AFL ahead of NRL in Sydney ticket sales

By Rob Forsaith,


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    Over 100,000 tickets have been sold to ANZ Stadium’s upcoming football feast, as the Sydney venue gears up for its biggest weekend of sport since the 2000 Olympics.

    The AFL and NRL’s contest to draw a larger crowd in their respective weekend finals fixtures remains on a knife’s edge.

    Bumper crowds are expected when Sydney host Collingwood in an AFL preliminary final on Friday night before Canterbury and South Sydney meet in an NRL equivalent the following night.

    The AFL confirmed on Wednesday night that 54,000 tickets to Sydney’s home final had been sold.

    Interestingly, the figure is higher than the AFL game between Hawthorn and Adelaide at the MCG on Saturday, which has a total of 50,000 tickets sold.

    A spokesperson for the NRL said at the same point in time, the league had shifted 51,000 tickets to the ANZ Stadium showdown between the ground’s two tenants.

    The weekend’s combined attendance is set to comfortably outdo the most recent time the ground hosted back-to-back preliminary finals.

    In 2006 over 60,000 fans went to the Swans-Fremantle AFL clash and a little over 40,000 attended St George Illawarra’s NRL match against Melbourne.

    Depending on what figure the AFL delivers on Friday night, the ARL Commission will be desperate to better it the following night, particularly with many factors in their favour.

    The top priced tickets to the AFL clash ($160) are double that of the NRL ($80).

    Even the cheapest tickets to the AFL in the upper reaches of the spacious ground are twice as much ($70) than that for the 13-man game.

    Given the disparity in ticket prices, even remotely similar crowds would mean a comparatively much larger financial windfall for the AFL.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (43)

    • September 20th 2012 @ 5:06am
      Blaze said | September 20th 2012 @ 5:06am | ! Report

      This would be pretty embarrassing for the NRL… considering its IN NSW and two of NRL’s biggest rivals are playing in the 2nd biggest game of the year, where as Sydney and Collingwood are not rivals and collingwood fans will have to travel to get there

      • September 20th 2012 @ 1:51pm
        Pot Stirrer said | September 20th 2012 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

        Not really, the way the AFL play with numbers as shown in their junior participant rates in NSW i bet theres alot of fee tickets for the
        AFL to boast about as being bought.

    • September 20th 2012 @ 6:44am
      Sydney is number one said | September 20th 2012 @ 6:44am | ! Report

      Just goes to show that Sydney is the true sporting capital of Australia. Melbourne is just too insular.

      Whereas the NRL crowd will be 100% Sydneysiders the AFL will have a third of the crowd travelling from interstate. It will be a shame that the red and white in the stadium is matched by black and white but we should be welcoming all these traveling Victorians willing to shell out money into our local economy.

      • September 20th 2012 @ 7:54am
        Michael said | September 20th 2012 @ 7:54am | ! Report

        Someone sounds a bit threatened.
        You begin by saying Sydney is the sporting capital and then go on to say the AFL game will be half Victorians..
        Which is it champ?

        The fact it has taken until the preliminary finals to get a decent crowd would suggest otherwise.

      • September 20th 2012 @ 8:31am
        Brewski said | September 20th 2012 @ 8:31am | ! Report

        Melbourne is insular, but the NRL media is not, only yesterday Johnny Gibbs was begging RL fans to buy tickets to beat the AFL…!!.

    • September 20th 2012 @ 8:26am
      Brewski said | September 20th 2012 @ 8:26am | ! Report

      You would expect the NRL game to pull ahead quickly today, cheaper tickets, bigger capacity, saturday game, 2 actual tenants of the ground, Sydneys game etc etc etc.

      Absolutely amazed that the AFL game is still ahead, but at the end of the day good for sport in Sydney.

    • September 20th 2012 @ 8:35am
      TC said | September 20th 2012 @ 8:35am | ! Report

      It’s great to see Sydney people embracing the indigenous game.

      Both codes can grow and prosper.

      The Sydney sports fan is the winner.


      • September 20th 2012 @ 8:42am
        Brewski said | September 20th 2012 @ 8:42am | ! Report

        All i think these tickets sales prove, is what eveyone knows, but quite a lot of people refuse to acknowledge.

        Australian football in Sydney is around 3 to 4 times the size of RL in Melbourne, and the games imprint in the northern states around 3 to4 times the size of RL imprint in the southern states.

        This has always been the case, but the last few years has seen AF increase its growth.

        • September 20th 2012 @ 9:26am
          NF said | September 20th 2012 @ 9:26am | ! Report

          It’s only 3k difference but I expect it to shift again to the NRL today, Brewski you love to boast about how great is AFL going in the northern states considering the fact that AFL gets a better run here in QLD than in Victoria and that’s the truth. I give credit to AFL for growing there game with there strong administration something RL has never had as a result hinder the ability to grow elsewhere compared to AFL.

          AFL should count it lucky stars it never had to deal with the problems the NRL went through the fact it’s still exist is a miracle as no other code has shot itself in the foot than RL and I’m sure you agree with that Brewski.

          • September 20th 2012 @ 12:37pm
            Nathan of Perth said | September 20th 2012 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

            Next time assassinate the lead negotiators of Fox and Nine – their replacements will most likely be less competent and more malleable and you can get your money and expand the coverage at the same time! (j/k on the assassination)

        • September 20th 2012 @ 9:29am
          oikee said | September 20th 2012 @ 9:29am | ! Report

          Then you will have no reason to be alarmed when the NRL now spends a few hundred million into our push into your lovely strongholds, no reason to fear us, join us.
          You wont stop the Maroon marauders. Nobody can stop us, Sydney tried and failed misrebly.

