Jump to content

Are you worried about attendances?


Recommended Posts

16,000 at Bolton today. Highest number of home fans in a LONG time. However, as pointed out previously, it helped that season tickets (10,000 sold) were on sale when there was more than a good chance of actually being able to get in to the games in an unlimited number. Meanwhile, RL season tickets - limited in number because of how the ‘roadmap’ fell - were literally only on sale over the phone and online because it was considered too dangerous to even visit a ticket office in person, never mind attend a game.

That said, we can’t just assume that people will magically return a next season. A huge effort will have to be made to appease people who have forked out for season tickets this season and missed a raft of games, never mind those who donated virtually a full season last year.

It’s then a case of establishing faith in the games actually taking place, which can only be achieved by a solid finish to the season. With double jabbed people soon no longer needing to isolate as a close contact, maybe a change in RFL protocols along these lines would then lead to fewer games being canned as only true positive tests - rarely more than two or three players - would be missing out on games rather than the close contacts as well.

At that point it is also probably worth looking at the structure, and the rumoured 14 team league could certainly help with that, getting rid of the loop games and just introducing some fresh faces and enthusiasm if nothing else.

I’d love to see some more importance attached to the regular season, even if that’s a case of retaining the play offs and GF (not my preferred option, admittedly) and sticking a decent bounty based on league positions. Someone smarter than me will have to figure out who pays for that though.

Also introduce teams earlier in to the Challenge Cup to build a bit of momentum rather than only being a couple of wins away from Wembley. A bit of smart thinking on that front would be good, too. The RFL block booking a load of coach companies, trains and hotels so that they can offer a fixed-price weekend away for fans of the two finalists rather than the mad scramble two weeks beforehand and wondering why families can’t afford to attend.

Most of all, despite my initial disappointment at missing out on the World Cup, I think everybody in and around the game just needs - and deserves - a bloody good break at the end of the season so that we can all recharge our batteries and come back all guns blazing next season. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


2 hours ago, Dave T said:

Problem is that nobody is providing evidence that those numbers are available. If there was evidence of double crowds for fewer games we'd do it. But there isn't. 

And the people moan about another Saints v Wigan game, but they are usually the bigger crowds and better TV viewers than Saints v London or similar. 

I share the desire to get rid of loop fixtures, id prefer a straight round Robin with 14 teams and Magic, but scarcity appears to be a bit of a buzzword and it's not really based around any evidence. 

Tbh mate, if these go, people will just find a new thing to hang on to. It's draining. 

It's a bit of a weird one because I honestly believe RL at it's best can't be beaten. Or even on 75%.

But when it's not....it's not and it can be (hate to say this) pretty dull. Not in a life sapping way like RU but all the same, pretty dull. 

It would be better off focusing on a smaller number of games that are really good/mind blowing than umpteen run of the mil games, which pay the bills but bore everyone except the dedicated fan to tears.  IMO of course.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Dave T said:

Problem is that nobody is providing evidence that those numbers are available. If there was evidence of double crowds for fewer games we'd do it. But there isn't. 

And the people moan about another Saints v Wigan game, but they are usually the bigger crowds and better TV viewers than Saints v London or similar. 

I share the desire to get rid of loop fixtures, id prefer a straight round Robin with 14 teams and Magic, but scarcity appears to be a bit of a buzzword and it's not really based around any evidence. 

Tbh mate, if these go, people will just find a new thing to hang on to. It's draining. 

I take it your responses are targeted at my earlier comment which you find ‘draining’ for some reason.

If loop fixtures and loads of versions of Saints-Wigan, Saints-Wire during a season are the answer then where is the evidence of it?  Because attendances seem to be going down. 

Talking about scarcity value is not about latching onto buzzwords as you seem to be alluding.  More like it’s pointing out to me what is the obvious that the more of a product you make the more you devalue each copy of it.

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just been looking at some up and coming gigs. I aren't talking about anything on the level of Ed Sheeran or anything but many of them have sold out, well in advance. So obviously not everyone is put off from attending things again. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, gingerjon said:

I'd need someone with the history to go into the details but those strong South Yorkshire clubs were essentially why rugby league didn't expand southwards. Some had started playing rugby (or already were) but then one or two of the stronger ones at the time returned back to football to the association rules and we lost our foothold.

(Similar to what happened with Manningham becoming Bradford City just in a more damaging way for early expansion).

Association football/ Soccer ruled the roost in and around Sheffield and the Midlands , rugby football was the dominant code in what became West Yorkshire and Humberside.

The game of association football was born around Sheffield, it's oldest clubs, and it's rules were all part of Sheffield football culture since the 1850s/60s.

It took until well into the 20th century for West Yorkshire to start embracing the game of soccer.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, meast said:

It took until well into the 20th century for West Yorkshire to start embracing the game of soccer.

