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Has a london based challenge cup become financially unviable


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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Just Browny said:

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

If he is, your old boss was a bit of a twit as circumstances have shown. May he RIP. 

Edited by RL Sonja

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

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6 hours ago, RL Sonja said:

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

As you mention world wide, just for comparative purposes, how many Rugby League games in 2019 (pre Covid) in Australia exceeded the 62,717 attendance for the 2019 Challenge Cup final?

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

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Its more viable than anywhere else in the country. More hotel rooms and transport links than anywhere else by a country mile.

You can't get a hotel for love nor money in Newcastle for Magic Weekend 

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2 hours ago, RL Sonja said:

That’s more like it. Fire up Dunbar. 😅

He's right though, barring origin in NSW or VIC, or the NRL Grand Final, the challenge cup final is one of the best attended games world wide.

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4 hours ago, gingerjon said:

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

Shh don’t tell them, they need something to complain about. 

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Off topic but London Skolars are playing Oldham at home at 7pm the night before the final. Seems really near to Spurs ground too. I'll be driving down to London on Friday evening from Wigan so I probably won't make that on time

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Just now, Nate90 said:

Off topic but London Skolars are playing Oldham at home at 7pm the night before the final. Seems really near to Spurs ground too. I'll be driving down to London on Friday evening from Wigan so I probably won't make that on time

Not that off topic, hope skolars make the most of it. 

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10 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

He's right though, barring origin in NSW or VIC, or the NRL Grand Final, the challenge cup final is one of the best attended games world wide.

Obviously. That's my point. 

I'm the one here who defends the history of the tournament. 

Whichever way you cut it, going from a tournament that sells out, inter alia, the Final to being 2/3rds full at Wembley (at best) is very sad. It needs to be fixed ASAP. 

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

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If anyone remains in doubt, my position is that the tournament has always been one of the preeminent occasions in world rugby league, but that it is very sad to see it continue to become less important almost year on year. The RFL has been asleep at the wheel (as per).

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

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16 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

He's right though, barring origin in NSW or VIC, or the NRL Grand Final, the challenge cup final is one of the best attended games world wide.

The Final is.
Round 4, round 5, round 6 and the quarter final is a disaster and needs an overhaul.

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8 hours ago, RL Sonja said:

If anyone remains in doubt, my position is that the tournament has always been one of the preeminent occasions in world rugby league, but that it is very sad to see it continue to become less important almost year on year. The RFL has been asleep at the wheel (as per).

I also want to see the Challenge Cup remain a pinnacle of our game, but what do you want the RFL to do? We do need to be careful about clamouring for change for its own sake.

In the league we are now in a cycle of faffing with the structures almost every year in the hope we will alight on a magic solution (we won't). Conversely the Challenge Cup has stayed largely the same, besides the SL clubs joining a later (a mistake in my view) and this enforced temporary move to Tottenham.

I'm quite conservative with this. My view is that a permanent move away from Wembley or some sort of rotation risks weakening further the rich heritage you describe. I also think that any sort of group system or further seeding will make minimal improvement to attendances and we should stick with the knockout format.

I appreciate though that without format changes the only lever available to the RFL is how they ensure the final (and semis) are must-see events. We know that isn't easy, but I've attended enough of these finals to know how good the product is and we have had a lot of special finals since the return to Wembley.

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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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11 hours ago, RL Sonja said:

If anyone remains in doubt, my position is that the tournament has always been one of the preeminent occasions in world rugby league, but that it is very sad to see it continue to become less important almost year on year. The RFL has been asleep at the wheel (as per).

As far as I can see, but please do correct me if I am wrong, the 2019 Challege Cup Final was the 4th biggest attendance in world Rugby League after the NRL Grand Final, the Super League Grand Final and State of Origin Game 3.

It is one of the pre-eminent occasions in world Rugby League. 

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

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On 10/05/2022 at 19:06, 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

I know what you mean.  I've shelled out the thick end of £1500 for trains, hotels, match tickets etc. (my own fault for having about 8000 kids).

I've thought for a while that the cup final, being the "secondary" RL event of the year should be moved up north.  We've plenty of suitable stadiums such at Old Trafford, Man City, Anfield, St James Park etc.

I would move the SL Grand Final to Wembley (and include the championship final). It's the main event of the season and playing it in the capital would improve the visibility of the sport. 

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9 minutes ago, David Shepherd said:

I know what you mean.  I've shelled out the thick end of £1500 for trains, hotels, match tickets etc. (my own fault for having about 8000 kids).

I've thought for a while that the cup final, being the "secondary" RL event of the year should be moved up north.  We've plenty of suitable stadiums such at Old Trafford, Man City, Anfield, St James Park etc.

I would move the SL Grand Final to Wembley (and include the championship final). It's the main event of the season and playing it in the capital would improve the visibility of the sport. 

