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57,000 tickets sold to Swans, NRL final

By Rob Forsaith,

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54 Have your say

    Ticket sales for ANZ Stadium’s cross-code finals bonanza slowed on Thursday, as the AFL aimed to draw a record crowd to Friday night’s preliminary final at the venue.

    On Thursday night, the AFL said 57,000 tickets had been sold to the Swans’ clash with Collingwood.

    An NRL spokesperson said the league had moved the exact same number to Saturday night’s grand-final playoff between Canterbury and South Sydney.

    The biggest crowd for any AFL game outside of Victoria is 72,393, which attended the round 21 fixture between the Swans and Magpies in 2003.

    “It is (a different venue when a big crowd turns up),” Swans coach John Longmire said on Thursday.

    “It’s fantastic to be able to have that sort of crowd out there … it’s a great opportunity for the players to play in front of a big crowd.”

    The updated figures show 3000 tickets were sold on Thursday to the AFL fixture – and only 6000 NRL tickets were moved on the same day.

    Regardless, the two finals are set to be the western Sydney venue’s biggest weekend of sport since the 2000 Olympics.

    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 (54)

    • Roar Guru

      September 21st 2012 @ 8:12am
      Redb said | September 21st 2012 @ 8:12am | ! Report

      Whatever the crowd it will be 55,000 plus and that’s a far cry from the lowpoint of 19,000 who watched the Swans in the rain in the 2008 elim. Since then the Swans pulled 41,000 against Carlton so I guess the much trumpeted ‘end of AFL in Sydney 19,000’ was never a reliable barometer anyway.

      A monster crowd with two big tribes gives Sydneysiders a glimpse of the blockbuster type atmosphere we regularly experience at the MCG. Awesome.

      • September 21st 2012 @ 9:55am
        oikee said | September 21st 2012 @ 9:55am | ! Report

        🙂 i dont think you have to worry about Sydneysiders and atmosphere Redb, they attend internationals world cups and the biggest atmosphere in Australain sport, Origin.
        You should watch a couple of superleague games you want to experience passion and atmosphere. Nobody beats the poms, nobody. 🙂
        Their culture of the singing as one voice is like angels in heaven. Something to experience before you meet the guy upstairs.
        You will get to hear it next year, the lions on tour.
        The Snowman made number 1 for good reason. Voices like choir boys.

    • September 21st 2012 @ 8:15am
      Phelpsy said | September 21st 2012 @ 8:15am | ! Report

      I would say 57 000 is already a win for the afl. Could you imagine a nrl final the same in Adelaide , Melbourne, or Perth. The fact they are even seen as a competitor is a win for afl in Sydney ! The fact they are anywhere near the crowd a nrl crowd may get is amazing . Even more so that it gets all this print and air time. Score 1 afl me thinks . Also , go storm !! That’s a win for nrl 🙂

    • September 21st 2012 @ 8:23am
      Anthony said | September 21st 2012 @ 8:23am | ! Report

      Phelpsy – you are on the mark there. This scenario (let alone the code war rhetoric that goes with it) would not happen in Melbourne, Adelaide & Perth. The question is: Is it because it is NRL or is it because it is Sydney?

      • September 21st 2012 @ 8:45am
        Billo Boy said | September 21st 2012 @ 8:45am | ! Report

        I agree Anthony but most Sydneysiders will tell you that what the media says or chooses to make a story isn’t necessarily what Sydneysiders are thinking especially when it comes to rugby league. More likely it is what some media organisations think is a good way to pick up readers or clicks.

        As the Roar story above says the AFL outdrew the NRL in Sydney n 2006 by a massive 33% and the world didn’t shift on its axis as a result.

        The real story is that offered by Craig Bellamy today in the Australian where he points out that NRL fans haven’t got the same desire or habit to attend games as AFL fans. Doesn’t mean NRL fans are less passaionate supporters, it just means they are different about how they support their team. In league attendance isn’t proof of how passionate you are about your club. In AFL it is.

        All it proves is not that Sydney and Melbourne are different nor that one code has a better game to watch than the other, but that AFL and NRL fans are different.

        • September 21st 2012 @ 9:05am
          Brewski said | September 21st 2012 @ 9:05am | ! Report

          I would say that if the average NRL fan, does not have the same desire to attend games, and support there team, then they ARE less passionate supporters.

          There is no other way to interpret this.

          Sydney is the center, and the protaganist of the code war, for one very simple reason, they do not match the passion of the general AFL fan, and have a chip on their shoulder.

          • September 21st 2012 @ 6:56pm
            Punter said | September 21st 2012 @ 6:56pm | ! Report

            “Sydney is the center, and the protagonist of the code war, for one very simple reason, they do not match the passion of the general AFL fan, and have a chip on their shoulder.”

