NRL’s push to increase attendances in 2018

Simon Douch Roar Guru

By , Simon Douch is a Roar Guru

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    The NRL has announced there will be four double-header games in the first ten rounds of the 2018 season.

    The games will be held across four cities with 11 clubs participating and will look to bolster crowd numbers after a 1.9 percent drop in 2017.

    The South Sydney Rabbitohs will host the New Zealand Warriors before the Canterbury Bulldogs play the reigning premiers the Melbourne Storm in the season opener in Perth.

    In the third round, the Rabbitohs and Manly Sea Eagles play at ANZ Stadium ahead of Parramatta Eels and Cronulla Sharks.

    Next, on April 7 in round five, the Wests Tigers play the Storm and the Warriors host North Queensland Cowboys at Mt Smart Stadium.

    The final double-header is scheduled for Round 10, where Melbourne play again, against Gold Coast, before Manly takes on Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.

    Although the NRL has scheduled double-headers before, it will be the first time that there has been four in a single season and, the first time Sydney has hosted the spectacle since 2008.

    NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said the double-headers would create an exciting element of next season’s schedule, especially for the fans.

    “We will have double-headers in four major cities – three in Australia and one in New Zealand,” Mr Greenberg said.

    “This is a huge step for the game and I’d like to thank the Clubs involved for their efforts to embrace the concept and ensure the matches eventuated.”

    “We have had significant success with double-headers at Suncorp Stadium in recent seasons and this is a natural progression.”

    44,000 fans watched the same double-header fixture this year, and the NRL is keen to replicate the crowd numbers in the three other cities.

    “It will create more blockbuster events for our fans in 2018.”