2015 Asian Cup faces crowded marketplace

By Guy Hand,

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    Local organisers say the 2015 Asian Cup football tournament can be a ticket sales success despite being held during one of the busiest periods in Australian sport.

    The Asian Cup finals from January 9 to 31 that year will go head-to-head with the Australian Open tennis, a planned Test cricket series against India, and the domestic Twenty20 competition.

    Australia is also set to host the 2015 cricket World Cup after the Asian Cup finishes – perhaps starting as soon as a fortnight after the football final.

    While Socceroos matches are virtually guaranteed to sell out, other group games in the 16-nation tournament face intense competition to attract fans and interest.

    But Asian Cup local organising committee chief executive Michael Brown is confident the tournament to be held in Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland and Canberra can cut through early 2015’s crowded sporting landscape.

    “It’s a busy year. We’ve got a T20, we’ve got a cricket World Cup, but the example I use is the (Sydney) Olympics – we all went, I can’t remember what I saw, but I had a great time,” Brown said.

    “Mobilising communities to come for the event, rather than the game … people will go if there’s an experience to be had.

    “There are people who are passionate football supporters, we’ve got to appeal to them.

    “But there are those who will come because it’s an event.”

    The Socceroos will be in one of four groups in the 16-team finals tournament, and will play one group match each in Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland.

    The tournament’s opening match will be held in Melbourne, with the semi-finals and final to be played in Sydney.

    Stadium deals are still being finalised.

    In Sydney, ANZ Stadium, Allianz Stadium and Parramatta Stadium are being considered; Melbourne matches could be played at Etihad Stadium or AAMI Park, while Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Skilled Park at the Gold Coast and Canberra Stadium are all options.

    Brown believes the tournament will bring unprecedented business opportunities for Australia, with two of our four biggest trading partners – Japan and South Korea – already guaranteed a place.

    Australia’s biggest trading partner, China, would appear a safe bet to qualify through the group stages.

    Selling games between lower-profile Asian nations is perhaps the committee’s biggest challenge – Brown saying being “creative” is the way forward.

    He has earmarked tapping into Australia’s overseas-born communities of participating nations, and ideas such as gold coin donations for entry to some matches, as ways to build support.

    Organisers say more than 45,000 international visitors are expected for the tournament.

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    The Crowd Says (78)

    • May 8th 2012 @ 7:17am
      Bondy said | May 8th 2012 @ 7:17am | ! Report

      I would have thought its almost a quite period in Australian sport when we host the Asian Championships in 2015 imagine if it was hosted during the winter .

      What is an acceptable crowd when the U.A.Emirates. plays Syria on a Wednesday night in Sydney at the Allianz ! Nobodys ever explained what crowd expectations are, we’ve never hosted the event,how about we run an effective tournament as best as Australians can host a major event and see what happens, why are we obsessed with crowds in this country .I watched India vs South Korea in front of 4-6,000 in Qatar why is that ok,are we expecting houses full signs when Nrth Korea plays Iran I’m not ,I dont believe the tournament will be all doom and gloom as has been written by Guy and should have solid to strong attendances for games that include the likes of an Iran or an Iraq and south east asian nations such as Thailand ‘when we played Thailand in Canberra last year there were more Thais there than Australian spectators’ .

      Ask yourself this when is the opportune time to promote your sport or club in this country its incredibly difficult no matter what season or event / tournament your involved in, do people believe right now that the Adelaide Crows get enough market exposure in Sydney or does Canberra rugby get enough market exposure in Perth right now, how many people in Adelaide now know the ins and outs of the Gold Coast Titans in the N.R.L. there is no market winner in Australian sports everything smothers every other sport at some stage.

      Blackurn Rovers have just been relegated from the E.P.L. a foundation club of English Football, the first club to beat Man Utd to a modern domestic league title and one of only four football clubs to win the modern E.P.L. and have experienced eleven years in the E.P.L. former club of National team players Bret Emerton and Lucas Neil, thank you for the memories Blackburn .

      • Roar Guru

        May 8th 2012 @ 8:36am
        The Cattery said | May 8th 2012 @ 8:36am | ! Report

        I agree with that first sentence, I too would have thought that January is more quiet than the middle of Winter.

        Tennis and BBL? I honestly doubt that will keep fans away from the Asian Cup. By that I mean that there would be plenty of space for all three.