          • September 20th 2012 @ 10:18am
            piesman2011 said | September 20th 2012 @ 10:18am | ! Report

            We welcome the NRLs money to help build our economies outside of NSW/Qld. We welcome the NRL to get our children more professional sporting oppotunities. We welcome the NRL to promote a game that will help keep our children fitter.

            • September 20th 2012 @ 10:54am
              TC said | September 20th 2012 @ 10:54am | ! Report

              Well put piesman.

              Put in the money, effort and resources and all sports are welcomed with open arms.


              • September 20th 2012 @ 11:01am
                Punter said | September 20th 2012 @ 11:01am | ! Report

                Oh how times change. I have always felt that whenever football tried to expand it’s wings in this country, you tended to look at it very negatively, cough WC bid, Del Piero cough!!! Great to see you evolving into this multi sports fan!!!

              • September 20th 2012 @ 11:30am
                TC said | September 20th 2012 @ 11:30am | ! Report

                That’s incorrect – I am supportive of the endeavours of all sports to improve their lot.

                I have a bias towards supporting Lacrosse, because it has so little, and yet has been played in this country since 1876.

                But otherwise, I want all sports to continue developing and to become prosperous.

                I may have expressed the opinion that Del Petro will not make a big difference to soccer in this country in the long run – but that’s an entirely different discussion.

                First and foremost, as a life-long soccer fan, soccer in this country has my full support.

              • September 20th 2012 @ 12:09pm
                piesman2011 said | September 20th 2012 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

                I would say with the WC bid that all Australians were behind the bid up until they were told that the domestic competitions would be told to not run for 6 weeks around which the WC would be run and that if they did run that the WC would be taking all of the grounds around Australia during those times so competitions such as the NRL and the AFL could not play at the SCG, Homebush, MCG and Edihad (leaving almost no where in melbourne to play a game).

              • September 20th 2012 @ 12:20pm
                TC said | September 20th 2012 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

                That’s correct piesman.

                A lot of goodwill was burned by the FFA in it’s all or nothing approach, and this was reflected in a decline in interest in the A-League, which was only arrested last season.


              • September 20th 2012 @ 12:32pm
                Punter said | September 20th 2012 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

                Thats better TC, showing the true colours again, like it much better that way.

        • September 20th 2012 @ 12:58pm
          Ken said | September 20th 2012 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

          No doubt AFL is further entrenched in the North than RL is in the South but your comment about it always being the case shows a lack of understanding about how divided we all were not very long ago. Growing up in the 80’s in Newcastle and Sydney we didn’t even know AFL existed, there was footy (RL) and soccer. The first time I remember learning about AFL was a driving holiday (does that still happen?) through Victoria when I was about 10 and I got into a conversation with another kid about which team we supported and it took us a while to realise we were talking about different games.

          Times have definitely changed now and the AFL is about 10 years or so ahead of the NRL in pushing out from their homelands. Although I think your ‘3-4’ times number might be a bit skewed, AFL gets decent crowds, this one is especially healthy, but test signals rate about the same on TV – it has a small but loyal following who are all pretty much at the games. That’s not really a dig though, I wish RL currently had a similar footprint in Melbourne.

          • September 20th 2012 @ 1:13pm
            Breezy said | September 20th 2012 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

            Ken – I’m sure people in Sydney knew that the AFL existed in the 80’s. Do Dr Geoffrey Edelsten and Warwick Capper ring any bells? I went up and saw Essendon play the Swans in 1986 and I’m sure there were over 30,000 there then. Because you were very young, you probably didn’t have much idea about what was going on.

    • Roar Guru

      September 20th 2012 @ 8:45am
      langou said | September 20th 2012 @ 8:45am | ! Report

      Well done Sydney sports fans. I hope both games sell out and get the exact same amount of people. I was hoping on going to the Hawthorn v Sydney and then ducking across the road to the Melbourne Storm game but scheduling has made us Melbourne fans have to pick one over the other.

      • Roar Guru

        September 20th 2012 @ 8:50am
        mds1970 said | September 20th 2012 @ 8:50am | ! Report

        No it hasn’t. The Storm game is Friday and the AFL is Saturday.

        • Roar Guru

          September 20th 2012 @ 9:18am
          langou said | September 20th 2012 @ 9:18am | ! Report

          Thanks mds1970,

          I will be going to both, you bewdy

          I don’t know what I was thinking, it clearly makes sense that if the Sydney prelim final is on Sat night than ours has to be Friday night. duh

    • September 20th 2012 @ 9:23am
      oikee said | September 20th 2012 @ 9:23am | ! Report

      The last head to head clash in Sydney, the Swans easily beat the NRL , what was it, over 60 thousand AFL fans, only 40 thousand NRL fans.
      If i was AFL, i would be very afraid, you seem to have awoken the mongels, they might even beat the AFL crowd this time, and League is a TV game.
      OMG be very careful, the masses are gathering the mongels are getting restless, the Maroon army has already penatrated the Melbourne Fortress while you slept (asleep at the wheel, or was your boss overseas again spending all the afl warchest), we breached your city with no resistence. walked in, ate your food, drank your wine and entertained your lovely women, oh-la-la, ? just between you and me, they loved us mongels, the army is gathering.

      • September 20th 2012 @ 9:28am
        Minister for Information for the Democratic People's Republic of Football said | September 20th 2012 @ 9:28am | ! Report

        I think someone should stop playing with his army soldiers in the sandpit.

        • September 20th 2012 @ 9:30am
          oikee said | September 20th 2012 @ 9:30am | ! Report

          🙂 Just dont mention the war. All is fair.