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1 hour ago, Big Picture said:

To see teams from places they never heard of playing a sport they never heard of?  Rather doubtful. 

Fair enough. I think it's equally unlikely that 20,000 Aussies have bought tickets too, so where are they coming from? 

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29 minutes ago, fighting irish said:

Fair enough. I think it's equally unlikely that 20,000 Aussies have bought tickets too, so where are they coming from? 

Some will travel from Australia, some will be expat RL fans who live in North America, the rest I'm not sure about though some could be North Americans who are into rugby.  I suppose we'll see in time.

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1 hour ago, Damien said:

According to this 17k tickets have been sold with at least 5k of those sold within the US:

 

So it is money the NRL is spending - and it is around $10m per year - that they are then hoping to recoup and exceed?

As per the initial reporting before it became cheerleaders only?

It is a gamble. Not that that should stop them doing it or going big but a bit of reality is always nice to have.

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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3 hours ago, gingerjon said:

So it is money the NRL is spending - and it is around $10m per year - that they are then hoping to recoup and exceed?

As per the initial reporting before it became cheerleaders only?

It is a gamble. Not that that should stop them doing it or going big but a bit of reality is always nice to have.

It's far and away the most in depth report I have read on the venture.

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12 hours ago, gingerjon said:

So it is money the NRL is spending - and it is around $10m per year - that they are then hoping to recoup and exceed?

As per the initial reporting before it became cheerleaders only?

It is a gamble. Not that that should stop them doing it or going big but a bit of reality is always nice to have.

When in Rome.

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The clip though does show the issues with trying to promote a sport with the name Rugby in it, particularly when people are just referring it to Rugby and leaving the League part out. To all intents and purposes that may as well be about RU.

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1 hour ago, Damien said:

The clip though does show the issues with trying to promote a sport with the name Rugby in it, particularly when people are just referring it to Rugby and leaving the League part out. To all intents and purposes that may as well be about RU.

Yeah I was disappointed that Woods or Graham didn`t pick the interviewer up on that, would have been so easy to politely correct her.

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Interesting article from one of League`s harshest critic sometimes.

NRL 2024: NRL stars and officials travel to Las Vegas to promote season-opening double header (smh.com.au)

5 min
 

Las Vegas: “The Black Hole” is the Las Vegas Raiders’ infamous group of hardcore fans who occupy the pocket near the tunnel and the end zone.

Since 1995, they have been the most notorious sub-section of the league’s most notorious fanbase, dressing up in menacing clobber and destroying visiting players and fans with venomous vitriol.

 

Spencer Leniu at Allegiant Stadium.

Spencer Leniu at Allegiant Stadium.CREDIT:NRL PHOTOS

But, on Sunday afternoon, rugby league melted their hearts. They had nothing but love for this strange game from a strange land and, in particular, Roosters weapon Spencer Leniu.

“Hey uce!” yelled one fan as Leniu walked by before the Raiders’ match against Minnesota Vikings. “I used to play rugby!” yelled another as Leniu posed for selfies and shook hands.

 

The NRL has rolled into Las Vegas this week to promote the season-opening double-header at Allegiant Stadium here in March.

Before, during and after the Raiders match, the NRL was given the type of publicity it cannot buy and will most certainly need if it’s to live the American Dream.

The double-header was publicised regularly on the big screen throughout the match while Leniu, Manly’s Aaron Woods, Souths’ Campbell Graham and the Broncos’ Billy Walters did interviews with US sports network Fox Sports before the match and at half-time.

Earlier, they had posed for a photo outside the stadium before kick-off, prompting one Raiders fan to poke his nose in and innocently ask, “Um, who are you people?”

 
 

When Leniu walked in front of the faithful, though, the Raiders faithful loved him - even if they weren’t entirely sure who he was.

“I think because I’m Polynesian and they were Polynesian they recognised me,” Leniu, who is of Samoan heritage and born in Auckland, explained.

Rugby league’s incursion into the US market is, to some, a pipedream. Yet ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys and NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo deserve credit for thinking so big.

Rugby league has toyed with playing games in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, but it amounted to nothing and was consigned to the too-hard basket.

The current NRL administration wants to dip its toe in the US wagering and broadcast markets and is taking a long-term view.

 

There has been speculation the whole exercise could cost the game $10 million – something V’landys and Abdo scoff at. “We’ll probably break even in the first year,” V’landys says.

Wisely, Abdo’s team has partnered with the Raiders, NFL, and NBA in putting the event together.