 

 

 

Apart from 1911 when Bradford City won the FA Cup and were getting attendances that far eclipsed their previous life as Manningham?
Or perhaps the Huddersfield Town all conquering team of the 1920’s?

So not exactly true really. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

I take it your responses are targeted at my earlier comment which you find ‘draining’ for some reason.

If loop fixtures and loads of versions of Saints-Wigan, Saints-Wire during a season are the answer then where is the evidence of it?  Because attendances seem to be going down. 

Talking about scarcity value is not about latching onto buzzwords as you seem to be alluding.  More like it’s pointing out to me what is the obvious that the more of a product you make the more you devalue each copy of it.

 

An individual posting on a forum that they don't like loop fixtures wouldn't be draining. 

The evidence for loop fixtures is there. People attend them and they pay the bills. That is what they are there for. 29 rounds instead of 22 rounds leads to more gate income, more sponsorship, more tv money, more hospitality, more merchandise. Anybody claiming that we can cut 7 rounds and do better needs to back that up, because it is very, very unlikely. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Johnoco said:

I've just been looking at some up and coming gigs. I aren't talking about anything on the level of Ed Sheeran or anything but many of them have sold out, well in advance. So obviously not everyone is put off from attending things again. 

I'll make this point again mate. 

An event that could sellout many times over, will still sell out. But that doesn't mean the demand hasn't dropped with people not prepared to go at the moment. 

An Ed Sheeran arena gig could probably sell 200k tickets, but they have 15k to sell. That demand in the current climate may drop to 100k, but they will still sell the 15k and it all looks great. 

Same with things like football - where demand exceeds capacity, as it does in many instances at top flight, you can't really see the impact. 

But as highlighted the Community Shield football game at Wembley yesterday failed to sellout by a long way, despite dirt cheap tickets. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Leyther_Matt said:

16,000 at Bolton today. Highest number of home fans in a LONG time. However, as pointed out previously, it helped that season tickets (10,000 sold) were on sale when there was more than a good chance of actually being able to get in to the games in an unlimited number. Meanwhile, RL season tickets - limited in number because of how the ‘roadmap’ fell - were literally only on sale over the phone and online because it was considered too dangerous to even visit a ticket office in person, never mind attend a game.

That said, we can’t just assume that people will magically return a next season. A huge effort will have to be made to appease people who have forked out for season tickets this season and missed a raft of games, never mind those who donated virtually a full season last year.

It’s then a case of establishing faith in the games actually taking place, which can only be achieved by a solid finish to the season. With double jabbed people soon no longer needing to isolate as a close contact, maybe a change in RFL protocols along these lines would then lead to fewer games being canned as only true positive tests - rarely more than two or three players - would be missing out on games rather than the close contacts as well.

At that point it is also probably worth looking at the structure, and the rumoured 14 team league could certainly help with that, getting rid of the loop games and just introducing some fresh faces and enthusiasm if nothing else.

I’d love to see some more importance attached to the regular season, even if that’s a case of retaining the play offs and GF (not my preferred option, admittedly) and sticking a decent bounty based on league positions. Someone smarter than me will have to figure out who pays for that though.

Also introduce teams earlier in to the Challenge Cup to build a bit of momentum rather than only being a couple of wins away from Wembley. A bit of smart thinking on that front would be good, too. The RFL block booking a load of coach companies, trains and hotels so that they can offer a fixed-price weekend away for fans of the two finalists rather than the mad scramble two weeks beforehand and wondering why families can’t afford to attend.

Most of all, despite my initial disappointment at missing out on the World Cup, I think everybody in and around the game just needs - and deserves - a bloody good break at the end of the season so that we can all recharge our batteries and come back all guns blazing next season. 

Very good post mate. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Johnoco said:

It's a bit of a weird one because I honestly believe RL at it's best can't be beaten. Or even on 75%.

But when it's not....it's not and it can be (hate to say this) pretty dull. Not in a life sapping way like RU but all the same, pretty dull. 

It would be better off focusing on a smaller number of games that are really good/mind blowing than umpteen run of the mil games, which pay the bills but bore everyone except the dedicated fan to tears.  IMO of course.

I think this is a worrying thing for RL fans to complain about, I really do. 

We appear to be intolerant to anything less than a classic, and I partly think that is because we have become obsessed with the 80minite product, constantly comparing to other sports, saying how good we are etc. 

RL games are events where people catch up with their mates, have an afternoon out as a family, have an excuse for a few drinks etc. they bring the community together, inspire kids etc. IMHO we need to be very careful around this narrative we need less of it. Because other sports are adding more and more and we will become less and less relevant. 

But I just don't believe staging 14 home games per year, plus any additional Cup/Playoff games is anywhere near to saturation point. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I'll make this point again mate. 

An event that could sellout many times over, will still sell out. But that doesn't mean the demand hasn't dropped with people not prepared to go at the moment. 