That option becomes a non-starter when considering you'll only know the finalists the week before. It's proving to be expensive enough trying to get travel to London at 3 weeks notice.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Leyther_Matt said:

That option becomes a non-starter when considering you'll only know the finalists the week before. It's proving to be expensive enough trying to get travel to London at 3 weeks notice.

That's largely because it's also the Football play-offs at Wembley and a matter of days until Lizzie's jubilee.  Hoteliers and train operators know this and have priced accordingly. London will be filling up with tourists from all over the world in advance of the event.

 

Edited by David Shepherd
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24 minutes ago, David Shepherd said:

I know what you mean.  I've shelled out the thick end of £1500 for trains, hotels, match tickets etc. (my own fault for having about 8000 kids).

I've thought for a while that the cup final, being the "secondary" RL event of the year should be moved up north.  We've plenty of suitable stadiums such at Old Trafford, Man City, Anfield, St James Park etc.

I would move the SL Grand Final to Wembley (and include the championship final). It's the main event of the season and playing it in the capital would improve the visibility of the sport. 

That’s one way to kill the game’s showpiece event, the Grand Final. 

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5 minutes ago, David Shepherd said:

That's largely because it's also the Football play-offs at Wembley and a matter of days until Lizzie's jubilee.  Hoteliers and train operators know this and have priced accordingly. London will be filling up with tourists from all over the world in advance of the event.

 

There's always stuff happening in London and it's hard/expensive to get travel and accommodation at short notice all year round. Individual events are genuinely a drop in the ocean. Leyther Matt was right; scheduling Wigan v Saints (for example) as a GF with a week's notice would be absolutely terrible.

Indeed, we have had the three weeks thing before for cup finals and it has a negative effect on attendances. Should be at least four weeks between the semi and the final, but five even better as it takes clubs 3 or 4 days to sort their travel arrangements (even more for e.g. Catalans for obvious reasons).

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 problem I think we may face is people won’t want to go back to Wembley after a final at Tottenham, if the stadium is as good as everyone who has been says it is. 

 

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4 hours ago, Just Browny said:

I also want to see the Challenge Cup remain a pinnacle of our game, but what do you want the RFL to do? We do need to be careful about clamouring for change for its own sake.

In the league we are now in a cycle of faffing with the structures almost every year in the hope we will alight on a magic solution (we won't). Conversely the Challenge Cup has stayed largely the same, besides the SL clubs joining a later (a mistake in my view) and this enforced temporary move to Tottenham.

I'm quite conservative with this. My view is that a permanent move away from Wembley or some sort of rotation risks weakening further the rich heritage you describe. I also think that any sort of group system or further seeding will make minimal improvement to attendances and we should stick with the knockout format.

I appreciate though that without format changes the only lever available to the RFL is how they ensure the final (and semis) are must-see events. We know that isn't easy, but I've attended enough of these finals to know how good the product is and we have had a lot of special finals since the return to Wembley.

The challenge cup has not stayed largely the same. The format changes year after year. Teams in league 1 now have to win three rounds before getting a chance of being drawn against a top division team.  The early rounds have so few games, and SL teams enter at different stages. As a result it never gets to be the focus of attention until the semi finals.

 

 

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.......my experience from Cumbria for this year's final:

Hotel: Travelodge - central London - £140 each for 3 nights - good price!
Ticket £45 each - good price for a major event !
Transport: Bloody nightmare - booked outward tickets on a Thursday for £32 each, but unable to get a return ticket home on the Sunday as there's no trains at all, and only very limited trains via Newcastle.
Looked at changing dates to travel Friday and come back Monday but train cost was £140 each

So on this occasion we are flying from Newcastle which is a cheaper option than the train, but not by the time you add in car parking etc.

So in all honesty I reckon this will be my last London trip as it's just too much hassle.

If the final is to stay 'darn souff' then maybe the RFL need to put all their efforts in marketing within the London Transport area rather than targeting northern based supporters from traditional clubs, as they are already aware of the date and venue.

The other alternative is to make it an 'occasion' for all RL supporters and plan the event around 7 or 8 different venues to give supporters a different experience, but plan 4 years in advance so speccies always know where the next few finals will be played:

for example:

Wembley / Edinburgh / Cardiff / Newcastle / Dublin / Spurs / in fact any ground with a capacity over 50k and first class hospitality could be considered really    

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14 minutes ago, Anita Bath said:

The challenge cup has not stayed largely the same. The format changes year after year. Teams in league 1 now have to win three rounds before getting a chance of being drawn against a top division team.  The early rounds have so few games, and SL teams enter at different stages. As a result it never gets to be the focus of attention until the semi finals.

 

 

It’s always a straight knockout tournament regardless of minor cosmetic changes within that. 

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