The AFL grows, but at what cost?

J.Schanssema Roar Rookie

By J.Schanssema, J.Schanssema is a Roar Rookie

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    The financial health of our beloved sporting code has never been better. Record crowd attendances, TV audiences, memberships and a bumper TV rights deal.

    But there has been a negative side effect to the way the AFL has managed and built the game: the loss of club culture.

    Club culture has been slowly eroded over the last 25 years as the top brass in the AFL has reshaped and remodelled our clubs’ identities.

    We have seen it all before in American and European sporting codes and leagues. We have seen the way money has changed the representation and essence of sporting clubs to resemble something more of a brand or a fashion label.

    Barcelona FC, The Los Angeles Lakers, Manchester United. All these powerhouse sporting clubs have the same hallmarks of universal branding, marketing and the creation of an icon. But for all the bravado, show pony and elitism that these clubs ooze, there is still something that keeps these clubs a club.

    Their home ground.

    As massive as the Manchester United brand has become, each time we tune into them playing a home game at the “Theatre of Dreams” with their loyal members, we are reminded that this iconic sporting label is still a football club at its heart.

    The club pays homage to its sons of old and past glories every time the players step onto the famous turf. For all the politics, the buyouts, the multi-million dollar deals, the Red Devils still do their dirty work at their old happy hunting ground in front their fan-base.

    The LA Lakers still get to step onto the famous checkered floor of Boston Garden to play their old rivals. The Yankees host the Mets and the Bulls visit Madison Square Garden. In our own city, the home of AFL footy, the Melbourne Heart and Melbourne Victory, with barely 10 years history between them, enjoy a cross town rivalry between their two respective home grounds.

    But in the AFL, Essendon, a 141-year old club with the most premierships in AFL history plays its home games in a 12-year-old ‘multi purpose’ stadium in a suburb known as Docklands.

    The ground is shared between four other rival clubs, including arch rival Carlton.

    To the east, the most supported club in the league, Collingwood, has its training facility in East Melbourne which is branded the Westpac centre.

    The club’s spiritual home, Vic Park, has been almost completely bulldozed.

    When you rob a sporting club of its home ground, you take away a part of who and what that club is.

    The AFL has moved with great haste to create a professional, state-of-the-art round robin competition, using famous, fiercely supported and proud football clubs as its springboard.

    We travel to the multi-purpose stadium with its roof closed to watch a sport played outdoors at every other venue.

    We turn on Friday night footy wondering which is the home team. We see a game switched to an alternate venue which is the ‘home’ ground for the away team.

    The R.S Reynolds and Allan Hird stands have been replaced at Essendon home games with a makeshift placard at the multi purpose stadium saying Lloyd End and Fletcher End. Which in itself, is a mockery of the actual names given to each end, Lockett and Coventry.

    We debate away-strips and clash guernseys with such passion and gusto, but barely a cursory mention is made of the demise of Windy Hill, Victoria Park, Princess Park, or even Waverley.

    In this day and age, where the almighty dollar rules all, we need to be careful just how far we want to make this sport about money, and not about passion.

    When you focus on branding and marketing, you expand the club as a viable entity. But when its home is lost, a large piece of what that club is goes with it.

    Now I’m not saying we should build 10 Etihad Stadiums. God forbid.

    But instead of spending $460 million back in 2000 to build ES, we could have invested $100 million dollars or so at four or five suburban grounds. We could have invested the money back in the clubs. \

    Instead we put all our eggs into one odd, awkward multi-purpose basket where clubs share tenancy like a boarding house.

    Imagine Collingwood being able to host Port, North, St Kilda and the interstate clubs for true home games at a 45,000 seat capacity Vic Park, or Essendon doing similar at Windy Hill and Carlton at Princess Park.

    Imagine a league where gate receipts were returned to the clubs in their entirety, instead of being divided up among the corporates and the AFL honchos.

