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Has a london based challenge cup become financially unviable


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Im neither a wigan or huddersfield fan so was going to treat 2 family members to the challenge cup final. (so 3 people including myself) 

With all the costings of train and mid priced tickets and maybe two meals each and 4 pints each i was looking at £550 for a single day out. 

Maybe the london experience is no longer viable and more realistic options need to be looked at

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No, it hasn’t.

Tickets for Rugby League World Cup games are in the same ballpark financially, so straight away, let’s cross that off. In fact, ticket pricing for finals in Rugby League are pretty good value.

As for food, it depends where you want to go. All cities have food options for all budgets. As for drink, it’s £5.29 a pint of Heineken at Tottenham (according to their website). Yes, it’s cheaper in Weatherspoons and yes, it’s cheaper in your local WMC but it’s pretty typical for top end sport grounds (in fact it’s cheaper than Wembley). 

Train travel is the issue and let’s be clear, that’s not Rugby League’s fault or London’s fault. That said, you can, if you book in advance (typically 8-12 weeks prior), you can get reasonable ticket prices and depending on age, regularity of travel and who you travel with, there are railcards that allow you to save a fair amount. 

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I'm going as well to my first final and making a weekend of it in London and really looking forward to it.

I like the idea of going to London but wouldn't be against taking it to different stadiums. The options would be Anfield, The Principality in Cardiff, Murrayfield or The Etihad outside of London. I haven't included Old Trafford and St James Park as they host events already. 

The cost thing could rule out Paris although that could be decent in the build up to a French World Cup or The Aviva in Dublin.

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You’d like to think this cost of living crisis won’t last forever but it won’t be going anywhere in the short term either. It’s a perfect storm in many ways at the moment, with things like train prices sky high before the sh*t really hit the fan anyway. Fuel costs now have seen coach prices shoot up to between £47.50 and £55 from what I’ve seen this time. I think the last time we went down in 2017 it cost about £35. The ticket costs are absolutely fine IMO but the costs of the whole day, especially for families, have really rocketed. 
 

As a whole sport, I think there needs to be more of a push to get neutrals to make a day of it. I don’t know for sure that they don’t but to me the RFL need to really get the community clubs heavily involved and incentivise them selling tickets. Give the clubs a % share based on sales maybe or have some sort of prizes on offer for the clubs that sell the most. It needs to start feeling like a celebration of the game as a whole again.  
 

There has to be more that can be done, then what seems to be currently. I wanted to book coach travel for the final a few weeks ago, as we were going regardless of who got there but I couldn’t find a single option. The approach just seems to be that we hope a couple of well supported clubs get there now and fill it as best we can. 

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7 minutes ago, WN83 said:

You’d like to think this cost of living crisis won’t last forever but it won’t be going anywhere in the short term either. It’s a perfect storm in many ways at the moment, with things like train prices sky high before the sh*t really hit the fan anyway. Fuel costs now have seen coach prices shoot up to between £47.50 and £55 from what I’ve seen this time. I think the last time we went down in 2017 it cost about £35. The ticket costs are absolutely fine IMO but the costs of the whole day, especially for families, have really rocketed. 
 

As a whole sport, I think there needs to be more of a push to get neutrals to make a day of it. I don’t know for sure that they don’t but to me the RFL need to really get the community clubs heavily involved and incentivise them selling tickets. Give the clubs a % share based on sales maybe or have some sort of prizes on offer for the clubs that sell the most. It needs to start feeling like a celebration of the game as a whole again.  
 

There has to be more that can be done, then what seems to be currently. I wanted to book coach travel for the final a few weeks ago, as we were going regardless of who got there but I couldn’t find a single option. The approach just seems to be that we hope a couple of well supported clubs get there now and fill it as best we can. 

Coach travel , a few weeks back ? 😁 

I rang the RFL about coach parking , " not much " was the answer , " try Tottenham , they're sorting out a link for us " , so I tried Spurs , automated message , then send an e mail , 2 and a half weeks later I got a reply , " contact the RFL " 😂 , admittedly in the meantime , about a week before the reply , I was informed it was ' sorted ' and £ 120 per coach at a goods yard off WHL 

So let's see how it goes 🙃

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Just now, GUBRATS said:

Coach travel , a few weeks back ? 😁 

I rang the RFL about coach parking , " not much " was the answer , " try Tottenham , they're sorting out a link for us " , so I tried Spurs , automated message , then send an e mail , 2 and a half weeks later I got a reply , " contact the RFL " 😂 , admittedly in the meantime , about a week before the reply , I was informed it was ' sorted ' and £ 120 per coach at a goods yard off WHL 

So let's see how it goes 🙃

I was obviously being optimistic! Ha. That is crazy and it’s little wonder the finals are struggling for neutrals at the levels we used to get. Even if it were at Wembley I doubt I’d have had much more of a chance of finding one (although I think Wembley itself has a link up with National Express). 

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1 hour ago, Damien said:

Surely if you were getting a train anywhere some distance and doing all that its not going to be far off spending the same anyway.

I think this is right.  If the final was in Cardiff or Edinburgh then the travel would still be costly.  Perhaps the only thing cheaper would be the 4 pints each.

"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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1 hour ago, The storm said:

Im neither a wigan or huddersfield fan so was going to treat 2 family members to the challenge cup final. (so 3 people including myself) 

With all the costings of train and mid priced tickets and maybe two meals each and 4 pints each i was looking at £550 for a single day out. 

