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Dave T

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Everything posted by Dave T

  1. Nah, that one was a semantics, silly pub type debate. I am surprised you under-value the impact quality leadership brings. IMHO, it literally underpins everything we do, and is the one thing we have constantly lacked, with some notable exceptions. As you say, happy to disagree tho.
  2. If we fail to tap into the event and corporate crowd, we will have huge sections of £110 and £85 seats empty. When people talk about the event crowds, they can sometimes ignore the fact that the Women's Euros and Commonwealth Games this year are very affordable. I just don't recognise the pricing as relevant for an RL event. But I hope I am wrong and underestimating them.
  3. Watching the Women's Euros and seeing huge empty sections of seating really should be a kick up the backside to us. Women's football is riding a bit of a crest of a wave at the moment, has a lot more financial clout behind it, benefits from thousands of overseas fans and is still likely to be comparable to our 2013 tournament. A key reason behind those crowds we got in 2013 were due to heavy discounting, we should be well away from that, but multiplying the price for tickets by five or six times seems foolish.
  4. I think it's a flawed strategy. They are clearly going to have to sell tickets for multiple games to some segments of fans and setting prices at an inflated and inconsistent level is risky. I suspect there is no evidence for the point that cheap prices puts people off.
  5. I'm loathe to be too critcial of the organisers, as they have done so much good stuff so far, but the pricing strategy appears all over the place. That said, if they have reasons for inconsistent pricing, then fair enough, maybe they have sponsor prepared to buy certain tickets. A few examples though of weird pricing. NZ matches. At Warrington it is £40 to stand in the South Stand, which is the same price for some North and East Stand seating. These offerings are just not the same category. For another NZ game you can get seats for £25 at Hull. All standing at Leeds for NZ games is only £25. On the Coventry game that you mention, it is £55 to sit behind the posts. I fear we are giving ourselves a really tough job here and we'll end up with huge sections of empty seats, unless they are working miracles behind the scenes. It's as though they haven't worked out what pricing they should have for terracing. At Warrington it goes up to £40, and even £30 for PNG v Cook Islands. At Newcastle for Scotland v Italy it is £35 for covered standing. Yet at St Helens standing never goes above £25 and that includes games including Tonga and Australia. Tonga v Wales at St Helens has probably half of the stadium available for £30 or less, starting at £20. Tonga v Cooks at Middlesborough has the vast majority of the ground at £40+ and starts at £25 in the lower corners. It all looks like a car crash waiting to happen.
  6. I think as RL fans it is easy to get in this mindset at times, and I have certainly made posts like the above, but I don't think it really holds up to much scrutiny. Ideas, bold projects, crazy initiatives have never been a problem for us in terms of the ideas - implementing them, having a good plan, having leaders that can influence people to get the support needed, having weak governance that undermines them etc. is the problem. Let's suspend reality for a moment and imagine what RL in this country would look like if all UK-driven recent initiatives that had been tried had been a success: - We'd have a 14 team licensed league consisting of Wigan, Leeds, Saints, Wire, Hull, Catalans, Toulouse, Paris, Gateshead/Newcastle, South Wales, London, Cumbria, Toronto, Huddersfield. - We'd have a World Club Championship where the above teams played games against the likes of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, NZ Warriors. - We'd have development officers spread across the country working in the communities. - We'd see England playing in an eight-team regular tournament in between World Cups, plus tours (in and out). - We'd see teams play games on the road around the UK, in places like Cardiff, Leicester, Edinburgh etc. - We'd have a Challenge Cup with teams from across Europe. - We'd feed into the European Championship at international level. None of the above suggests small thinking or lack of ambition - we just haven't had the expertise to deliver it well in the main, or leaders who are prepared to stick with it. Compare to the likes of England's RU Premiership and they don't even have to think about most of the things above. They don't need to think about playing their biggest games of the year well away from their club heartlands. They have just cracked on with broadly speaking, what they have and have grow that. Something that would see RL chastised.
  7. This looks to be one of those areas where we have just allowed things to slip. I recall a few years ago we had an agreement with Sky that Thursday games would generally be for more local games, we would kick off earlier and that Thursday games in particular were announced we'll in advance. It's little things like this that Elstone and team were changing, maybe they should have been more interested in bigger things, but I do think lack of attention here is a challenge for us.
  8. The pricing for Boro is odd. Both stands across the touchline have a minimum price of £45 for adults. For a 35k capacity in Middlesborough for Tonga v Cook Islands, that just seems weird. It should also be noted that they do appear to have opened all of the ground for that match too. They don't seem to be doing the staggered opening that they have in the past.
