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Super Rugby finally attracts super crowds

Roar Guru
17th May, 2010
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2171 Reads

As the 2010 tournament draws to a close, I thought I would take the time to reflect on what has been an incredibly engaging tournament filled with, at times, scintillating running rugby.

The general feeling is that rugby has made a move in the right direction, but has it?

So to get a feel for things, I have pulled together the various crowd figures from the round play for some analysis and revealed some interesting things.

Firstly, overall number of bums on seats was an astonishing 1,832,867 at an average of 20,141 per game. If that is not an indication of a sport that’s in rude health I don’t know what is.

Country records and breakdowns (Including high and low range games):

South African total 856,930 (46%) at 25,967 per game
v NZ 337,440 at 25,956 per game:
High: Saders 80,429 at 40,214. Low: Blues 42,142 at 14,047
v OZ 229,999 at 22,999 per game:
High: Brumbies 69,936 at 34,968. Low: Force 36, 876 at 12,292
v SA 289,491 at 28,949 per game
High: Sharks 74,387 at 37,193.Low: Lions 34,938 at 17,649

Australian total 513,852 (28%) at 19,763 per game.
v NZ 195,624 at 19,562 per game
High: Canes 46,317 at 23,158. Low: Chiefs 33,217 at 16,608
v OZ 132,878 at 22,146 per game
High: Brumbies 57,539 at 28,769. Low: Reds 18,023 at 18,023
v SA 185,350 at 18,535 per game
High: Stormers 47,437 at 23,718. Low: Cheetahs 29,633 at 14,816

New Zealand total 462,085 (25%) at 14,440 per game.
v NZ total 164,060 at 16,406 per game
High: Saders 38,048 at 19,024. Low Blues 29,700 at 14,850
v Oz total 140,087 at 14,008 per game
High: Brumbies 44,000 at 22,000. Low: Force 32,680 at 10,893
v SA total 157,938 at 13,161 per game
High: Bulls 30,600 at 15,300. Low: Cheetahs 23,856 at 11,928

As expected, the local derby games raised more interest than overseas teams. Not too much in the preferences for games against SANZAR partners, but then, that would depend on the local stadium size.

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Team records:
Team most supported: Stormers 296, 674 at 42,382 per game.
Team least supported: Highlanders 35,060 at 5,843 per game.
Most attended game: 50,000 for the Bulls v Sharks at Loftus.
Least attended game: 3,527 for the Lions v Blues at Ellis park (I’m also sure this counted the cleaning, vending and security staff).
Most watched away team: Brumbies 171,475 at 28,579 per game.
Most unwatched away team: Force 89,572 at 12,796 per game.

So here it, the Super 14 supporter log:
Stormers – 7 at home. Total: 296,674. Average: 42,382. Stadium: 83%
Bulls – 7 at home. Total: 240,035. Average: 34,290. Stadium: 66%
Sharks – 6 at home. Total: 152,002. Average: 25, 333. Stadium: 46%
Tahs – 6 at home. Total: 145, 227. Average: 24, 204. Stadium: 59%
Reds – 7 at home. Total: 159,707. Average: 22,815. Stadium 43%
Saders – 7 at home. Total: 150,068. Average: 21,438. Stadium: 59%
Blues – 6 at home. Total: 106, 400. Average: 17,733. Stadium: 29% *
Force – 6 at home. Total: 102, 121. Average: 17,020. Stadium 83%
Brumbies – 7 at home. Total: 106,797. Average: 15,256. Stadium 62%
Canes – 6 at home. Total: 89,157. Average: 14,859. Stadium 43%
Cheetahs – 7 at home. Total: 101,384. Average: 14,483. Stadium: 32%
Chiefs – 7 at home. Total: 81,400. Average: 11,628. Stadium 42%
Lions – 6 at home. Total: 66835. Average: 11,139. Stadium 19%
Highlanders – 6 at home. Total: 35,060. Average: 5,843. Stadium 29%

* not aware of reduced capacity seating numbers.

Look at the capacity utilised and you can get an appreciation for the, at times, vast rows of empty seating in games which are actually reasonably attended.

For instance, the average crowd at the ME stadium in Perth would disappear at Eden Park.

Speaking of the Force, despite being one of the most unloved teams away, they attract a near capacity crowd on average.

Overall, though, it would seem crowds and interest are up from previous years. This is probably in large part to the return of an attack orientated game and the resurgence of the Reds on the back of it.

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