    Imagine giving the Victorian clubs the opportunity for a bit more business sense and control of their destiny, the likes of which Geelong are currently pioneering through their investment and home matches at Kardinia Park.

    Imagine wrestling some of that unnecessary financial control off the AFL through the tenancy stadium system, as well as its crude drip feed of payouts to the smaller clubs subject to their terms and conditions.

    Imagine a league where Essendon and Collingwood get to enjoy a home ground of their own, the way the Greater Western Sydney Giants (est 2011) and the Gold Coast Suns (est 2009) get to have one.

    Progress is inevitable, but even the European and American hob knobs of sport knew not to mess with a clubs spiritual home and playing arena.

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    The Crowd Says (136)

    • January 12th 2013 @ 3:32am
      Johnno said | January 12th 2013 @ 3:32am | ! Report

      A nice article and a touching article. Yes history is a fascinating subject, but it doesn’t mean in real life we should re-live history.
      More we look back at history with bad memories, and fond memories. But to be honest we must evolve. I am not a traditionalist, have not been that way for a long time. I think tradition gets iin the way of progress, most of the time. All traditions start at some point, and they all end at some point , nothing lasts forever.

      And does one really want to live in the past, the history of the past.

      Does AFL really want to go back to playing at little windy hill, the western oval, the junction oval, Waverley.

      Does it want average meat pies at the footy by today’s standard’s, or gourmet pies.

      Does it want broken, and unsanitary toilets, does it not want indoor stadiums, to keep the Melbourne cold and wind, and rain out.

      I love Docklands, build 10 i say i wouldn’t care i love modern indoor stadiums, that are warm, and you never have to face the elements of the slightest bit of bad weather, how inconvientant. I hardly ever go to sydney sports events, because of the bad weather in sydney in winter, to cold and windy at night, forget it, and same in Melbourne, i feel sorry for the Europeans what they have to put up with. If more indoor stadiums were built in OZ, and in sydney, i wouldn’t be a couch potato. A typical sydneysider , i don’t like bad weather of any nature, or hassles to get to stadiums, or to find a car park.

      Docklands and the MCG you just catch a train, and you sit in a nice comforting stadium. If the MCG ever got a roof that would be the icing on the cake. I love indoor stadiums, the best way to watch sport, no bad weather at all.

      So if there are diehards, or should i say dinosaurs out there who would in the AFL prefer to watch matches, at windy hill, junction oval, western oval, waverley, princess park, vitroia park, go right ahead, your in the minority.

      Enjoy your uncool, not ultra modern toilets, your canteen , rather than your yuppie kiosk we enjoy today, enjoy your frozen avaegre pie, while i will enjoy my gourmet waygu beef pie, and my latte, over instant coffee, and a barley warm pie. Also having to sit on a hill, or a wooden seat, or a rusty old grandstand, go and enjoy that, and a non electronic scoreboard, or a crappy electronic scoreboard.

      Modernisation should be embraced at every hurdle, and commercialisation, it is the best way to be, and the one that makes the most money. Frankly i look at the old stadiums with fond memory, but feel embarrassed as a rugby league fan, in 2012 some are still being used.

      I hope the NRL push right ahead with the 2 stadia policy. i went out to leiechardt oval last year, and brookvale last year. and i can tell you what it was not a fun experience. Waiting in queues for the toilet, average old toilets, having to stand or sit on slaggy grass, that stained my clothes, the crammed in feeling, people crammed in too much, the average kiosk options, the lack of parking and , difficulty in getting too the match.

      I went to the Allianz stadium in sydney last year to watch a few league and union games, and loved the corporate box, the delicious gourmet food, the upmarket nice beverages, the excellent toilet facilities, the excellent customer service , it was a pleasure to attend.

      Enjoy your windy hills, or your western ovals, or your moraines, or your redfern ovals, or belmore ovals, or lidcombe oval, or brookvale oval, or leichardht oval, and i will enjoy docklands, MCG, Allianz, modern SCG, , each to there own.