An Ed Sheeran arena gig could probably sell 200k tickets, but they have 15k to sell. That demand in the current climate may drop to 100k, but they will still sell the 15k and it all looks great. 

Same with things like football - where demand exceeds capacity, as it does in many instances at top flight, you can't really see the impact. 

But as highlighted the Community Shield football game at Wembley yesterday failed to sellout by a long way, despite dirt cheap tickets. 

Except I aren’t talking about things that could sell out multiple times, just small venues of 500-1000. I’d expect maybe half a capacity if people were holding back from attending events but when it comes to certain things they aren’t.

Covid will definitely have disrupted attendances for sure but many were predicting a boom as soon as you were allowed to attend again. That isn’t happening so far and it would be unwise for RL to just say ‘oh it’s down to Covid’. There’s more at play

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Dave T said:

But I just don't believe staging 14 home games per year, plus any additional Cup/Playoff games is anywhere near to saturation point. 

There’s nothing wrong with 14 home games per year. If your division has 15 teams in it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn’t think the 7,700 crowd was that bad for the Saints game. I know a couple of mates who were going to go and pay on the gate but when they saw the weather they said “you can f*** off im not getting drenched walking to the ground and then watch the game soaking wet”. I thought that was a bit harsh but i said “I’m afraid i don’t have control over the Bwitish Wevver ask Boris about that”. But they did have a point, there is nothing worse than getting caught in a downpour whilst making your way to a match. 
I think they’ll get less on Thursday vers Cas, quite a few people i know who are season tickets can’t make it because of work commitments. But will Saints do anything to try and entice old or new fan’s to go the match ?, i very much doubt it. A lot of RL club’s have the attitude of “Do Nothing And They Will Still Come”. If that fails, then they will continue with the same thought process. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, Dave T said:

But as highlighted the Community Shield football game at Wembley yesterday failed to sellout by a long way, despite dirt cheap tickets. 

The Community Shield regularly fails to sell out. In fact, looking back over the attendance, I'm not sure that it has sold out this century.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

The Community Shield regularly fails to sell out. In fact, looking back over the attendance, I'm not sure that it has sold out this century.

Yes, I highlighted that in my original post, 75 to 85k is the norm. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Dave T said:

Yes, I highlighted that in my original post, 75 to 85k is the norm. 

Apologies - I've managed to miss a few posts.

  • Like 1

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think saying Covid isn’t an issue is as bad as saying covid is the only issue.

The postponement of games will be a big effect, why buy a ticket if you don’t know until a day before if its going ahead?

I think one of the worst bits of marketing in the last few years was ‘every minute matters’ what that did was play down the fact that going to a RL match can and often is still highly entertaining even if it’s a ‘dead rubber’ and that’s down to the nature of the game and the althetes involved, it’s not a game that can be played half hearted.

 

Also the TV schedule is all over the place which doesn’t help with continuity.

Having said the above I do think the way forward is s more balanced League structure, 14 will be better as we can just do the straight home and away thing meaning those marquee games (saints wigan etc) are more of an event. 
 

And if it does go to 2 leagues of 10 it should mean that the games are more competitive throughout the season, but im not sure what the proposed format is?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Dave T said:

An individual posting on a forum that they don't like loop fixtures wouldn't be draining. 

The evidence for loop fixtures is there. People attend them and they pay the bills. That is what they are there for. 29 rounds instead of 22 rounds leads to more gate income, more sponsorship, more tv money, more hospitality, more merchandise. Anybody claiming that we can cut 7 rounds and do better needs to back that up, because it is very, very unlikely. 

That’s not a very satisfactory answer.

I think people are attending less about the excitement of seeing Saints-Wigan or Saints-Wire for the umpteenth time in a season, but more out of a sense of loyalty that the evidence shows is diminishing.

I believe this is because the novelty value of these fixtures is being eroded which is a dangerous thing regarding the prestige fixtures.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

That’s not a very satisfactory answer.

I think people are attending less about the excitement of seeing Saints-Wigan or Saints-Wire for the umpteenth time in a season, but more out of a sense of loyalty that the evidence shows is diminishing.

I believe this is because the novelty value of these fixtures is being eroded which is a dangerous thing regarding the prestige fixtures.

 

I'll use some admittedly *very* selective stats, but the highest average in Super League was 2007, and that included loop fixtures. Wigan and Saints met in the last regular game of the year in front of 22k (down from the 24k on Good Friday). By the time of that last game they had already played each other three times. 

There are plenty other examples like this that don't back up the hypothesis that people dislike those games in substantial numbers. We often want perfection, and I do agree that loop games are not that, but neither are they a big issue in the grand scheme of things - as the evidence shows, people will turn up to them, and more likely in bigger numbers than a game against London, Fev or Toulouse etc. 

