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Wigan’s Attendances


Eddie

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14 minutes ago, Scubby said:

That is sad to hear when the club has had so many 20k+ crowds in the last 10-20 years

I’m not a Wigan fan but I just mean my team as in any team. For example if I was a Hudds fan I’d rather ‘we’ had a compact 8,000 stadium than what they have to play in now. 

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16 minutes ago, Padge said:

Wigan used to play in front of 5,000 in a stadium that had a crowd of 47,747 in it once.

Supporting Queens Park must be dreadful. 
 

Norwich fans often wonder why they don’t expand the ground from the current 27,000 but I think they’re doing the right thing not doing it, it’s always full and getting tickets becomes an event whereas if Carrow Road held 35,000 people would pick and choose their games and attendances would probably go down. 

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4 minutes ago, Eddie said:

I’m not a Wigan fan but I just mean my team as in any team. For example if I was a Hudds fan I’d rather ‘we’ had a compact 8,000 stadium than what they have to play in now. 

I'll try again, Wigan's current stadium is half capacity of what their former stadium used to have, they at one time (though they were still one of the top attended clubs) had attendance about 40% of what they get now.

 

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1 hour ago, Padge said:

I'll try again, Wigan's current stadium is half capacity of what their former stadium used to have, they at one time (though they were still one of the top attended clubs) had attendance about 40% of what they get now.

 

I know what you meant, not sure what your point is though?

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14 hours ago, fevtom said:

Im not sure it’s strictly true that crowds in general have declined across the league in recent history. Take the last decade for example and the 2009 average was 8,864 compared to 8441 including a very low averaging London in 2019.

I’ve only got the stats for the last 20 years but there’s basically no change. It’s always between 8,000 - 10,000ish with no particular pattern.

I can’t comment on Leeds and Wigan specifically but i’m sure someone will be able to tell us. Have teams like Castleford, Cataland and Hull seen a bit if a rise maybe t offset Leeds and Wigan?

https://rugbyl.blogspot.com/2017/07/european-attendances-1995-2017.html?m=1

You're probably right tbh across the league as this table made by a member of this forum iirc shows. However what it also shows is that Wigan and Leeds used to average 15k+ less than 10 years ago, and that both would now consider getting 1 game to that average "a big crowd". Its good that Hull FC, Saints and Wire are now closer to those top 2, but I guess I'd have hoped it was with those two pushing their attendances upwards rather than down.

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4 minutes ago, bamfordsbeans said:

Sky like Thursday games.

Other than sky and people at home, Thursdays are unpopular with current attendees and with a majority of clubs seeming to do little advertising or marketing except to the converted then thats the reality we have to deal with.

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11 minutes ago, Wigan Riversider said:

Rugby League as I remember it used to be 1500 KO Sunday afternoon.

That changed with the dawn of Super League in 1996.

Granted there were cup games and night fixtures that didn't happen on a Sunday prior to 1996.

Will be interesting to see the attendance this Sunday and a 1500 KO.

Rugby League as I know it is Friday nights at around 8pm. Its swings and roundabouts where clubs need to find what works for them and perhaps come up with the league a system whereby in a future broadcast deal certain slots can be covered.

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I’m not a Wigan fan, but here’s my two penneth:

Central Park was in the centre of Wigan and it was easy to get to.  It also had a massive full length bar in the Popular Stand serving decent ale and great pies.  The atmosphere for local derbies or other big matches was generally cracking and the whole experience was an event.

Wind on twenty odd years and getting to the DW requires a bit more dedication because of its location.  It is a run of the mill medium size football stadia where the food and drink are equally run of the mill.  The atmosphere with the best will in the world can seem pretty dead.  Going to a game there rarely feels like an event.  Seeing the same teams and players, over and over again cannot really help matters for Wigan or anybody else.  It does not surprise me that crowds are being affected.

To be fair to Wigan, they do seem to be doing things to address some of these points and engage the Wigan public.  I think there’s loads of other factors that have affected them and other rugby league clubs, like the lure for fans of watching and attending Premier League football and seeing the world class players therein.  When Wigan were in their headline grabbing pomp all that time ago in the national consciousness they weren’t competing against the world class product that England’s soccer top flight later became.

 

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39 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

https://rugbyl.blogspot.com/2017/07/european-attendances-1995-2017.html?m=1

You're probably right tbh across the league as this table made by a member of this forum iirc shows. However what it also shows is that Wigan and Leeds used to average 15k+ less than 10 years ago, and that both would now consider getting 1 game to that average "a big crowd". Its good that Hull FC, Saints and Wire are now closer to those top 2, but I guess I'd have hoped it was with those two pushing their attendances upwards rather than down.

Thanks for the link, that's exactly what I was trying to find. To be fair to Leeds in the last couple of years they've had the stand rebuilt, the least successful years for a long time and the resurgence of Leeds United. It was only 2017 that they were still averaging over 15,000 so hopefully they will come back but the turnout against Hull KR last week was poor.

Look at how poor the crowds were for Warrington and Hull a few years ago and yet some people on here will swear they remember being in a  50,000 crowd for a midweek friendly.

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4 minutes ago, fevtom said:

Thanks for the link, that's exactly what I was trying to find. To be fair to Leeds in the last couple of years they've had the stand rebuilt, the least successful years for a long time and the resurgence of Leeds United. It was only 2017 that they were still averaging over 15,000 so hopefully they will come back but the turnout against Hull KR last week was poor.