Before the match, he gave Raiders president Sandra Douglass Morgan a Kangaroos jumper and she gave him a Raiders jersey with his name on the back. He’ll need a few more squats if he’s to realise his lifelong dream of becoming a linebacker.

 

Spencer Leniu was a hit with the Las Vegas Raiders’ faithful.

Spencer Leniu was a hit with the Las Vegas Raiders’ faithful.CREDIT:NRL PHOTOS

“The Raiders have been fantastic to work with,” Abdo said. “They haven’t seen us as the opposition at all – they’ve wanted to build a relationship. We have a long-term strategy around this fixture.”

 

Ticket sales are tracking well. Nearly 20,000 have been sold but Douglass Morgan has assured Abdo that Vegas is a city of walk-up starters to events. The NRL has privately set itself a target of 40,000 in a stadium that has a capacity of 65,000.

Standing on the field before the match, a couple of things struck me.

Concerns about fitting a rugby league configuration on an NFL ground aren’t as serious as some have suggested. The playing surface will be four metres narrower than it normally is, but the sidelines won’t be hard up against the fence line. Wingers won’t be sliding into walls chasing kicks into the corners.

There are fears about serious injuries because the match is being played on a foreign surface but there shouldn’t be: Allegiant Stadium’s field is all grass, not synthetic nor even partly synthetic.

“That’s a win,” Walters said, before adding cheekily: “I wouldn’t say it’s as good as Suncorp.”

 

Allegiant Stadium will host Super Bowl on February 11, giving the NRL three weeks for the surface to recover and painted logos to grow out.

“And if they haven’t, we’ll paint it green,” Abdo said.

 

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo.

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo.CREDIT:NRL PHOTOS

The roof — and, more specifically, the speakers hanging from the roof — feel much lower than when you are watching on TV or in the stands.

Minnesota punter Ryan Wright launched several towering spiral kicks during the warm-up, coming within metres of the speakers. It made you wonder what would happen if Matt Burton or Nathan Cleary played at this venue with their hellacious bombs that nudge the stratosphere.

 

“Adam Reynolds’ little legs couldn’t get the ball that high,” Walters said. “But Cleary and Burton could. That’s probably why the NRL hasn’t brought them over – they’ll get scouted [by NRL teams] straight away.”

Whether this wishful foray into the US market will be a success is the great unknown. The US is sport’s mecca. Walk into a sports bar here and people are glued to NBA, NFL, UFC, college sport, Major League Soccer — there doesn’t appear to be much room for anything else, even if the NRL seeks a toenail in the market.

But there wasn’t much love for the Raiders after they lost 3-0 in what keen NFL judges were calling “the worst game ever played”.

Wait until they see the greatest game of all, baby.

The author travelled to Las Vegas courtesy of the NRL.

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3 hours ago, The Rocket said:

Interesting article from one of League`s harshest critic sometimes.

NRL 2024: NRL stars and officials travel to Las Vegas to promote season-opening double header (smh.com.au)

5 min
 

Las Vegas: “The Black Hole” is the Las Vegas Raiders’ infamous group of hardcore fans who occupy the pocket near the tunnel and the end zone.

Since 1995, they have been the most notorious sub-section of the league’s most notorious fanbase, dressing up in menacing clobber and destroying visiting players and fans with venomous vitriol.

 

Spencer Leniu at Allegiant Stadium.

Spencer Leniu at Allegiant Stadium.CREDIT:NRL PHOTOS

But, on Sunday afternoon, rugby league melted their hearts. They had nothing but love for this strange game from a strange land and, in particular, Roosters weapon Spencer Leniu.

“Hey uce!” yelled one fan as Leniu walked by before the Raiders’ match against Minnesota Vikings. “I used to play rugby!” yelled another as Leniu posed for selfies and shook hands.

 

The NRL has rolled into Las Vegas this week to promote the season-opening double-header at Allegiant Stadium here in March.

Before, during and after the Raiders match, the NRL was given the type of publicity it cannot buy and will most certainly need if it’s to live the American Dream.

The double-header was publicised regularly on the big screen throughout the match while Leniu, Manly’s Aaron Woods, Souths’ Campbell Graham and the Broncos’ Billy Walters did interviews with US sports network Fox Sports before the match and at half-time.

Earlier, they had posed for a photo outside the stadium before kick-off, prompting one Raiders fan to poke his nose in and innocently ask, “Um, who are you people?”

 
 

When Leniu walked in front of the faithful, though, the Raiders faithful loved him - even if they weren’t entirely sure who he was.