      But i love the AFL ‘s 2 stadia policy, easy public transport, and all the modern trappings of Dockland’s and the MCG, and so do the majority of fans, enjoy this and the commercialisation of pro sport, it makes it a far better brand and product and entertainment package, which is what it is all about, a brand and the complete entertainment package.

      Like a plasma tv, or digital, or blue-ray, once you start, you don’t want to go back to analogue, or non digital hi-defintion tv.

      It’s all about KPI’s to modern pro sport, and so it should be, and the AFL is doing a good job achieving many of it’s KPI’S, and growing the band, it’s a brand now in my opinion and I enjoy that , love the commercialisation and modernisation of the AFL.

      I mean do most fans really want to go back in time in the past, and attend some of the stadiums i said, and all the non modern things you’d get at these suburban grounds. Well not me anyway, progress must always come first, just like economic rationalisation must come first in pro sport , if it is to flourish, and reach KPI’s. You have to have a modern outlook and the AFL is doing that very well, good luck to the AFL , I love the modern 2 stadiums in Melbourne, keep it going , it’s a good viewing experience .

      And the NRL is looking at doing this, too, which i support for the reasons given.

      • Roar Guru

        January 12th 2013 @ 5:00am
        peeeko said | January 12th 2013 @ 5:00am | ! Report

        gee Johnno, your opening reply is normally longer than most of the articles?

        • January 12th 2013 @ 9:17am
          c said | January 12th 2013 @ 9:17am | ! Report

          thats funny what did he say exactly

      • January 12th 2013 @ 10:15am
        Blinky47 said | January 12th 2013 @ 10:15am | ! Report

        I know I’ll probably be howled down but I’d take the discomfort just to be able to get that “feel ” of the game again. For me me it’s gone, I used to go to every home game, knew all the teams, players and so on. Now I don’t go and I hardly watch the games on television anymore. I realise there has to be progress and yes the game is much faster, more skilled and people prefer their comforts and so on but the price we had to pay for it was to high as far as I’m concerned.

        • January 12th 2013 @ 10:23am
          Brewski said | January 12th 2013 @ 10:23am | ! Report

          Don’t think you will be howled down at all, and to a certain degree i agree with your post, however, my guess is that that “feel” you got, was as a kid, the same sort of feel, that a kid may get now at Etihad, the MCG, Subi etc .

          Age has a habit of bringing cynicism and thinking about the good old days, not sure whether this applys to you, but …….

          • January 12th 2013 @ 11:41am
            Blinky47 said | January 12th 2013 @ 11:41am | ! Report

            I”d love to be able to agree with you about the age bit, it’d make me a fair bit younger,however I was 14 when I came to Australia from England and thought I was playing Rugby in my first game. It didn’t take long too learn the difference and starting to love the game. I consider my self fortunate to have known the game in the time span that I did, however as you point out it doesn’t mean that the kids today don’t have the same feeling for the game.

      • January 13th 2013 @ 6:18pm
        Floreat Pica said | January 13th 2013 @ 6:18pm | ! Report

        Sorry Johnno, I’d much rather a four-n-twenty full of horse and a chance to kick the pill post siren on the field any day. If that makes me a dinosaur at 34 then great. Much cooler being an ancient Auroch wild and furious than some pacified dairy cow hooked up to produce the lite milk used to froth your ‘yuppie latte’ at bland-town ethiad. I went to a few of the matches at vic park- the sort of atmosphere where the crowd is always most hostile than the weather means people don’t mind being out in the elements appreciating the contest being played in the same. Reading your post I felt if you’re rating the coffee and ‘gourmet’ pies on serve now you must be easily impressed..

        • January 14th 2013 @ 5:02pm
          David Heidelberg said | January 14th 2013 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

          Beautiful.

      • January 16th 2013 @ 12:53am
        peter care said | January 16th 2013 @ 12:53am | ! Report

        In other words, does the AFL want to abandon women and families? No. Let’s face facts, the reason why the AFL is the most successful sporting code in this country, is because they have managed to attract women in droves to the grounds and as TV viewers. That’s why they demand and get premium TV deals.