            Why is then that when I talk to football fans done in Melbourne who care little for AFL, generally have a greater dislike for AFL than NRL. Yet the football fan in Sydney who also care little for NRL, generally also have a greater dislike for AFL than NRL.
            Protagonist maybe?
            Channel 7 mistreating football
            SEN no longer calling football games in AFL off season
            WC bid
            Need I go on? I think most can see who is the code war protagonist.
            BTW, very jealous of your crowds!!!!

            • September 21st 2012 @ 7:12pm
              Breezy said | September 21st 2012 @ 7:12pm | ! Report

              Simple reason for the dislike Punter. It’s jealousy. Fans of other codes hate the AFL for their take no prisoners attitude. Hate it, but deep down they admire it.

              • September 21st 2012 @ 10:46pm
                Punter said | September 21st 2012 @ 10:46pm | ! Report

                Hate is such a horrible word, to hate you have to care!!!!

        • September 21st 2012 @ 9:06am
          Australian Rules said | September 21st 2012 @ 9:06am | ! Report

          Good comment Billo.

          Though I disagree with one point. Without trying to be provocative, I think NRL fans ARE less passionate about their team…or maybe there’s just less of them than what there are for AFL clubs.

          Crowds and memberships are the 2 clear indicators of fan support. Watching on telly may demonstrate interest, or habit – but not passion.

          • September 21st 2012 @ 9:29am
            Brewski said | September 21st 2012 @ 9:29am | ! Report

            You can get pretty passionate watching on tele, but as wat says going to all the effort and cost of attending games is a measure of passion.

        • September 21st 2012 @ 9:14am
          Wat said | September 21st 2012 @ 9:14am | ! Report

          Pull the other one. It’s obvious that going to all the effort and cost of attending games is a measure of passion. How much inconvenience you have to go through is a direct measure of how much you care. If your kid was playing, would you be at the ground or show your love by staying home at watching them on TV?

        • Roar Guru

          September 21st 2012 @ 9:45am
          Redb said | September 21st 2012 @ 9:45am | ! Report

          Im biased but AFL is by far the better game live .

          • September 21st 2012 @ 10:08am
            Tiger said | September 21st 2012 @ 10:08am | ! Report

            Yes you are biased! Have you ever been to a rugby league game?

            • Roar Guru

              September 21st 2012 @ 10:38am
              Redb said | September 21st 2012 @ 10:38am | ! Report


          • September 21st 2012 @ 1:13pm
            Pot Stirrer said | September 21st 2012 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

            Only AFL fans think that.

            • September 21st 2012 @ 3:05pm
              micka said | September 21st 2012 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

              Only fans of other codes disagree… And seeing as AR fans turn up in far greater numbers it would stand to reason that more peopel who attend live games are of the opinion that AR is a superior game to watch live…

              As they say, the proof is in the pudding.

              • September 21st 2012 @ 3:30pm
                Rough Conduct said | September 21st 2012 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

                The proof is that after 150 years, no one outside certain parts of Australia could give a stuff about the sport. It is a dog’s breakfast, simply awful to watch live or on tv, the popularity is a cultural thing – that is it.

              • September 21st 2012 @ 3:35pm
                Breezy said | September 21st 2012 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

                Who doesn’t give a stuff about the game? This week must have been tough for guys like you. You must have been preying for rain in Sydney. I’m sure you have been monitoring the ticket sales, and each 10,000 sold would have been like a kick in the guts.

              • September 21st 2012 @ 3:58pm
                Rough Conduct said | September 21st 2012 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

                Um….the rest of the world, and the majority of two of the biggest states in Australia! I couldn’t care less about the crowd that the Swans get, good on them if they get a good crowd, nor am I a Sydneysider or RL fan! I just cannot stand the AFL hubris, you actually believe your own hype, it is a big incestuous cycle of hype driven from the Melbourne media, Channel 7 and AFL HQ, then eagerly lapped up by the subordinate AFL punters. You are all telling each other how good you all are, completely oblivious to the fact that no one outside “AFL World”, could possible care less about the sport.

              • September 21st 2012 @ 4:11pm
                TC said | September 21st 2012 @ 4:11pm | ! Report


                I am always fond of saying: why lower ourselves to the standards of the rest of the world?

                Let us lift them to our standard.


              • September 21st 2012 @ 4:28pm
                Phelpsy said | September 21st 2012 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

                “majority of two biggest states” which ones are you referring here to – Victoria and NSW or W.A and QLD??

                Remember the Barrisi line and gold Coast has a decent AFL following too.

              • September 21st 2012 @ 5:21pm
                Rough Conduct said | September 21st 2012 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

                TC, how’s that plan going? Long term vision I suppose?