Maybe the london experience is no longer viable and more realistic options need to be looked at

Or you could ask the couple of family members to chip in rather than pretend that nearly £600 is a normal outlay for an individual to make a pathetic point?

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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)

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10 hours ago, The 4 of Us said:

Perhaps the RFL should play it at Elland Road and offer half price tickets? That’ll get a crowd in.

If the guy from IMG is reading, please don't note down that suggestion.

I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.

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On 11/05/2022 at 04:06, RL Sonja said:

The downward spiral of this tournament must be one of the saddest things in rugby league, world-wide. 

The Challenge Cup needs a restructure, all rounds before the semi finals are dead ducks and even the semi finals can’t match its Super League equivalent game attendance. I think IMG will make the logical choice of moving to 4 groups of 5 in place of the knockout rounds, with the winner of each group into the Semi Final. Tickets can then be packaged and sold within the season ticket. This should allow the BBC to show plenty of games and not broadcast from empty stadiums.

It’s not what it was but the Final is still a big event, however Wembley is far too big. The Final should be moved imo, Old Trafford Manchester, Anfield, St James, Emirates Stadium, London Olympic Stadium, Tottenham Stadium are all decent stadium options if they’re going to fork out and pay to host the event then Edinburgh or Cardiff.

Wembley should host big England Internationals, it’s being too long since we played there. It’s a shame the World Cup Semi Final isn’t At Wembley.

Edited by Sir Kevin Sinfield
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I know it's not always possible or desirable , but as a neutral, cost wise the best thing you can do is decide early whether you are going. 

We go every year and this year got 4 nights in a travelodge for £240/room, we've actually had them for less than £200 before. In addition to the early bird offer, if you get more than 15 tickets then you get a further discount. You can buy the train tickets at the cheapest price when they first come out and we generally eat in locally owned cafes and restaurants. We've even found reasonably priced pubs. Of course you still have expensive places like the pubs round whichever stadium is used but it doesn't have to be unaffordable 

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100% League 0% Union

Just because I don't know doesn't mean I don't understand

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I am just glad the original vote to move the Challenge Cup Final to Wembley wasn't conducted using TRL members. You can imagine the protests. 

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"There has never been a Challenge Cup semifinal of 65,000 either individually or combined" - Damien

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An event which later produced over 100,000 spectators on occasion...

"Too far down south..."

"Too risky. Heartland oop 'ere in north."

"No good can come of it..."

Edited by RL Sonja

"There has never been a Challenge Cup semifinal of 65,000 either individually or combined" - Damien

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I booked tickets last August for me and my 14 year old son (so i cant really ask him to chip in) total £60... booked a train a couple of weeks ago for both of us from Sheffield to White Hart Lane return at £90 for the two of us on specific trains so I have booked ones that give some leeway either side and we will get some food.

As a point of reference I am going down on Friday 3rd June to watch Harry Potter with my wife and daughter (if you want to know what an expensive weekend is the tickets are £150 each before you get into everything else but its my wife's delayed birthday present from spring 2020) we are booked into an italian restaurant in Leicester Square for tea between the shows and there is a 3 course set menu for £15.95 (so £32 for me and my son if we went somewhere similar). Even off the main menu its on average £7 starter, £12 main (pasta, pizza, rissotta etc) or £19 for a meaty main. So maybe £50 for both of us... add £10 for a drink each.. is £60 for a meal in leicester square so I know there will be much cheaper around.. 

We will pack our own lunch for the train get a couple of drinks etc at the stadium and its about £220 for 2 for the day. 

I dont think thats that bad to be honest.. 

in 2019 we went down to it as a family, wife and daughter went to a show while me and my son went to the challenge cup final. Had a nice evening afterwards and wonder around London the next day seeing some of the places we used to go to when we lived there etc... made for a nice weekend away, my wife and daughter try to get down once a year to take in a show anyway so in a way it saved money.. I would do it again like this in years going forward its just the way it falls this time around that Harry Potter is the weekend after (and there wasnt much we could do about that)

I am not an oddity and plenty of people will do these sorts of things... they would not, however, do that in many other cities in the country. As neutrals you just need to plan in advance a bit and everything is fine. 

That said I also cant understand the "cant find a coach" bit... when i booked my train through trainline there were loads of coach options too that I could have got down on.. trains, coaches all sorts go to different places in central London then hop on the tube it couldnt really be that much easier IMHO. again something other cities cant match as they will tend to be more limited as they will have one coach station stop and one train station.. 

 

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5 minutes ago, RP London said:

That said I also cant understand the "cant find a coach" bit... 

National Express Leeds to London return on the day - £26.30.

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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)

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56 minutes ago, RL Sonja said:

An event which later produced over 100,000 spectators on occasion...

"Too far down south..."

"Too risky. Heartland oop 'ere in north."

"No good can come of it..."

Wasnt the 100,000 crowd at Odsal? Maybe we should move the final there when HS2 arrives.

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I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.

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The capacity crowds at Wembley have been around 100k to be fair. 99,801 in 1985 stands out. Let’s not argue about 199 people… Anyway, it was too long ago to matter. 

Edited by RL Sonja
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"There has never been a Challenge Cup semifinal of 65,000 either individually or combined" - Damien

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Just now, Chronicler of Chiswick said:

If people want to complain about ticket prices the cost of a ticket in a decent seat for the Elton John farewell tour (pre COVID) was £198!

yep.. i had one of those too before his hip went and he rearranged the tour, hopefully still get to go.. and that was another trip that needed a hotel room!

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