Now on that 2007 example, there were probably another 50 variables from now, and this is sort of my point, we need to understand what it is that is creating the downturn, because we have evidence that we are able to attract decent growth when using loop fixtures, so that doesn't stand out as something that makes it into the top 5 things to do first. 

One of the things I'd be trying to understand is why the biggest teams in the league have seen such substantial drop offs, at a higher rate than most other clubs, how scheduling and tv coverage is affecting the crowds, etc. I'm interested at what was good enough to drive a peak that is missing now, and I'm not talking about an exercise in yearning for past days, but we have clearly lost our way along the way, and I think a factor is the cost cutting, going within ourselves, and the tinkering, which has been a huge part of the last 15 years, as we tried both licensing and Super 8s, two radical changes in a short period. 

I genuinely believe we have a big problem in not doing many things to a high standard, we are doing them on the cheap and a bit sporadically and without a swagger. I wasn't Elstone's biggest fan, but I liked the narrative he was presenting, u til the rug was whipped away from under him. Surprise surprise the game has then gone into cost cutting and merging with the RFL. 

Apologies for the long post, my ultimate point is that loop fixtures didn't used to be a problem, for me the problems are elsewhere (although as I say, they are not desirable). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Josef K said:

I didn’t think the 7,700 crowd was that bad for the Saints game. I know a couple of mates who were going to go and pay on the gate but when they saw the weather they said “you can f*** off im not getting drenched walking to the ground and then watch the game soaking wet”. I thought that was a bit harsh but i said “I’m afraid i don’t have control over the Bwitish Wevver ask Boris about that”. But they did have a point, there is nothing worse than getting caught in a downpour whilst making your way to a match. 
I think they’ll get less on Thursday vers Cas, quite a few people i know who are season tickets can’t make it because of work commitments. But will Saints do anything to try and entice old or new fan’s to go the match ?, i very much doubt it. A lot of RL club’s have the attitude of “Do Nothing And They Will Still Come”. If that fails, then they will continue with the same thought process. 

The frustrating thing is that Saints have shown that when they do make an effort they can get the extra numbers in. The Catalans game in 2019 for example, 3pm Sunday afternoon, marketed as a community round, a few freebies or cheap tickets thrown in and we got 12k in for it which I imagine is the highest we've had for Catalans.

I'll cut them slack atm given the situation. Plus hospitality sold out yesterday which is a good money spinner, and with 4500 ish season tickets that's a similar number of walkups to normal. The half-season tickets went one sale right before we had two games called off too.

Thursday's game against Cas was scheduled for Friday up until a couple of weeks ago which is stupidly short notice. Tbh I'm sick of people saying that Sky are put off by poor crowds when they're actively working against clubs getting people in.

It's just a shambles of a situation at present, I just hope (as others have said) clubs aren't just writing this year off expecting people to just come back next year. It's going to take quite a bit of work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Moove said:

I'm sick of people saying that Sky are put off by poor crowds when they're actively working against clubs getting people in.

This is a very fair point

Of course, we don't know for sure what is being said between Sky and SL in the privacy of a smoke-filled room i.e what exactly is 'the issue' - but I do think that Sky have to shoulder some of the blame if the product isn't pulling viewers and driving subs

1. Games getting moved around at short notice

2. Stale presentation of games and poor quality commentary team

3. Insistence of Thursday night games, often involving teams at the opposite end of the M62

4. Lack of marketing for the sport in Sky's own publicity

I could go on

If Sky were doing everything they could to help, then I would happily heap burning coals on SL, but I don't think they are

Unfortunately Sky pays the piper, so we have to dance to their tune

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, Moove said:

The frustrating thing is that Saints have shown that when they do make an effort they can get the extra numbers in. The Catalans game in 2019 for example, 3pm Sunday afternoon, marketed as a community round, a few freebies or cheap tickets thrown in and we got 12k in for it which I imagine is the highest we've had for Catalans.

I'll cut them slack atm given the situation. Plus hospitality sold out yesterday which is a good money spinner, and with 4500 ish season tickets that's a similar number of walkups to normal. The half-season tickets went one sale right before we had two games called off too.

Thursday's game against Cas was scheduled for Friday up until a couple of weeks ago which is stupidly short notice. Tbh I'm sick of people saying that Sky are put off by poor crowds when they're actively working against clubs getting people in.

It's just a shambles of a situation at present, I just hope (as others have said) clubs aren't just writing this year off expecting people to just come back next year. It's going to take quite a bit of work.

As I said, I bought tickets for a group of 5 of us for today's Wire game. £125 now sitting with the club for a game that is highly unlikely to be played, postponed with 24hrs notice. Official line is tickets valid for reschedule. I may be able to sort a refund, but it's all a faff isn't it? 

I think it would be crazy for clubs to be spending substantial money on marketing right now, you're just throwing it away. Focus on a huge blitz for season tickets for next year. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...