              • September 21st 2012 @ 5:23pm
                Breezy said | September 21st 2012 @ 5:23pm | ! Report

                TC – I bet you’re a Union fan then. I was in the Gold Coast last weekend, and the head of Rugby Union was practically begging people to turn up to see the Wallabies play Argentina. They ended up getting 22k, and this was after they hadn’t had a test for about 4 years. RL might be king up north, but footy holds its own against all others.

              • September 21st 2012 @ 5:25pm
                Rough Conduct said | September 21st 2012 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

                “Two OF the biggest states”, as in two of the three biggest (most populous) states, you know NSW and QLD? We all clear now?

              • September 21st 2012 @ 6:03pm
                Rough Conduct said | September 21st 2012 @ 6:03pm | ! Report

                Breezy, you honestly think that Rugby people gauge the legitimacy of their sport by crowd numbers? You obviously know nothing about the sport, test Rugby in front of 22 people let alone 22K is stll a more meaningful contest than the suburbs of Melbourne or the other contrived organisations battling it out in ‘our’ folk game, no matter the crowd.

              • September 21st 2012 @ 6:18pm
                Australian Rules said | September 21st 2012 @ 6:18pm | ! Report

                In theory you’re right RC – international Tests *should* have more meaning behind them…

                But in this case, “meaning” might be literally in the eye of the beholder.

                The ratings for the Aus v Arg game were woeful and 22k is a very small crowd for a Test. Arguably, the Haw v Coll final (albeit just a provincial “folk” game) actaully *meant* more to the majority of people, given it drew a crowd of 90,000 and had over 1.5M viewers.

                Horses for courses.

              • September 21st 2012 @ 6:19pm
                Breezy said | September 21st 2012 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

                Rough Conduct – you can think that if you want but you are only lying to yourself. Interesting that fans of RL, Union and soccer always say that the crowds don’t matter, but as soon as they get a decent one, you can’t stop them crowing about it.

              • September 21st 2012 @ 6:34pm
                Punter said | September 21st 2012 @ 6:34pm | ! Report

                RC, don’t you understand it’s attendances & that is how we tell which the best sport, it’s Friday night, difficult for interstate travellers, the cost is twice as much, why does AFL get such big crowds!!!

              • September 21st 2012 @ 6:36pm
                Punter said | September 21st 2012 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

                Breezy, of course, we crow about it, but we don’t go about telling everyone we have the best game because we pulled a large crowd.

              • September 21st 2012 @ 7:00pm
                Breezy said | September 21st 2012 @ 7:00pm | ! Report

                Punter – that’s because you struggle to pull in a big crowd regularly. Your game is played all over the world, but there are probably only half a dozen countries that manage decent crowds.

              • September 21st 2012 @ 10:45pm
                Punter said | September 21st 2012 @ 10:45pm | ! Report

                Breezy, that may be the case, but it’s 5 more than AFL. This is the issue with an int’l sport, we all just want to see the best. However, whenever the best do travel, the crowds come do come out to watch in all the countries, Australia included.

    • September 21st 2012 @ 9:52am
      TC said | September 21st 2012 @ 9:52am | ! Report

      The most incredible thing about this story for me is that the record remains a home and away game back in 2003 – two years BEFORE the Swans won the flag.

      To be honest, nine years on, we should be expecting the same two teams to get near that crowd for a preliminary final.

      Having said all that – the price of the tickets still blows me away.


      • September 21st 2012 @ 10:05am
        Brewski said | September 21st 2012 @ 10:05am | ! Report

        The price of a H&A ticket, is affordable for pretty well everyone, indeed membership is even cheaper.

        I thought this game would struggle at 40,000, but i think the AFL has the Sydney theatre goer pegged, but i also think the AFL has gouged the real fans in this instance.

        Having said that, the price of a H&A membership is very good, and the amount of adults that slip through on adult tickets etc, would be IMO quite large, and the AFL do not really Police this.

    • September 21st 2012 @ 10:10am
      Tiger said | September 21st 2012 @ 10:10am | ! Report

      Let’s not forget the swans had their lowest average crowds in a decade and didn’t fill the reduced capacity scg once this year! Their tv ratings are pretty much non existent as well! It shows that sydneysiders don’t mind jumping on a bandwagon!

      • Roar Guru

        September 21st 2012 @ 10:39am
        Redb said | September 21st 2012 @ 10:39am | ! Report

        Incorrect. The Hawks game for one completely sold out.

    • September 21st 2012 @ 10:39am
      Peter said | September 21st 2012 @ 10:39am | ! Report

      That is wrong. Sydney vs Hawthorn was a sellout.

      The stands were packed!!

      Dont let the truth get in the way of a good story though…

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