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2019 Early Season games

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I saw talk of possible games in non-UK European locations for early season games when the weather in TO is bad if promotion had have been secured.  

I'm still seeing talk of taking "home" games on the road, specifically saying "Anything that has a direct flight from Manchester would be on the list". 

Vancouver is a direct (Air Transat) flight from Manchester and Swangard or BC Place would both be playable when Lamport isn't. 

https://www.vancourier.com/toronto-wolfpack-owner-has-big-plans-for-next-promotion-push-in-2019-1.23462157  

Would love to see a game out here.  

 

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They used to play RL in Halifax (Canada) a few decades ago. I wonder if a game there has merit. 


My blog: https://rugbyl.blogspot.co.nz/

It takes wisdom to know when a discussion has run its course.

It takes reasonableness to end that discussion. 

 

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On 10/12/2018 at 7:21 PM, RayCee said:

They used to play RL in Halifax (Canada) a few decades ago. I wonder if a game there has merit. 

Unfortunately, there is no direct flight from Manchester to Halifax.

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I don't think Hali has any better weather than Toronto does at that time of year. Especially on real grass at the Wanderers Grounds vs turf at Lamport. SEA has been hosting rugby events in Halifax all summer but that approach might change once the HFX Wanderers start playing there. Based on the whining from TFC about the Argos playing on that grass.

Edited by TheReaper

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Will these games be necessary with the Wolfpack in the Championship again this year? I wouldn't be surprised if they request as many home games late again this coming season. Obviously not all away games first like last year to start the season but perhaps the first 8 to 9 of the 13 away games to start the season. It could even be less with the Challenge Cup likely moving dates up, leading to at least two breaks for Championship squad participation before the dome comes off Lamport.

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14 hours ago, Lamport Life said:

Will these games be necessary with the Wolfpack in the Championship again this year? I wouldn't be surprised if they request as many home games late again this coming season. Obviously not all away games first like last year to start the season but perhaps the first 8 to 9 of the 13 away games to start the season. It could even be less with the Challenge Cup likely moving dates up, leading to at least two breaks for Championship squad participation before the dome comes off Lamport.

i don't think anyone wants the big blocks again. We will have a few home games on the road each year unless the season gets moved to start later in the year at the next TV deal.

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On 10/22/2018 at 8:44 AM, Krzzystuff said:

i don't think anyone wants the big blocks again. We will have a few home games on the road each year unless the season gets moved to start later in the year at the next TV deal.

If fans had to choose between bigger blocks of games or losing 3-5 home games to other cities in Europe which do you think they would prefer? Personally I think the vast majority would prefer the former.

Based on last season's schedule, I think it's safe to assume the team has more influence over their schedule in the Championship than they would in the Super League. I would hope they would use this to maximize the number of home games for their fan base. 

Edited by Lamport Life
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On 10/28/2018 at 5:13 PM, Lamport Life said:

If fans had to choose between bigger blocks of games or losing 3-5 home games to other cities in Europe which do you think they would prefer? Personally I think the vast majority would prefer the former.

Based on last season's schedule, I think it's safe to assume the team has more influence over their schedule in the Championship than they would in the Super League. I would hope they would use this to maximize the number of home games for their fan base. 

I prefer fewer large blocks and more medium blocks...even some small blocks.  For people in the city it really doesn't matter but for us out of towners who have trip planning to do?  I'm sure that they will figure it out the best they can, THEY ALWAYS DO!  If they need help they can always contact LEGO.

"Have a laugh with the Pack!"

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On 10/28/2018 at 5:13 PM, Lamport Life said:

If fans had to choose between bigger blocks of games or losing 3-5 home games to other cities in Europe which do you think they would prefer? Personally I think the vast majority would prefer the former.

Based on last season's schedule, I think it's safe to assume the team has more influence over their schedule in the Championship than they would in the Super League. I would hope they would use this to maximize the number of home games for their fan base. 

The club has talked of taking a few home games elsewhere. I'm expecting 2 or 3. Not sure how that got stretched to 3-5 games. More than 3 would be very painful, and I would be very surprised if that happened.

For me blocks of 3 or so would be ideal. I expect that February and March will be entirely spent away from Toronto, perhaps 6 away games with 2 relocated home games mixed in. Maybe we could do a home game locally in April if the Lamport dome comes down earlier than in past years, or if they can find another local field like York University to play at. That leaves about 11 regular season games during May, June, July, August and September, so maybe 3 blocks of 3 and one of 2, with one or two away games in between each home block. Probably more back & forth depending where the Challenge Cup games land. I think that's a reasonable balance that minimizes the home advantage of sitting here rested while visiting teams fly in. It still has us flying around far far more than any other team, but that's got to be part of the deal when we're by ourselves over here.