        The odd game might struggle to worry the turnstiles, relatively speaking, but I’m confident most games will be very well attended.

        When the event starts, the interest will be there and it will snowball from there – no point trying to envisage interest levels now, three years before the event.

        • May 8th 2012 @ 9:12am
          Kasey said | May 8th 2012 @ 9:12am | ! Report

          I still think this will be a success and a nice fillip for the game. Summer is not wall to wall sport like winter is, there will be a lot of people looking for something to do, even if its just in front of the TV. The fact that the Socceroos haven’t won it yet shows that even though these are not European nations and thus ‘ worthy’ football nations in the mind of the football illiterate, it isn’t a cake walk. AFC2015 will be just as successful as the Olympic football tournament in 2000 and it will be a great ‘coming out party’ for Australia to present itself to Asia.

        • May 8th 2012 @ 9:23am
          Brad said | May 8th 2012 @ 9:23am | ! Report

          Do you consider V8 supercars to be a genuine sport .

          • Roar Guru

            May 8th 2012 @ 9:46am
            The Cattery said | May 8th 2012 @ 9:46am | ! Report

            Huh? Why bring that up? Is it conflicting with the Asian Cup as well? Even so, I just don’t see it as a problem. The Asian cup has multiple games spread over many days and weeks across different locations.

      • May 9th 2012 @ 3:17pm
        Alberto Rosso said | May 9th 2012 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

        To a certain extent the benchmark was set by the 2003 RWC when the crowds were, IMHO, phenomenal . I mean like 35k at the SFS for Ireland v Namibia on a wet Sunday night in winter or 33k at Adelaide Oval for Aus v Namibia to watch what were always going to be floggings.

        I can’t imagine that the AC crowds will be anything like that.

    • May 8th 2012 @ 8:22am
      Lucan said | May 8th 2012 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      Melbourne got good enough crowds (albeit in the cavernous MCG) for the non-Australian games at the 2000 Olympics. I’d expect 10k per match down here at bubbledome if the price points are right.
      On top of the “gold coin” idea the organisers should be looking to sell city/stadium tickets also.

      While we’re at it, how many are Cricket Australia expecting to attend Holland v Kenya on a Tuesday at the Cricket World Cup a fortnight later?

      ** Has it been confirmed is Sydney getting both semi finals + final?

    • May 8th 2012 @ 8:25am
      nordster said | May 8th 2012 @ 8:25am | ! Report

      To put it in a different perspective, this Asian Cup in Australia has a lot of potential in comparison to other nations that have hosted it. While the travel may put off some visitors from o/s, it will attract others especially in summer. And then there’s the folks from the many communities from AFC nations that make their home here now. I think it’ll do very well as a tournament and AFC will rightly be optimistic along with the local organising committee.

      What detractors may forget is that this is a tournament for all football lovers across the region, not just for theatre/event watchers here. Its success won’t come down to what the lowest drawing crowd figure for one game or another might be.

      a good summary from Michael Lynch also …
      Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/sport/soccer/multicultural-appeal-for-asian-cup-20120507-1y93i.html#ixzz1uDpPSSuX

    • May 8th 2012 @ 8:52am
      Lucan said | May 8th 2012 @ 8:52am | ! Report

      Sydney gets SF1 + SF2 + 3rd place playoff + Final. That’s pretty disappointing.

      • May 8th 2012 @ 9:21am
        Kasey said | May 8th 2012 @ 9:21am | ! Report

        Where would Melbourne Host one of the marquee games? AAMI is only 33k, MCG is out during cricket season. Docklands maybe? Perhaps the NSW govt chased it hard? that’s right out of the Victorian playbook.
        Playing the denouement in Australia’s biggest media market cutting travel times for journos etc makes sense from a perspective of trying to drive the media cycle.

        • May 8th 2012 @ 9:25am
          Lucan said | May 8th 2012 @ 9:25am | ! Report

          Melbourne is already hosting one marque game, the opener. Pretty sure that will be played at docklands.

          Docklands or Lang Park would certainly be suitable for a non-Sydney semi or 3rd place playoff.

          • May 8th 2012 @ 9:33am
            Titus said | May 8th 2012 @ 9:33am | ! Report

            I can only imagine that there is a demand from AFC that the finals are held in the same city to minimise travel. Having 4 finals matches, plus group matches, is a big ask on the Football fans in Sydney.

