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RayCee

UK Elite Attendances 1990-01 to 1994-05

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Been looking over the early part of the 90's and the average attendances were low compared to now.

Wigan and Leeds were well ahead. Anyway, have a peek if interested:

https://rugbyl.blogspot.com/2019/03/european-attendances-1999-91-to-1994-95.html

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

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2 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

The current SL average is 9k-ish, so roughly 50% higher than then. Not bad.

 

Noooo! Rugby league attendances have falllen every year. Don’t let silly things like facts tell you otherwise!

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2 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

The current SL average is 9k-ish, so roughly 50% higher than then. Not bad.

 

Correct. MoK. I was surprised to see they were that much lower back then. I won't be critical of current attendances in future.


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

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Shame about Halifax.   Shows what potential they had if managed correctly.

Interesting to see the rise and fall of Bradford - It’s easy to forget that Bradford whilst being a pretty good team during that period were relatively small.   The work that Peter Deakin did to realise their potential was amazing - didn’t their average pretty much triple during early super league?   And now they’re unlikely to make it back in the big time anytime soon.

Good to see Warrington more than doubling their figures too - Again Peter Deakin and Andy Gatcliffe deserve some recognition for that.

I wonder how much better off Cas and Wakefield would be had they managed to realise their new ground ideas, as Wakefield certainly have potential based on the size of the town.

Edited by Cheshire Setter
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Don't read too much into old crowd figures.

The actual number of people present was always in my experience, significantly higher than the figure declared. There was usually a knowing chuckle when the attendance figure was announced.

Back then it was an entirely cash economy.  Undeclared attendees didn't attract a VAT payment to HM Customs and Excise (as was)?

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8 hours ago, David Shepherd said:

Don't read too much into old crowd figures.

The actual number of people present was always in my experience, significantly higher than the figure declared. There was usually a knowing chuckle when the attendance figure was announced.

Back then it was an entirely cash economy.  Undeclared attendees didn't attract a VAT payment to HM Customs and Excise (as was)?

Any idea of how many were not declared, say as a percentage?


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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My recollection from going to many Wigan games in that era was that, as these suggest, after Leeds and us there was a massive drop off in attendances. But, iirc, even these figures were higher than the 70s and early 80s. Indeed, in some respects, these were glory days for the game, with a very strong GB team and many great guest overseas players. 

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6 minutes ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

My recollection from going to many Wigan games in that era was that, as these suggest, after Leeds and us there was a massive drop off in attendances. But, iirc, even these figures were higher than the 70s and early 80s. Indeed, in some respects, these were glory days for the game, with a very strong GB team and many great guest overseas players. 

Also, looking at individual match stats, games between Wigan and Saints had huge crowds.

Edited by RayCee

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

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10 hours ago, David Shepherd said:

Don't read too much into old crowd figures.

The actual number of people present was always in my experience, significantly higher than the figure declared. There was usually a knowing chuckle when the attendance figure was announced.

Back then it was an entirely cash economy.  Undeclared attendees didn't attract a VAT payment to HM Customs and Excise (as was)?

I've never really understood this argument. How would Customs and Excise reconcile the gate receipts with the number of people in the ground? They would have to know how much each person paid for entry such as OAP and junior concessions.

I can't see any way that they could have proved what the match revenue should have been based purely on the attendance figure.

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Such poor crowds in the 80s...this was probably over capacity...I can remember KR v York drawing 14,000 and KR v Barrow 11000 , KR v Salford 16000 and those weren't the big draws.

And the above comparison, whilst informative ,  is flawed for several reasons, what really counts is the total number of people (and therefore total income) through the gates in all (heavily sponsored)competitions...come back with like for like (in all divisions ) and a debate can be had.

Edited by Marty Funkhouser
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I've added the previous five years now. It doesn't change hugely except Wigan was even further ahead.

https://rugbyl.blogspot.com/2019/03/european-attendances-1985-86-to-1989-90.html

PS. I've also added the final in the series, the five years prior to the one above. That that be accessed by a link in the above article.

Edited by RayCee

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

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5 hours ago, Marty Funkhouser said:

Such poor crowds in the 80s...this was probably over capacity...I can remember KR v York drawing 14,000 and KR v Barrow 11000 , KR v Salford 16000 and those weren't the big draws.

And the above comparison, whilst informative ,  is flawed for several reasons, what really counts is the total number of people (and therefore total income) through the gates in all (heavily sponsored)competitions...come back with like for like (in all divisions ) and a debate can be had.

Properly young demographic at that game. Probably laid a lot of the groundwork for the attendance rise over the decade or so after, as they started bringing their kids and spouses.

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2 hours ago, Chamey said:

Properly young demographic at that game. Probably laid a lot of the groundwork for the attendance rise over the decade or so after, as they started bringing their kids and spouses.

Super League brought many new fans along too. 


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

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

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13 hours ago, RayCee said:

I've added the previous five years now. It doesn't change hugely except Wigan was even further ahead.

https://rugbyl.blogspot.com/2019/03/european-attendances-1985-86-to-1989-90.html

PS. I've also added the final in the series, the five years prior to the one above. That that be accessed by a link in the above article.