    • Roar Guru

      January 12th 2013 @ 4:22am
      The_Wookie said | January 12th 2013 @ 4:22am | ! Report

      Just quickly. The AFL didnt spend 450 million on Etihad. It was privately bult with a very minor financial contribution from the AFL which was paid out of the sale of the rather unpopular Waverly Park. You know the complaints NRL fans make of going to Homebush with its lack of central transport? That would be Waverly today.

      Currently, Melbournes entire sporting structure is based around the MCG and Docklands precincts. This centralisation policy has beniffetted soccer (etihad and Aami Park) Cricket (Etihad and the MCG), tennis (Melbourne Park) and even Commonwealth Games.

      Theres plenty of public transport to both venues and still plenty of parking at both venues as well. The to stadium policy lessens the amont of money required by clubs for stadium improvement…imagine if instead of just Geelong holding out its hand for stadium improvement funds, tht there were 10 other clubs in Melbourne doing the sme thing. It would be financially iresponsible of us and the government would rightfuly refuse leaving us in the same position as NRL clubs with ricety old stadiums dotting the sydney landscape.

    • January 12th 2013 @ 6:19am
      Yank Paul said | January 12th 2013 @ 6:19am | ! Report

      Uhhhhh, you need to do some research, bub. Of all the major professional sports teams in America, only a couple of hockey teams – the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild – play in their original home stadium/arena/ballpark. And for those three, it’s only because they are recent expansion teams. The Boston Red Sox? Fenway Park is the third ballpark that they called “home”. The Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field? Sorry, they played in four other ballparks prior to the building of Wrigley Field. And those are the oldest stadiums/ballparks/arenas in the U.S. Even your citing of Madison Square Gardens is flawed, as MSG has been rebuilt twice.

      • January 16th 2013 @ 8:11am
        J Schanssema said | January 16th 2013 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        Sorry bud, i think you missed the point. The debate was not about maintaining tenancy at the clubs original ground. (Essendon didnt start playing at windy hill until the 1940’s). The point was robbing clubs of home grounds (whether that be newer or older grounds, refurbished or not). As opposed to a tenanted arrangement where the ground is not there own and is shared amongst their rivals.

    • January 12th 2013 @ 8:17am
      Football United said | January 12th 2013 @ 8:17am | ! Report

      i hate how every team plays out of two grounds. it feels so fake and commercial. Going to vic park made me feel attached to my team, it was our ground and it gave us identity.

      • January 12th 2013 @ 10:03am
        Brewski said | January 12th 2013 @ 10:03am | ! Report

        I would disagree that Vic Park has been bulldozed, ( according to the author) it has actually been done up, with the Johnson st side opened up, where the standing room terraces were,

        Collingwoods reserve team plays there, but with the parking issues around the ground, it is unrealistic to be able to use this ground more than a couple times a year for a AFL game, and the cost outways the benifit, and i imagine this scenario applys to many of Melbournes suburban grounds.

        If you are not interested in the AFL, so be it, there are plenty of second teir comps that may satisfy your grass roots feel for thr game.

    • January 12th 2013 @ 8:41am
      Titus said | January 12th 2013 @ 8:41am | ! Report

      Absolutely spot on but will go completely unacknowledged by the AFL fans as they are too busy counting crowds and members to the cause.

      People should check out Being Liverpool to get an idea of what football clubs and football culture should be like and all of it is built around your homeground.

      • January 12th 2013 @ 9:00am
        MV Dave said | January 12th 2013 @ 9:00am | ! Report

        So glad the EPL didn’t go down this path and all the teams have their own grounds. They could have used Wembley to host bigger matches in London and given those teams a huge boost in attendances ala MCG. Geez even Liverpool and Everton refuse to build a new 60,000 and share it…their supporters prefer to have their own grounds.