            • Roar Guru

              May 8th 2012 @ 11:25am
              The Bush said | May 8th 2012 @ 11:25am | ! Report

              Two words – Suncorp Stadium.

              • May 8th 2012 @ 1:33pm
                Jerome said | May 8th 2012 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

                Semis at Docklands and Lang Park, with final at Homebush. Surely that’s not too much to ask?

              • May 8th 2012 @ 1:42pm
                Lucan said | May 8th 2012 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

                Sorry Jerome, the sky would surely fall if Sydney didn’t get both semis, 3rd place playoff, final AND an Australian game in the group stage.

                Are we taking bets on which city will be the likely destination for Australia at the QF stage? πŸ˜‰

              • May 8th 2012 @ 6:46pm
                Ballymore said | May 8th 2012 @ 6:46pm | ! Report

                Brisbane Stadium*

                Clean stadia please.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 8th 2012 @ 7:12pm
        ItsCalled AussieRules said | May 8th 2012 @ 7:12pm | ! Report

        We haven’t got Demetriou’s permission to play the Asian Cup games in Melbourne, so the big games have gone to Sydney..

        Otherwise it will destroy the AFL competition’s off season and change Melbourne life forever.

        The FFA couldn’t afford the AFL’s 100 billion dollars compensation demands, if any games went ahead.

    • May 8th 2012 @ 8:57am
      super G said | May 8th 2012 @ 8:57am | ! Report

      I would go so far as to say that it will be the best attended Asian Cup in history. And it will be regardless of whether Syria v Kuwait gets only 8000 because the crowds for Australia,Korea,Japan,China,Iran,Iraq and any ASEAN team that makes it will be massive due to the expats living in OZ.

      • May 8th 2012 @ 9:58am
        Kasey said | May 8th 2012 @ 9:58am | ! Report

        Surely we can outdo Qatar:) – aggregate of 405,361 at 12,668 per match. We are a much more developed football nation than them. We also don’t lock our immigrants into compounds. The Socceroos games alone will be big IMO.
        Prior to Qatar was the 2007 tourney hosted by Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. The 4 x hosts I guess boosted the home teams attendance. 724,222 (22,632 per match)
        Not likely to beat China’s 2004 event though. 1,020,050 (31,877 per match)

        • May 8th 2012 @ 10:12am
          super G said | May 8th 2012 @ 10:12am | ! Report

          Didn’t realise China’s Asian Cup was that well attended Kasey. In that case I can see average crowds somewhere between the 22600 of the 2007 tournament and that of China ’04 but we might give it a nudge.
          Socceroo games will be sold out and if the Chinese,Koreans,Japanese show up en masse it will be a very healthy crowd average.

        • May 8th 2012 @ 10:13am
          whiskeymac said | May 8th 2012 @ 10:13am | ! Report

          “We also don’t lock our immigrants into compounds.” … thats right, we call them detention centres and off shore solutions… although there is the Fowler compound (not Robbie).

          We will have a well run tournament and I can envisage the bigger games being sold out so long as Australia is in the end part of the tournament and doesn’t suffer a shock!

          I think a lot could be learned from how the 2003 RWC was run – small teams still got support from communities. Will be interesting how it is promoted and priced. Football does have a habit of premium pricing IMO.

        • May 8th 2012 @ 10:19am
          Andyroo said | May 8th 2012 @ 10:19am | ! Report

          I’m assuming Australia will charge money for most tickets…. that’s a huge disadvantage over most other nations right there πŸ™‚

      • Roar Guru

        May 8th 2012 @ 1:15pm
        mds1970 said | May 8th 2012 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

        I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re right Super G. The Socceroos games of course will do well. For the other games, there’s enough expats in Australia to build some reasonable crowds, even if the media and “mainstream” sports fans ignore the non-Socceroos games.

    • May 8th 2012 @ 9:43am
      Nathan of Perth said | May 8th 2012 @ 9:43am | ! Report

      That is going to be an *awesome* 2015.

      • May 8th 2012 @ 10:16am
        whiskeymac said | May 8th 2012 @ 10:16am | ! Report

        have to agree. Have been looking forward ot this one ever since it was announced way back (werent we the only bidders?) especially with the talent coming through here and in Japan etc which will be “that much better” by the time it all kicks off. A good follow up I hope from the WC – which I hope we get too! it could all flow on and give a bit of a boost to the local game – i said the same in 2011 but somehow this time will be different:)

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