  9. I can't help but feel there are bigger things at play here. Expect more outrage from certain parts of the media and a review of the disciplinary to be announced. What's just weird here is that it was clearly a bad incident, he should have seen red at the time, and 2 matches was hardly a harsh punishment in the first place.
  10. I don't disagree on your first line, but that's not really a root cause. You can't fix being small by just becoming bigger. You have to look at the root cause which is that we have poor leadership and strategy to be able to become bigger. If you want to identify the root cause so you can make changes to it, highlighting an outcome isn't necessarily helpful. Other sports are small and don't have some of the challenges we have. Or alternatively, have different aims than us. And one thing that should be challenged is the constant narrative that we have no money. We are a sport that is playing around with investment worth hundreds of millions of quid - we do have money, maybe we aren't spending it as well as we can.
  11. And Dallas. But yes, I disagree with them. It's why I'm challenging that being small isn't the root cause.
  12. Yeah, when I go again, that'll be my approach.
  13. Yes, I think people probably don't appreciate that we are obviously not working on a full capacity basis as we offer unreserved seating on three sides. I suspect we are probably working with a 45k setup.
  14. 100% agree. I've stopped going to Newcastle now because I find it quite cramped and in a boozy crowd that isn't necessarily fun (and I say that as someone who enjoys a drink). The last time I went three or four years ago, later in the day, you could barely walk due to the amount of litter around the seats.
  15. I mean that doesn't even mean anything. Things can and do grow all the time. If people are saying the root cause of being small is that we are small, then they are literally saying there is no hope for growth.
  16. The problem is that AFL has a small geographic footprint but does well for itself within its boundaries. Similar to GAA sports although I don't know much about them, so open to challenge. Things can be small and successful (which I think was part of Honor's point). The other problem is that 'small' is not a measurable term.
  17. Yes, the specific thing I remember was the 'fan route' or similar which was a route from the station to the ground through town, it was marked out with branding and had attractions on the way and the volunteers on hand to support fans. What I would say with all these things is that they are easy to miss if you simply walk a different way, and there are various routes from the station.
  18. I must admit, I like these. I do know I'm an outlier, but I'm putting that down to the rest of you here, not me To compare to Wires stuff, I find ours really boring - people do like the bright and garish stuff nowadays, particularly for training. Things like the t-shirt on the far left are nice and professional, but are ten a penny. Bring on the wacky stuff as far as I'm concerned.
  19. I think this is right, we have to go with the evidence and there is no evidence that Magic Weekend is ever going to draw huge crowds. I do think we can do a much better job at the entertainment angle, but I think we may be scrambling around with a few thousand here and there. The Grand Final generally looks after itself, but we shouldn't be settling for ever letting that drop to below 65k for an all English final. I'd rather we work on genuinely making it a must-see event, and that isn't done with the likes of Razorlight or Shed Seven - and making the event a sellout every year and the hottest ticket of the year. That allows us to max out on pricing. The Cup Final needs serious effort, but in relatively recent times it has had much bigger crowds. I think we have reduced effort, got complacent and stopped caring about fans economics and we are seeing the outcomes of that. If we are to stay at Wembley, there is huge scope for us to do better. Similarly internationals is a huge growth area. We have seen bigger crowds, we are hoping for the biggest world cup ever this year, there are more better teams which can only help. And I would say, for the avoidance of doubt, mh starting point would be that we want to sell every seat for every event.
  20. I just think there is an argument that this is maybe the size of the market for Magic Weekend in this country. The numbers have been really stubborn on this event, in reality, I think it's a 55-70k event. As always, no doubt we could do better if we tried, but there is a question mark over diminishing return, maybe this is the level for this event. I'd rather we spent more time leaving no stone unturned for the Cup Final and Grand Final and Internationals, which have far greater coverage than this. Magic can be an enjoyable event for those who go and I think it is what it is.
  21. We are spending all of our money on the heartlands. The results are as you quoted in your post.
  22. Thanks for confirming I wasn't going mad, obviously it's 9 years ago and I've slept since then and not much can be found online! But I lived in Edinburgh at the time so when I came home around that time, including for those games, I was impressed with the efforts. It was clear Warrington was a host town (and as I say, I was impressed with my trip to Workington). There was a reason these games had big crowds (relatively speaking) and a lot of it was because of the efforts within the communities of the host towns.
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