“I think because I’m Polynesian and they were Polynesian they recognised me,” Leniu, who is of Samoan heritage and born in Auckland, explained.

Rugby league’s incursion into the US market is, to some, a pipedream. Yet ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys and NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo deserve credit for thinking so big.

Rugby league has toyed with playing games in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, but it amounted to nothing and was consigned to the too-hard basket.

The current NRL administration wants to dip its toe in the US wagering and broadcast markets and is taking a long-term view.

 

There has been speculation the whole exercise could cost the game $10 million – something V’landys and Abdo scoff at. “We’ll probably break even in the first year,” V’landys says.

Wisely, Abdo’s team has partnered with the Raiders, NFL, and NBA in putting the event together.

Before the match, he gave Raiders president Sandra Douglass Morgan a Kangaroos jumper and she gave him a Raiders jersey with his name on the back. He’ll need a few more squats if he’s to realise his lifelong dream of becoming a linebacker.

 

Spencer Leniu was a hit with the Las Vegas Raiders’ faithful.

Spencer Leniu was a hit with the Las Vegas Raiders’ faithful.CREDIT:NRL PHOTOS

“The Raiders have been fantastic to work with,” Abdo said. “They haven’t seen us as the opposition at all – they’ve wanted to build a relationship. We have a long-term strategy around this fixture.”

 

Ticket sales are tracking well. Nearly 20,000 have been sold but Douglass Morgan has assured Abdo that Vegas is a city of walk-up starters to events. The NRL has privately set itself a target of 40,000 in a stadium that has a capacity of 65,000.

Standing on the field before the match, a couple of things struck me.

Concerns about fitting a rugby league configuration on an NFL ground aren’t as serious as some have suggested. The playing surface will be four metres narrower than it normally is, but the sidelines won’t be hard up against the fence line. Wingers won’t be sliding into walls chasing kicks into the corners.

There are fears about serious injuries because the match is being played on a foreign surface but there shouldn’t be: Allegiant Stadium’s field is all grass, not synthetic nor even partly synthetic.

“That’s a win,” Walters said, before adding cheekily: “I wouldn’t say it’s as good as Suncorp.”

 

Allegiant Stadium will host Super Bowl on February 11, giving the NRL three weeks for the surface to recover and painted logos to grow out.

“And if they haven’t, we’ll paint it green,” Abdo said.

 

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo.

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo.CREDIT:NRL PHOTOS

The roof — and, more specifically, the speakers hanging from the roof — feel much lower than when you are watching on TV or in the stands.

Minnesota punter Ryan Wright launched several towering spiral kicks during the warm-up, coming within metres of the speakers. It made you wonder what would happen if Matt Burton or Nathan Cleary played at this venue with their hellacious bombs that nudge the stratosphere.

 

“Adam Reynolds’ little legs couldn’t get the ball that high,” Walters said. “But Cleary and Burton could. That’s probably why the NRL hasn’t brought them over – they’ll get scouted [by NRL teams] straight away.”

Whether this wishful foray into the US market will be a success is the great unknown. The US is sport’s mecca. Walk into a sports bar here and people are glued to NBA, NFL, UFC, college sport, Major League Soccer — there doesn’t appear to be much room for anything else, even if the NRL seeks a toenail in the market.

But there wasn’t much love for the Raiders after they lost 3-0 in what keen NFL judges were calling “the worst game ever played”.

Wait until they see the greatest game of all, baby.

The author travelled to Las Vegas courtesy of the NRL.

I think the last sentence explains why this harsh League critic isn’t as disparaging as usual.

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5 hours ago, The Rocket said:
6 hours ago, Damien said:

The clip though does show the issues with trying to promote a sport with the name Rugby in it, particularly when people are just referring it to Rugby and leaving the League part out. To all intents and purposes that may as well be about RU.

Yeah I was disappointed that Woods or Graham didn`t pick the interviewer up on that, would have been so easy to politely correct her.

No it wouldn't have been.

The problem with the name Rugby League is that all it really means is rugby with leagues, because 100 or so years ago when the name came into use Union was the rugby without leagues.  Thus there's never been anything in the name to convey the idea of it being a different sport clearly.

In a way they did try to correct her, referring to "a Rugby League 'scrum'" in reply to her question about that gridiron push play and rugby scrums.  The distinction went right over her head, because when she hears Rugby League all that means to her is a league of rugby.

So if these matches do anything to boost interest in the US, RU is more likely to benefit from that than RL.