        • Roar Guru

          January 12th 2013 @ 10:34am
          The_Wookie said | January 12th 2013 @ 10:34am | ! Report

          We could have let AFL clubs go down this path and be hundreds of millions of dollars in debt as well. We could have gone the private ownership route and completely alienate our fans with every other decision we make at board level. Im a Liverpool fan.

          • January 12th 2013 @ 10:49am
            MV Dave said | January 12th 2013 @ 10:49am | ! Report

            Not sure that the refurbishing or building of new grounds is the main reason clubs go into debt…more so the huge salaries to players and the transfer fees. A home ground should be a gold mine ala Arsenal with clubs keeping all the money generated on match day.
            The AFL made a mistake in at the very least, not keeping an upgraded Princess Park with a 25,000 capacity.

            • Roar Guru

              January 12th 2013 @ 2:50pm
              The_Wookie said | January 12th 2013 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

              on that we can agree

    • January 12th 2013 @ 8:48am
      MV Dave said | January 12th 2013 @ 8:48am | ! Report

      “Record crowd attendances?” The AFL attendances have dropped 15% in the last 2 years…otherwise carry on.

      • Roar Guru

        January 12th 2013 @ 10:27am
        The_Wookie said | January 12th 2013 @ 10:27am | ! Report

        AVERAGE AFl attendances were down 14.6%. OVERALL however attendance were only down 3% (over 2 years). Cherry pick whatever stats suit you like as per usual though dear.

        The average was always expected to drop with the inclusion of two new teams outside the traditional AFL areas, any reasonable fan expected it. The AFL expected it. Overall attendance at AFL matches actually was an all time record last year for that matter. Tthe drop this year can be at least partially explained by poor performances from traditionally high drawing clubs like Carlton, Essendon and Richmond. This is reflected in the 7.5% drop in Victorian crowds over the last year..

        Having EVERY match shown live against the gate on Foxtel and even Free to Air wll have had an effect as well.

        • January 12th 2013 @ 10:33am
          MV Dave said | January 12th 2013 @ 10:33am | ! Report

          So the AFL added 22 games over 2 seasons and actually lost nearly 400,000 off the total attendances…over to you honey.
          BTW pretty sure you and others were saying that total attendances would grow with 2 new teams and more games which is fair enough but now a little reality check for the hubris, that’s all.

          • January 12th 2013 @ 10:49am
            deebhoy said | January 12th 2013 @ 10:49am | ! Report

            mv dave

            you really wanna believe that australian football and the AFL is dying and its only a matter of time till the a league is the number one sporting comp in oz dont ya mate

            keep dreaming

            • January 12th 2013 @ 10:52am
              c said | January 12th 2013 @ 10:52am | ! Report

              never say never 🙂

            • January 12th 2013 @ 10:59am
              MV Dave said | January 12th 2013 @ 10:59am | ! Report

              Yeh right fan boy…just highlight the statements l have made to that effect? Have played, been a member and watched 7 GFs live…probably tops your involvement.
              Just keeping a check on the hubris…

              • January 12th 2013 @ 11:01am
                Brewski said | January 12th 2013 @ 11:01am | ! Report

                Keeping a check on your own hubris would be a great start, before commenting on others.

                Your the new poor mans fuusball really, with all your involvement in AF.

              • January 12th 2013 @ 12:17pm
                deebhoy said | January 12th 2013 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

                mv dave

                fair enough mate,no i havent been to 7 gf’s because i support melbourne and were not very good but ive been a member all my life and i go everyweek so i like to think i know a bit about the game

                why is it then that you like fussball like to bag the game so much when atleast at some stage in your life you loved the game?

                by the way i dont mind people bagging the game,this aint the soccer page we can handle criticism here

                i have to agree with you about keeping princes park tho

              • January 12th 2013 @ 12:58pm
                Brewski said | January 12th 2013 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

                @ Deeboy, good post, i think everyone that has been a player, fan, adminstrator etc all have legitimate grievances with the AFL and their decisions, no question in my mind, I know i have, in their quest to speed up the game and eliminate packs, the AFL have actually done the opposite, to my great annoyance, and that is just the start !!.