That's only league games though...remember there were 5 (6 if you were top 8 ) competitions then ( and maybe a tour match). Teams could play nearly 50 games per season and quite a number of spectators picked their games. Cups were certainly of importance. Some of those clubs would give their right arm for those crowds now (if London averaged nearly 5000 now we would be shouting it from the roof tops).

Now do a like for like for the Challenge Cup for example and see the (very large) difference there...

Edited by Marty Funkhouser
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On 3/21/2019 at 10:02 AM, David Shepherd said:

Don't read too much into old crowd figures.

The actual number of people present was always in my experience, significantly higher than the figure declared. There was usually a knowing chuckle when the attendance figure was announced.

Back then it was an entirely cash economy.  Undeclared attendees didn't attract a VAT payment to HM Customs and Excise (as was)?

Or, maybe, possibly, visiting teams cut.

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1 hour ago, Marty Funkhouser said:

That's only league games though...remember there were 5 (6 if you were top 8 ) competitions then ( and maybe a tour match). Teams could play nearly 50 games per season and quite a number of spectators picked their games. Cups were certainly of importance. Some of those clubs would give their right arm for those crowds now (if London averaged nearly 5000 now we would be shouting it from the roof tops).

Now do a like for like for the Challenge Cup for example and see the (very large) difference there...

There were many more matches than today and some fans would pick what to go to. That could in part account for the lower average attendances than today. However, I'm about to look at clubs individually and do a series on that. I will highlight the difference between a winter and summer season.

I did notice CC attendances while doing this research and based on what I saw, I'm not convinced it would change anything. It's also very time consuming. If you put something together that was illuminating, I'd be keen to see what it was.


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 3/20/2019 at 10:16 PM, RayCee said:

Been looking over the early part of the 90's and the average attendances were low compared to now.

Wigan and Leeds were well ahead. Anyway, have a peek if interested:

https://rugbyl.blogspot.com/2019/03/european-attendances-1999-91-to-1994-95.html

It does not mean much really as back in 1990 the FA first division (now the Prem lg) avg attendance was 22,749. The sporting public has changed since then but in reality Rugby League has not with regards avg attendances. Yes we average more now but only due to to the increase in a number of the bigger clubs making up for the rest. 

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The other factor to consider is the number of teams whose attendances have fallen away drastically, most of them teams who haven't been involved in SL (or barely)

Oldham 4,426

Workington 3,774

Doncaster 3,356

Sheffield 3,186

Swinton 2,703

Rochdale 2,609

Any of those teams would kill to have crowds like that now! It's all very well looking at how St Helens or Warrington have grown their crowds, but those supporters who were watching those teams in the list above haven't somehow transferred their allegiance - they've been lost to the game.

The gap between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' is a LOT wider now than it was back then.

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38 minutes ago, saintspete83 said:

It does not mean much really as back in 1990 the FA first division (now the Prem lg) avg attendance was 22,749. The sporting public has changed since then but in reality Rugby League has not with regards avg attendances. Yes we average more now but only due to to the increase in a number of the bigger clubs making up for the rest. 

All sport has moved that way, hasn't it? 


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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Season ticket culture changed a lot about the habit of a fan.

It was more akin to what you see in Aus where a team like Souths are capable of 8,000 on a really bad day and 40,000+ on a really good. STs made that variation much smaller. In comparison, one season Widnes' highest to lowest crowd was something like 5,000 to 8,500.

Ticket prices are not the same either. I once worked out that ticket prices in the late 70s/early 80s worked out at a fiver in today's money. 

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2 hours ago, Maximus Decimus said:

Season ticket culture changed a lot about the habit of a fan.

It was more akin to what you see in Aus where a team like Souths are capable of 8,000 on a really bad day and 40,000+ on a really good. STs made that variation much smaller. In comparison, one season Widnes' highest to lowest crowd was something like 5,000 to 8,500.

Ticket prices are not the same either. I once worked out that ticket prices in the late 70s/early 80s worked out at a fiver in today's money. 

I noticed that when researching the attendances. Back then some of the variances were huge. 


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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11 hours ago, paulwalker71 said:

The other factor to consider is the number of teams whose attendances have fallen away drastically, most of them teams who haven't been involved in SL (or barely)

Oldham 4,426

Workington 3,774

Doncaster 3,356

Sheffield 3,186

Swinton 2,703

Rochdale 2,609

Any of those teams would kill to have crowds like that now! It's all very well looking at how St Helens or Warrington have grown their crowds, but those supporters who were watching those teams in the list above haven't somehow transferred their allegiance - they've been lost to the game.

The gap between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' is a LOT wider now than it was back then.

That is true, although a trend in other sports too. 

York is a case that shows what can be done. Back in 1981-82, when in the top flight the club attendance was 3,677. In 2016 592, 2017 1,092, 2018 1,624 and so far in 2019 2,054. If York maintains the 2019 figure, that's good for a newly promoted Championship side. One would expect it to be higher if they actually made it into SL.

York is an excellently run club getting more people through the turnstiles each season. If other clubs could emulate that model, I'm sure the gap you mentioned would lessen.  


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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