We should find out soon whether the RFL's thinking is anything like mine.

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On 10/30/2018 at 7:11 AM, John WP Fan said:

The club has talked of taking a few home games elsewhere. I'm expecting 2 or 3. Not sure how that got stretched to 3-5 games. More than 3 would be very painful, and I would be very surprised if that happened.

For me blocks of 3 or so would be ideal. I expect that February and March will be entirely spent away from Toronto, perhaps 6 away games with 2 relocated home games mixed in. Maybe we could do a home game locally in April if the Lamport dome comes down earlier than in past years, or if they can find another local field like York University to play at. That leaves about 11 regular season games during May, June, July, August and September, so maybe 3 blocks of 3 and one of 2, with one or two away games in between each home block. Probably more back & forth depending where the Challenge Cup games land. I think that's a reasonable balance that minimizes the home advantage of sitting here rested while visiting teams fly in. It still has us flying around far far more than any other team, but that's got to be part of the deal when we're by ourselves over here.

We should find out soon whether the RFL's thinking is anything like mine.

More than 3 would be painful but that will be the result if we don't have some longer blocks since, by the time the dome comes off, the first 10 weeks of the season will be finished.

That's why I think most fans will take longer blocks over losing home games.

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Wakefield v Widnes this year was very entertaining, well the 10 meters you could see of it were. Who says rugby league can't be a winter sports.... again.

 

Snow continued to fall heavily during the course of the game, leading to postponement

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15 hours ago, CanadianRugger said:

I wouldn't mind seeing a match played in ###### weather in Toronto.  Make it a winter carnival style event.

A match in a snowstorm would be epic if you were fuelled properly...tough for the players but the fans would rock up |I'm sure

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4 hours ago, RobertAM said:

A match in a snowstorm would be epic if you were fuelled properly...tough for the players but the fans would rock up |I'm sure

Robert!!!!  You should be ashamed of yourself....get off the cannabis man....quit ordering from that Ontario Online Cannabis Store and stick to the more traditional products!

Does you wife know about this?

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traditional Cruzan black rum with alcoholic ginger beer and a touch of Roses lime juice  magic!

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7 minutes ago, RobertAM said:

traditional Cruzan black rum with alcoholic ginger beer and a touch of Roses lime juice  magic!

Those are all very good tasting and looking masking agents Robert...but we all know what you are really up to you clever old wolf!

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A flask of Bovril was all that was needed in the past, occasionally you might have to bring out the big coat ;) 

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I think the team and league need to be careful about relying too heavily on "home" games that are played away, either to deal with the predictably inclement (Canadian winter) weather, early in the season, or for promotion of the brand elsewhere.  A couple of games are fine, but too many will be a cause for concern.  2018 was an anomaly, with the turf replacement situation, and few if any supporters objected to these games and the weird first/second half away/home stand setup.  I think the expectation, though, is for things to return more to normal in 2019.

TL;DR: =< 2 games is fine; 3 is OK; 4, unless some played elsewhere in the GTA, is really pushing it; and >= 5 will leave many supporters and/or season ticket holders (myself included) pretty annoyed.

There is, though, really no excuse for so many "home" games to be played away.  The RFL can take weather into consideration, for the first few rounds of the season, and just not be dumb enough to schedule a game in Canada, in February.  It's for their own players' health and well being, if nothing else.  If Lamport isn't available, by mid-March, then Fletchers Fields and Tim Hortons Field remain options that are still within a drive of Toronto, even if they're less than ideal.  It's not that hard to schedule:

  • Rounds 1-4, as a block of four actual away games;
  • Rounds 5-6, as your two "home" games, played away;
  • Rounds 7-8, played in the GTA, even if Lamport Stadium is unavailable;
  • Rounds 9-23, home at Lamport, away at our opponent's ground, in whatever combination/blocks the RFL sees fit.

There are other combinations which achieve a similar outcome, you might get a tad more sympathy if a "home" away game is played elsewhere in Canada (Montreal, QC; Vancouver/Victoria, BC), same if we don't also lose a "home" game to the Magic Weekend.  Just don't go overboard and/or have the RFL use weather as an excuse.