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50 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

No it wouldn't have been.

The problem with the name Rugby League is that all it really means is rugby with leagues, because 100 or so years ago when the name came into use Union was the rugby without leagues.  Thus there's never been anything in the name to convey the idea of it being a different sport clearly.

In a way they did try to correct her, referring to "a Rugby League 'scrum'" in reply to her question about that gridiron push play and rugby scrums.  The distinction went right over her head, because when she hears Rugby League all that means to her is a league of rugby.

So if these matches do anything to boost interest in the US, RU is more likely to benefit from that than RL.

Until they watch RU and are very confused as to why it doesn't resemble what they saw in Vegas. Quite a few of the similarities RL shares with the NFL, RU don't have. i.e, 6 tackles/4 downs.

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6 hours ago, The Rocket said:

Yeah I was disappointed that Woods or Graham didn`t pick the interviewer up on that, would have been so easy to politely correct her.

He did state 'Rugby League' in a response to one of the reporter's statements (about the 'tush push' move) but I think it'd be a pretty tough task to correct her politely and then have to explain what he means / the difference between the two in a 2-minute segment.

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31 minutes ago, Click said:

Until they watch RU and are very confused as to why it doesn't resemble what they saw in Vegas. Quite a few of the similarities RL shares with the NFL, RU don't have. i.e, 6 tackles/4 downs.

RU does too, now that their rucks have morphed into a different type of offensive play because they're uncontested.  And they're slower too, so they'll be easier for North Americans who grew up with gridiron to follow.

That combined with RU being a bigger and richer sport will give it the advantage. 

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39 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

RU does too, now that their rucks have morphed into a different type of offensive play because they're uncontested.  And they're slower too, so they'll be easier for North Americans who grew up with gridiron to follow.

That combined with RU being a bigger and richer sport will give it the advantage. 

RU is in the middle of another delightful cycle of failure in the US and Canada. 

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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3 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

It is yes, but people still think of that when they think of "Rugby"

I am not disputing that. I would dispute that they are in a better position to take advantage of whatever tiny advantages are there from the Vegas game as they have failed quite spectacularly time and again in North America.

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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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2 hours ago, Big Picture said:

RU does too, now that their rucks have morphed into a different type of offensive play because they're uncontested.  And they're slower too, so they'll be easier for North Americans who grew up with gridiron to follow.

That combined with RU being a bigger and richer sport will give it the advantage. 

I honestly don’t think Americans would stand for RU. The application of the laws is too arbitrary/incomprehensible and the ball is buried under bodies out of sight too often. It’s an often dreadful spectacle.

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40 minutes ago, Coggo said:

I honestly don’t think Americans would stand for RU. The application of the laws is too arbitrary/incomprehensible and the ball is buried under bodies out of sight too often. It’s an often dreadful spectacle.

I agree with you there, it's ridiculously complicated and with their defenses up close teams struggle to advance the ball too.  That could bore newbies silly.

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There are fears about serious injuries because the match is being played on a foreign surface but there shouldn’t be: Allegiant Stadium’s field is all grass, not synthetic nor even partly synthetic.

I went on the stadium tour earlier this year. The guide said that only the raiders play on the grass pitch. All other users play on an artificial pitch. That pitch is completely different to those like Widnes'. It's like walking on the softest, thickest luxury carpet.

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5 hours ago, Big Picture said:

No it wouldn't have been.

The problem with the name Rugby League is that all it really means is rugby with leagues, because 100 or so years ago when the name came into use Union was the rugby without leagues.  Thus there's never been anything in the name to convey the idea of it being a different sport clearly.

In a way they did try to correct her, referring to "a Rugby League 'scrum'" in reply to her question about that gridiron push play and rugby scrums.  The distinction went right over her head, because when she hears Rugby League all that means to her is a league of rugby.

So if these matches do anything to boost interest in the US, RU is more likely to benefit from that than RL.

Couple of pages back you were doubting the ticket sales and saying Americans will have no interest in an "obscure" sport they`ve never heard of, now union is going to get any kudo`s if this Vegas thing comes off, I don`t know why you bother coming on here, man you`re a miserable negative piece of work.

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13 hours ago, Damien said:

 

 

Got to love a Rugby League forward eulogising about a scrum because it is the most iconic part of the sport of 'rugby'.

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

"If someone doesn't value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove that they should value it? If someone doesn't value logic, what logical argument could you provide to show the importance of logic?" — Sam Harris

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