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rlno1

Attendances

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Not quite sure what this is about any more, but assuming it is about crowds, in our local markets we are at historic (last 50 years) high levels. All clubs could do more, and I personally think the 10 by 2 approach with a mix of p and r and franchising is the best way to ensure clubs are given a chance to grow. Taking Widnes as an example, if they know they will be in the structure for the next 3 years, maybe they can better sell the reliance on youth development, with possibly an entertainer coming on board each year? Or maybe they are as big as they can realistically be given their geography and population? 

Toronto, Toulouse and even London etc are a different discussion altogether. We want them to succeed as expansion will benefit the GAME, even if it benefits no specific club directly. Greater player base, more attractive to sponsors and TV, hopefully strengthening the international footprint. These are all important in the wider context. 

Finally, it is a sign of how we quickly forget big steps forward that 12k for a Wire home game might be prefaced with the word “only”. Not so long ago that would have been a record by some distance...

Finally, without commenting on what it must be like to watch the dark side, I simply cannot see how getting lots of people in Exeter to turn up is directly relevant to a club like Widnes. They have enough information to draw upon from being a pro club for 100 years to work out who their target audience is, and what they can do to stir them into life. 

Edited by Exiled Wiganer

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Whilst I get frustrated that we are not selling out games like this, I thought I would add some context to the Wire v Widnes crowd.

Outside of the rather unusual 1st v 2nd Good Friday game a couple of years back, this was the largest crowd for this game for 37 years - when we met at Central Park in the Challenge Cup Semi Final in 1981.

The reason we are now disappointed is that Wire have shown that on occasion they can exceed 12.1k.

 

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On 4/1/2018 at 7:21 PM, Gerrumonside ref said:

At a guess it’s a different demographic with a higher disposable income.

It's a combination of things, I would say.

In some places, they have a club in a reasonable sized place with little/no competition from soccer - Worcester, Bath, Gloucester & Exeter clearly fall into that category, arguably Wasps too due to the stadium issues with Coventry City. There aren't many other places in England where that's possible - possibly Milton Keynes, Bedford, Cambridge?

Elsewhere, they have teams in large cities where top level football tickets are expensive and/or hard to get hold of and where those teams put in some effort to marketing themselves as regional teams - Saracens, Newcastle, Sale for example. I'd say those have been less successful in terms of sustainable crowd numbers though. There's also the handful of traditionally big clubs that do have to compete with football - Leicester & Northampton for example.

One big difference is that I live near Cambridge, but often see marketing from Wasps, Saracens & Northampton - all at least an hours drive away. I can't imagine any RL club marketing games 50-100 miles from home. Most local soccer fans support one of Spurs, Arsenal or West Ham - also more than an hour away. There's a big untapped market in middle England for sporting "events." Saracens playing at Wembley is an event - mum & dad can take kids and have an enjoyable afternoon free from trouble without any real need to understand the rules etc. When we tapped into this market (with RLWC 2013) we did well, but then didn't bother to follow up. Far too much emphasis in RL on minutiae of how play-offs are structured which is far less important in terms of getting a crowd.

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3 hours ago, Dave T said:

Whilst I get frustrated that we are not selling out games like this, I thought I would add some context to the Wire v Widnes crowd.

Outside of the rather unusual 1st v 2nd Good Friday game a couple of years back, this was the largest crowd for this game for 37 years - when we met at Central Park in the Challenge Cup Semi Final in 1981.

The reason we are now disappointed is that Wire have shown that on occasion they can exceed 12.1k.

Exactly right. I can remember Widnes being the best supported club in the country in the 1970s and the Wire v Widnes game being one of the highest league crowds of the season with 6 or 7000 there. County & JPT Cup finals didn't often get into 5 figures.

Rothmans RL Annuals of the early 1980s used to have a page listing all the games with crowds of 10 000 or more in the season (and this was when the game was having a mini-boom compared to both before and after). You'd need a pretty small font to do that now.

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On 4/1/2018 at 7:02 PM, Blind side johnny said:

They have made it fashionable to attend, we haven't.

I took a friend who was visiting family in the North West to the Widnes game on Monday and his two junior RU-playing sons came along as well.

He said they were going to the Bath match at Twickenham next weekend `for a day out'. He said there would be at least 50,000 there. This is what is planned

https://www.bathrugby.com/theclash/whats-on

To a casual sports fan I'm sure it looks a good day out.

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The majority of people in the UK are about image and that for me makes RU aspirational (like voting Tory and driving a Mercedes Benz).  That is a big, middle-class, advantage disposable income-wise too.