Look at how poor the crowds were for Warrington and Hull a few years ago and yet some people on here will swear they remember being in a  50,000 crowd for a midweek friendly.

Yeah, that stat worries me though as its clear its far easier to lose attendees than gain them.

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1 hour ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

I’m not a Wigan fan, but here’s my two penneth:

Central Park was in the centre of Wigan and it was easy to get to.  It also had a massive full length bar in the Popular Stand serving decent ale and great pies.  The atmosphere for local derbies or other big matches was generally cracking and the whole experience was an event.

Wind on twenty odd years and getting to the DW requires a bit more dedication because of its location.  It is a run of the mill medium size football stadia where the food and drink are equally run of the mill.  The atmosphere with the best will in the world can seem pretty dead.  Going to a game there rarely feels like an event.  Seeing the same teams and players, over and over again cannot really help matters for Wigan or anybody else.  It does not surprise me that crowds are being affected.

To be fair to Wigan, they do seem to be doing things to address some of these points and engage the Wigan public.  I think there’s loads of other factors that have affected them and other rugby league clubs, like the lure for fans of watching and attending Premier League football and seeing the world class players therein.  When Wigan were in their headline grabbing pomp all that time ago in the national consciousness they weren’t competing against the world class product that England’s soccer top flight later became.

 

Isn’t the DW a 10-15 minute walk from Wigan North Western, which is pretty central? 

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12 hours ago, Eddie said:

Supporting Queens Park must be dreadful. 
 

 

I think I heard Queen's Park are relocating to Lesser Hampden (next door to Hampden Park) fairly soon.

Understand what you say about Huddersfield. The present stadium is far too big for their needs.

As for Wigan, the DW isn't as much fun (or as accessible) as Central Park used to be.

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13 hours ago, Bert1 said:

Wigan and Leeds success cant be a reason for the decline in crowds. Also the DW is a good modern stadium. Has anyone done a large study and actually asked people? That would seem the logical place to start.

It wasn't necessarily the success in itself, more that they were winning pots while still having pretty mediocre seasons. Although I'm obviously not a Wigan fan myself, I do know a good number of them, and there was certainly a prevailing attitude that if the club weren't going to take things seriously until the last 6 weeks of the season then neither were they. Of course, by the time the play offs come around, the time they used to dedicate to attending matches is inevitably taken up by something else and so the spiral continues.

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12 hours ago, Eddie said:

I’m not a Wigan fan but I just mean my team as in any team. For example if I was a Hudds fan I’d rather ‘we’ had a compact 8,000 stadium than what they have to play in now. 

We've take stick for Trailfinders -last year particularly

However it's perfect for our attendances and needs. For the games last year that we're around 2500 the atmosphere was great 

I agree Huddy would be far better in a smaller stadium.... What are the local options? 

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29 minutes ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

I agree Huddy would be far better in a smaller stadium.... What are the local options? 

Not sure there are any options. The Huddersfield RU ground, out at Lockwood, is way too small. OK for the couple of hundred who watch them. None of the Kirklees non-league football clubs, such as they are, have suitable grounds. Fartown exists - do St Joseph's ARLFC still play there? - but all its spectator infrastructure has been removed. Batley and Dewsbury are in Kirklees but I can't see Huddersfield wanting to share at either venue.

Neighbours Halifax have a similar problem. The Shay is far too big for crowds below 2,000.

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19 hours ago, Gooleboy said:

I wonder what Mr Lenaghan thought last Thursday, because the attendance at the Toronto game looked poor.

Thursday ... and the cruise liner from Toronto, filled with away fans,  was quarantined half way up the Ship Canal.

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17 hours ago, ELBOWSEYE said:

Warrington have made it their amateur club day with junior getting in for a pound, last season game against london got over 12k so clubs can do it. 

 

14 hours ago, Padge said:

If marketing a game was so bloody easy then every stadium would be full every week.

Early in Ian Lenaghan's reign, Wigan used to be very pro-active in promoting games - they once advertised a Wire Match on TV and used to run 'The Big One' concept to target a particular game to get a big crowd . I think Leeds was the first v Leeds in 2009. They also used to use the London Broncos/Harlequins match as an opportunity for special promotions such as Sponsors days such Heinz Family days etc. Given the recent financial losses , marquee signings now and Central Park/Robin Park initiatives, perhaps there is not the budget to fund these special promotions.

That said , it is interesting why everyone seems concerned about Wigan's attendances, which for the size of the town arguably still performs fairly well compared with clubs from bigger towns/cities? 

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North Western, the name gives it away, is on the edge of the town. 

"Gerremonside" made good points and Wigan have moved it's entire admin and training base to next to the stadium and it now has a fan zone to entice both away and home support.  It's wrong to sneer at what it's doing.

In respect of travelling, Central Park was convenient in its day,  but these days trying to get anywhere and park or catch a (expensive?) bus is never easy. Its difficult to grow attendences for all clubs, the world is different. And RL do not get the return they deserve from the TV companies.

As for marketing... nothing I've seen from anyone about anything looks terribly clever to me.

For the future, whilst Wigan pay rent to the stadium, they don't maintain it, unlike the problems that some clubs have. And they own the land at Orrell which offers some future benefit.

"Insight" is a brilliant word... If only we could bottle it.

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