                But the key here for mine is legitimate, legitmate fans etc , legitmate grievances, legitimate points, not just people like MV dave who sink the boot in at the first oppurtunity for their own perculiar satisfactions.

                Standing by for ….. everyone is against soc-cah, the AFL destroyed our WC bid, the media hates us, flares are good etc etc etc .

          • Roar Guru

            January 12th 2013 @ 10:50am
            The_Wookie said | January 12th 2013 @ 10:50am | ! Report

            which still doesnt change the point that the average was always expected to go down with the introduction of new clubs. It doesnt change the point that AFL attendances as specifically cited were up last year overall – regardless of the addition of games.

            IIf its a prolonged slump then it becomes an issue. The overall drop in attendances is a concern if it becomes a trend instead of a one off that it currently is. The average crowds less so as they were anticipated when the new teams were introduced.

            For the time being the AFL can i guess just be comfortable with having attendances which still are higher (on average and total by the way) than the Aleague. NRL and Australian Super Rugby put together. We may also have to live with being the 4th best drawing sporting league on the planet.. Poor us.

            http://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/afl-premiership/afl-boasts-fourth-biggest-crowds-out-of-all-professional-sporting-leagues-on-the-planet-in-2012/story-e6frf3e3-1226548082315

            • January 12th 2013 @ 10:59am
              Brewski said | January 12th 2013 @ 10:59am | ! Report

              I seem to recall reading that when the VFL introduced Footscray, North Melbourne in 1924 (?) that average attendances dropped, but built up again over the years, maybe the same with Central Districts in SA ( look at them now)

              Pretty sure that attendances will rise again, seems natural for new clubs in non AF states who struggle to win a game, to generate big crowds.

            • January 12th 2013 @ 11:06am
              MV Dave said | January 12th 2013 @ 11:06am | ! Report

              Fair enough but l dispute your claim that AFL average attendances are higher than HAL, NRL and Super Rugby combined…
              The fact that the slump in attendances has barely been mentioned by the AFL media in Melbourne ( as opposed to death riding other sports in similar situations) is an indicator there are some concerns…next season may well tell a story.

              • January 12th 2013 @ 11:33am
                Brewski said | January 12th 2013 @ 11:33am | ! Report

                Another nonsense, it has been widely reported, and whats more it was widely anticipated, any drop in attendance or negative report associated with the AFL is grist for your mill, and your little fingers can’t type fast enough, the hubris is all yours.

                With stadiums being redeveloped in Sydney and Geelong, and new ones in Perth and Adelaide, the AFL it would seem, is actually setting itself up for a increase in attendance in the coming years.

              • January 12th 2013 @ 11:48am
                MV Dave said | January 12th 2013 @ 11:48am | ! Report

                “The characteristic of excessive confidence or arrogance”…hubris. Perfect fit for the AFL and its media.

              • January 12th 2013 @ 12:11pm
                Brewski said | January 12th 2013 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

                “The characteristic of excessive confidence or arrogance”…

                And yet, you fail to see the irony, look at your own posts.

                Your a classic case of shooting oneself with his own gun.

              • Roar Guru

                January 12th 2013 @ 3:58pm
                The_Wookie said | January 12th 2013 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

                You can dispute it, so heres the figures for 2012

                NRL – 3,486,494 @ 17,346 (201 matches))
                HAL – 1,536,231 @ 10,819 (142 matches, 2011-2012 finals inclusive)
                ARU – 773,940 @ 19,348 (40 matches 2012 Super rugby season, australian matches only)
                sourced: stats.reague.om. ultimatealeague.com, espnscrum.com

                combined: 5,796,665 @ 15,417 (376 matches)

                Ill throw in NSW v QLD state of origin and the victorys one off game v Olympiacos

                Origin – 191568 @ 63856 (3 matches)
                Victory friendly – 16,879
                NRL Indigenous all stars – 26,039

                total comes to 6,031,151 @ 15,830 (381 matches)

                Lets throw in test matches and internationals.