Making a game an event certainly works as Bradford showed, they almost made RL aspirational but there was a ceiling to the number that would come to the game and the big names used to pull crowds needed paying.

Until we manage to cast off the Mk1 Escort image RL perpetuate we won't move much in terms of casual support.

'Oh you went to a Rugby League match!  You are brave! How.. earthy'

 

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2 hours ago, JonM said:

Exactly right. I can remember Widnes being the best supported club in the country in the 1970s and the Wire v Widnes game being one of the highest league crowds of the season with 6 or 7000 there. County & JPT Cup finals didn't often get into 5 figures.

Rothmans RL Annuals of the early 1980s used to have a page listing all the games with crowds of 10 000 or more in the season (and this was when the game was having a mini-boom compared to both before and after). You'd need a pretty small font to do that now.

There's 62k people in Runcorn. How hard do Widnes push into that practically adjoined town with no pro sports club?  Could they brand themselves as Vikings Rugby and be the team for that conurbation of 100k people?  All you ever hear in RL is "oh but it's a small town" there's a huge population in the areas all RL teams play in and I'd like to see a lot more creative thinking and effort.

Edited by Tre Cool
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I never get this. Constant kicking to each other or kicking into touch without the ball bouncing? Compared to a fast game, with high contact and is easier to understand.

I was aggressively told by a RL mum who's lad played RU in the winter (under 9's) that RU was by far a better sport. Her opinion was why? Her dad told her so :o.

A lot of the time we only ourselves to blame as a sport. Constant tooing and frowing, changing systems and boundaries etc etc. We look amateur at a time where we are nearly 22 years fully pro at the top level!

 

I tell you what will take the game forward!!! Cut all teams below the top 20 rocket science!! (pls note that that is sarcasm and shows the narrow-mindedness od people who are involved in our game)


Like poor jokes? Thejoketeller@mullymessiah

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4 hours ago, Cookiepuss said:

I took a friend who was visiting family in the North West to the Widnes game on Monday and his two junior RU-playing sons came along as well.

He said they were going to the Bath match at Twickenham next weekend `for a day out'. He said there would be at least 50,000 there. This is what is planned

https://www.bathrugby.com/theclash/whats-on

To a casual sports fan I'm sure it looks a good day out.

However. Those 50 000 will not be watching their local rugby union club or drinking in their bar. My local RU club had an important relegation game the same day as there were 30 000 at St James' to watch Newcastle Falcons 10 miles away.

They had less than half the normal bar takings.

This is not a trivial amount for them. They are struggling financially, and feel with some justification that the big boys couldn't give a monkeys about them.

At least we make some effort to look after our own.

Imagine if we promoted Magic Weekend on a day of full Championship and L1 fixtures?

Edited by dixiedean

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Not sure what happened to the thread about attendances, and apologies if I've missed it amongst the RU/RL comparison website, but there was 7,544 at Huddersfield on Good Friday with 2,460 Leeds fans.

Sorry to interrupt

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On ‎01‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 8:47 PM, Maximus Decimus said:

Union has always been fashionable with a certain social elite. Did you go to University for instance? 

They had a sitting audience as they were already getting 70k at Twickers on a regular basis and were watched by millions on TV. 

They were just late to organising themselves into proper league structures. 

 

I'd never even watched League until I went to uni in Leeds, Shared a house with a lad from Halifax (think they were top club at time), ended up watching Leeds regularly for a couple of years. Where I come from schools only did union and football. Played union for a while but I just don't enjoy watching it. Lot's of union clubs in my hometown. Fortunately League has started to get some interest at kids level and Thunder seem to be growing as well, always enjoy a visit to there.

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"Fashionable" also reflects or generates the profile. One simple statistic from a recent article: Leeds RL turnover c. £10M (the largest in SL), Exeter RU turnover c. £17M (not the largest in PL).


Sport, amongst other things, is a dream-world offering escape from harsh reality and the disturbing prospect of change.

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15 minutes ago, Blind side johnny said:

"Fashionable" also reflects or generates the profile. One simple statistic from a recent article: Leeds RL turnover c. £10M (the largest in SL), Exeter RU turnover c. £17M (not the largest in PL).

Its true tbf. They've managed to make themselves look like centre parcs whilst we're left looking like Butlins. 

This is where the image of the game, an unquantifiable and immeasurable figure, becomes so important financially. Union may be able to charge more for tickets (Bath vs Northampton last year was 50 quid) but we should be able to exceed them in crowd figures. We need to make ourselves a game people want to be associated with - in all levels of society. 

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