Another record year for Super crowds
The Chiefs perform the Haka after their win against the Sharks in the Super Rugby grand final (Image: AFP / Marty Melville)
This is a follow up piece to my previous article on the 2011 Super Rugby (SR) crowds.
Unlike last season, which was the inaugural ‘conference’ system, it was quite hard to compare the 2011 to 2010 seasons.
But now we have completed our second season of the conference system. But the question is, does the conference system work on increasing public interest?
The verdict is in, and the answer is yes. The conference system does work. Again we have record crowds this season.
At the end of the Super Rugby 2012 regular season:
Total Crowds = 2,575,158
Total matches = 120
Average = 21,460
Compared to last season’s crowds, this is an increase of seven percent.
At the end of Super Rugby 2012 finals:
Total Crowds = 2,725,929 (an increase of ~5.86%!)
Total Matches = 125
Average = 21,807
So compared to last season, this is again an increase of close to six percent.
Now the list of teams and their crowd averages and whether they have increased or decreased from last season:
Blues – 17,555 (up)
Crusaders – 17,250 (up)
Canes – 14,364 (up)
Chiefs – 17,632 (up by more than double)
Highlands – 16,655 (up)
Waratahs – 20,937 (up)
Brumbies – 14,419 (up)
Force – 13,255 (down)
Rebels – 13,914 (down)
Reds – 34,480 (up)
Lions – 23,589 (up)
Stormers – 42,671 (up)
Bulls – 33,562 (up)
Sharks – 23,984 (up)
Cheetah – 20,266 (up)
So of the 15 teams, only three decreased from last year’s figures, two from the Australian conference and one from the South African conference.
The reasons for the Australian conference decreases are easy enough to me. They need to start getting results on field, especially the Force.
They seem to have a very loyal fan-base who have stuck with them all these years even though the team struggles, let’s hope next season will see things turn around.
At this rate of growth, by the next TV deal in 2015, I would like each conference to have six teams.
Before I finish this article, a very big thank you to the respective franchises’ admin staff who all helped me in putting these figures together.
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