                ARU – 325,685 @ 40,711 (8 matches includes Welsh and scottish tour)
                NRL – 26,497 @ 26,497 (1 match v New Zealand)
                FFA – 64,403 @ 32,202 (2 matche, 2 world cup qualifiers
                City v Country – 8,621

                Total comes to 6,456,357 @ 16,428 (393 matches)
                AFL – 6,778,824 @ 32,748 (207 matches)
                difference: AFL by 322,467

                The defence rests, your honour.

              • January 14th 2013 @ 2:09pm
                Australian Rules said | January 14th 2013 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

                It takes a bit of time and effort to post those figures Wookie.

                Given it was MV Dave who questioned combined attendance figures (because he doesn’t happen to like Australian Football), one might think he would put his hand up and say: “ok, I got that one wrong”.

                Won’t hold my breath.

              • January 14th 2013 @ 4:44pm
                MV Dave said | January 14th 2013 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

                Thanks Wookie for the effort of posting those figures but l still dispute the combined average figure…it comes back to your definition of combined…you have combined the aggregates, which l already agreed would be bigger for AFL, to come up with your figure. I would add the 11,000 HAL plus 17,000 NRL plus 19,000 SR averages together which are obviously higher than AFLs 32,000.
                Keep breathing AR…

              • Roar Guru

                January 14th 2013 @ 5:29pm
                The_Wookie said | January 14th 2013 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

                I can see how youd think that, and I understand the point MV Dave, in essence we’re both right in part.

            • January 13th 2013 @ 12:38pm
              Harry said | January 13th 2013 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

              The AFL having the fourth best average crowd in world sport is a great point Wookie. It actually proves how pathetic the yanks are as sports followers. Their NFL has the best average attendance of 67,591 whilst the AFL’s average is 32,748. The difference is that the NFL has 315 million first choice fans whilst the AFL only has roughly 11 million. For the NFL to match the AFL in crowds, per fan base, they would need to get an average crowd of 937,784 per game. Their crowds are an absolute joke, totally pathetic !

              • January 13th 2013 @ 2:46pm
                Bondy said | January 13th 2013 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

                Good point Harry,nobody does it like afl its amazing,and the 11 million figure would be roughly correct.

              • Roar Guru

                January 15th 2013 @ 10:11am
                peeeko said | January 15th 2013 @ 10:11am | ! Report

                Ever heard of college football ?

              • January 15th 2013 @ 2:26pm
                Bayman said | January 15th 2013 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

                Harry,

                To be fair, there is such a thing as stadium capacity. I’m not sure there are too many stadiums into which you could cram 937,784 people. Or even just 937,000.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 16th 2013 @ 4:52pm
                Wilson Flatley said | January 16th 2013 @ 4:52pm | ! Report

                Packers games are booked out seasons in advance sometimes… If they could physically build a 300,000 person stadium in the US, i’m sure they would fill it quite regularly; which cannot be said for any Australian sport.

        • January 12th 2013 @ 10:35am
          Brewski said | January 12th 2013 @ 10:35am | ! Report

          Pulled up on another thread for the exact same thing, clearly as issue for the boyo.

          • January 12th 2013 @ 10:40am
            MV Dave said | January 12th 2013 @ 10:40am | ! Report

            As was said on the other thread just keeping the stats honest…a no spin zone so to speak.

            • January 12th 2013 @ 10:54am
              Brewski said | January 12th 2013 @ 10:54am | ! Report

              Yep, and on your track form and impartiality, your that man ….right ?.

              • January 12th 2013 @ 11:01am
                MV Dave said | January 12th 2013 @ 11:01am | ! Report

                Just refer to me as the O’Reilly (Fox news) of AFL…no spin zone. 😉

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