leagues-us-profile-promoter/news-story/e276f917f5303d2594755d7debcf5cff

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3 minutes ago, deluded pom? said:

Was it 40,000? I remember seeing 30,000 quoted as the target crowd figure.

Moore said he hoped for 40k. But that doesn't mean break even. Who knows, he may have lost money on this even with 80k in there.

All of it is irrelevant, as long as the participants have been paid, as Moore has said (after the event) that he wants to go again.

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It's definitely too early to judge the long term success of TWP or the Denver test. Right now, if the funding was withdrawn form Toronto, would the game have any more of a foothold than before TWP? Yes, in that there's more awareness, but a no in that there's a minimal number of new teams or youth setups. What I'd really like to see is MSI supporting two sides setting up in Denver, and giving them places to promote in next year's tests, and TWP aiding local Canadian sides to set up, as well as running their own Canadian based youth side.

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

The point being missed in the usual suspect's post is that wherever the money and players are coming from, the expansion is in the form of Canadian supporters and sponsors, of which there are many, certainly for a lower division alien sport.

Similarly, almost 20k in Denver, even if it was organised by an Aussie is a great effort.

I find it truly bizarre that people think you only expand into areas that have players and investors already there. It is weird - it just cannot work. You have to invest money, time and effort to cultivate these things.

Its absolutely mental. Its so bizarre and ridiculous and makes so little sense one would struggle to believe it is a position held in good faith.

How on earth do people expect there to be already players and money in expansion areas? What on earth do you they think the reason Jason Moore would invest in this could possibly be other than to make money?

Its embarrassing that there are a section of people in our game that think its not a real effort to grow the game because the people investing are already fans of the game paying players who play the game. Apparently the only true expansion is when people unfamiliar with the game throwing money at players who don't play the game.

Should that happen though, their argument changes of course to those people are people with no ties to the game wasting money on something that will never work.

Its almost as if these arguments arent their true postions...

Edited by scotchy1
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6 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Did he? Quote would be good.

He said he hoped for 40k.

Never seen a mention of 40k being break even, and a quote would be appreciated otherwise this will quickly become one of those 'facts' - I note that Parky has liked your post in record time.

This doesn't mention break even.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/nrl/mile-high-test-will-lift-rugby-leagues-us-profile-promoter/news-story/e276f917f5303d2594755d7debcf5cff

He said it in an in-depth interview in one of the British trade weeklies earlier this year. I'm at work now but can dig it out for you later. 

I think you've swallowed some of the spin, Dave. It was not the success you believe to be.

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1 minute ago, Chamey said:

It's definitely too early to judge the long term success of TWP or the Denver test. Right now, if the funding was withdrawn form Toronto, would the game have any more of a foothold than before TWP? Yes, in that there's more awareness, but a no in that there's a minimal number of new teams or youth setups. What I'd really like to see is MSI supporting two sides setting up in Denver, and giving them places to promote in next year's tests, and TWP aiding local Canadian sides to set up, as well as running their own Canadian based youth side.

Yup. All we can work on is potential. And at the moment, we have had some unprecedented positive signs, funded by other people. That is all good.

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7 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Moore said he hoped for 40k. But that doesn't mean break even. Who knows, he may have lost money on this even with 80k in there.

All of it is irrelevant, as long as the participants have been paid, as Moore has said (after the event) that he wants to go again.

I assume he also invited potential investors and TV folk to the game in Denver. We won’t know for ages if that pays dividends.

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7 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

Its absolutely mental. Its so bizarre and ridiculous and makes so little sense one would struggle to believe it is a position held in good faith.

How on earth do people expect there to be already players and money in expansion areas? What on earth do you they think the reason Jason Moore would invest in this could possibly be other than to make money?

Its embarrassing that there are a section of people in our game that think its not a real effort to grow the game because the people investing are already fans of the game paying players who play the game. Apparently the only true expansion is when people unfamiliar with the game throwing money at players who don't play the game.

Should that happen though, their argument changes of course to those people are people with no ties to the game wasting money on something that will never work.

Its almost as if these arguments arent their true postions...

Interestingly, there is also criticism of the bottom up attempts too - putting down youth foundations like Coventry etc.

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5 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

He said it in an in-depth interview in one of the British trade weeklies earlier this year. I'm at work now but can dig it out for you later. 

I think you've swallowed some of the spin, Dave. It was not the success you believe to be.

I have been critical of the event in that there were no sponsors, it was staged averagely and he missed his target of 40k.

But England played New Zealand in front of 20k in Denver. 

That is more than enough to suggest this may be worth persevering with.

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5 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Interestingly, there is also criticism of the bottom up attempts too - putting down youth foundations like Coventry etc.

its almost as if the problem isnt how people try to grow the game but the fact they try at all

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

I have been critical of the event in that there were no sponsors, it was staged averagely and he missed his target of 40k.

But England played New Zealand in front of 20k in Denver. 

That is more than enough to suggest this may be worth persevering with.

Yeah. From his perspective he's done the hardest bit of the job, it's definitely with going back and seeing if the 15k odd locals decide to bring back a friend of two each next year. If the crowd is barely higher next year then we won't get a third year, but if it's 35k, then we will imo.

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