Edited by ChoboMog
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4 hours ago, ChoboMog said:

I think the team and league need to be careful about relying too heavily on "home" games that are played away, either to deal with the predictably inclement (Canadian winter) weather, early in the season, or for promotion of the brand elsewhere.  A couple of games are fine, but too many will be a cause for concern.  2018 was an anomaly, with the turf replacement situation, and few if any supporters objected to these games and the weird first/second half away/home stand setup.  I think the expectation, though, is for things to return more to normal in 2019.

TL;DR: =< 2 games is fine; 3 is OK; 4, unless some played elsewhere in the GTA, is really pushing it; and >= 5 will leave many supporters and/or season ticket holders (myself included) pretty annoyed.

There is, though, really no excuse for so many "home" games to be played away.  The RFL can take weather into consideration, for the first few rounds of the season, and just not be dumb enough to schedule a game in Canada, in February.  It's for their own players' health and well being, if nothing else.  If Lamport isn't available, by mid-March, then Fletchers Fields and Tim Hortons Field remain options that are still within a drive of Toronto, even if they're less than ideal.  It's not that hard to schedule:

  • Rounds 1-4, as a block of four actual away games;
  • Rounds 5-6, as your two "home" games, played away;
  • Rounds 7-8, played in the GTA, even if Lamport Stadium is unavailable;
  • Rounds 9-23, home at Lamport, away at our opponent's ground, in whatever combination/blocks the RFL sees fit.

There are other combinations which achieve a similar outcome, you might get a tad more sympathy if a "home" away game is played elsewhere in Canada (Montreal, QC; Vancouver/Victoria, BC), same if we don't also lose a "home" game to the Magic Weekend.  Just don't go overboard and/or have the RFL use weather as an excuse.

Fletcher's in March is definitely out. The main pitch usually isn't in playable condition until mid April at the earliest. Tim Horton's is probably too large a venue and likely not worth the extra cost to rent. 

A more likely scenario is 6 away games and 2 "home" games played elsewhere in the first 8 rounds. Throw in 2-3 rounds of the Challenge Cup and that would mean the first real home game in mid April.

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When I brought the season ticket this year they said it would guarantee a minimum of 10 home games in Toronto. Given play off games are not guaranteed, I assume that means at least 10 regular season games in Toronto. This would mean no more than 3 home games not in Toronto. There are games that must be in the UK after May 1 (Summer Bash, Challenge Cup) I could see the Toronto home games played in 2 or 3 blocks. Lots of assumptions in there with no inside information.

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On 11/2/2018 at 10:57 PM, Lamport Life said:

A more likely scenario is 6 away games and 2 "home" games played elsewhere in the first 8 rounds. Throw in 2-3 rounds of the Challenge Cup and that would mean the first real home game in mid April. 

This would work, just as well.  I don't think the challenge is finding a way to schedule the first few rounds so as to avoid Canadian winter weather, in addition to a couple of games played elsewhere; the challenge will be convincing the RFL and a few (rather vocal) die hard fans in the General forum who would consider this "special treatment" for the Wolfpack.

On 11/2/2018 at 11:03 PM, TheReaper said:

What about Varsity if Lamport has the dome? It's turf, not too far away, not too big. Do they dome that? 

Varsity Stadium would be a lovely venue, with a great facility, location etc.  That said, it is similarly domed during the winter months, and the University of Toronto would probably balk at having to re-paint the lines for a couple of games.

On 11/3/2018 at 5:55 PM, Medway Bear said:

When I brought the season ticket this year they said it would guarantee a minimum of 10 home games in Toronto. Given play off games are not guaranteed, I assume that means at least 10 regular season games in Toronto.

The team certainly made good on that same promise, in 2018, especially once the Qualifiers' games and MPG are taken into consideration; so, I fully expect we will get at least those ten games in 2019.  Mentioning the Challenge Cup, though, presents an interesting twist to this discussion, going forward: Start playing some Challenge Cup rounds in Toronto, when we draw at home, and additional regular season "home" games played away doesn't matter quite so much.

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Over in North America you seem to be more comfortable taking games on the road than over here. Look how angry Rhinos fans get having to play the odd game at Elland Road, and that's three miles away from Headingley!

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3 hours ago, fevtom said:

Over in North America you seem to be more comfortable taking games on the road than over here. Look how angry Rhinos fans get having to play the odd game at Elland Road, and that's three miles away from Headingley!

Just remember we are 1 and 0 versus the Rhinos!

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10 hours ago, fevtom said:

Over in North America you seem to be more comfortable taking games on the road than over here. Look how angry Rhinos fans get having to play the odd game at Elland Road, and that's three miles away from Headingley!

we just don't want to be responsible for having 17 RL players freeze to death at Lamport in February. it might put some of the other teams off...

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