A perfect mix of suburbia and modern day for maximum attendence success

NF Roar Guru

By NF, NF is a Roar Guru

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    With all the debate about the existence of suburban grounds and there relevancy for the NRL in the future I will throw in my two cents on the issue.

    When you consider the NRL is a 100+ year competition the fact is yet to crack a 20k average attendance is a embarrassment when it is arguably the top domestic rugby competition in the world.

    With all the history, culture and rivalries of the NRL, in particular in NSW, the attendance of the code should be higher than 20k already but complacency on the fans and administration side has hindered this process for a long time.

    Rugby league fans time and time again have come up with numerous excuses as to why they won’t show up at games.

    They like to sit at home and say that rugby league is a ‘TV sport’. This mindset is toxic in regards to attendance.

    If you really care about your team you show up to the ground, not stay on the couch. There’s also the numerous excuses about geographical and transport issues which can be easily sorted through planning days in advance, thus dismissing that excuse.

    On the administration side, the clubs have been too lazy relying on poker machine money and not caring about membership and attendances. This attitude has only changed recently, when the AFL set up a team in Gold Coast and Western Sydney.

    All rugby league clubs now finally realise the benefit of membership, something they should have known decades ago.

    Now for my solution on the suburban ground issue.

    There should be a mixture of suburban grounds and modern stadiums for each of the Sydney clubs.

    All the big derbies should be played at Allianz or ANZ. Preferably, Allianz as 25,000 in Allianz looks better than 35,000 in ANZ.

    The non-rival Sydney games and out-of town games should be played at the suburban grounds, as I doubt the likes of Cowboys or Storm in Sydney would draw a big crowd.

    Through this method the derbies would get the maximum crowds and the suburban grounds would still be packed when taking on the out-of town and non-rival Sydney teams.

    Overall, it’s time to move NRL into the modern day. It will require some kicking and screaming in some circles but in the end everyone will benefit once the perfect formula is found.

    It will require action from both the fans and administration to make this work, so provided both are proactive and passionate about it, it will be a success.

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    The Crowd Says (155)

    • December 13th 2012 @ 7:35am
      oikee said | December 13th 2012 @ 7:35am | ! Report

      If rugby league is a embarressment , then most other codes are a abomination.
      I thought you said 2 cents, looks like your at least at 50cent. 🙂
      You are pretty spot on with your assessment of where the games need to be played NF.
      Mind you those big AFL stadiums with only 30 thousand in them look terrible as well. Been plenty of times that the big white elephants of Melbourne sit idle and quite on any given weekend. They rely on their collingwood carlton derbies each year.

      • Roar Guru

        December 13th 2012 @ 10:12am
        Cameron Kellett said | December 13th 2012 @ 10:12am | ! Report


        AFL 1897
        NRL 1908

        Collingwood -115 year history
        Rabbits – 104 year history

        Collingwood membership 72,688
        Rabbits membership 20,000 to 22,000

        Collingwood stadium size – 105,000 give or take
        Rabbits stadium size – 82-83,000

        What’s the problem? why are Broncos as ‘ridiculous’ as their membership base is, have the most members of 25,000?
        And when I say ‘ridiculous’ i’m referring to everyone else who is to blind to see that after only 25 years existence Broncos are already better than all other clubs and teams like roosters and rabbits have had the longest time to buildupon their history. It is quiet pathetic actuality!

        There should be no reason why the NRL can not match AFL. Fans do make excuses and administrators have done a woeful job. Engagement with fans about the importance of memberships has only been made significant within the past 5 years, AFL realised this at least 25 years ago when for the first time they dropped below an average attendance rate of 20,000 not since 1953 had this occurred. And this mad AFL state has always gotten out to support their clubs.

        Suburban grounds will affect this but these teams can not sell out these grounds on a regular basis. Move the matches the have a higher drawing for matches that will help but sorting out the issues closer to home will help more.

        And AFL does not rely on Collingwood v Carlton matches.

        I also don’t support AFL i’m just not so one eyed and going to kid myself that there aren’t issues apparent.

        • December 13th 2012 @ 10:19am
          turbodewd said | December 13th 2012 @ 10:19am | ! Report

          Victoria has a different culture to NSW. In NSW rugby culture is split in 2…youve got about 2 thirds following NRL and a third following Super Rugby. These loosely follow public v private school lines or a slightly higher socio-economic grouping follows the Super 15. Slightly lower (on average) socio-economic groupings follow NRL.

          AFL is a class-less footy code where a QC or a garbo will follow a team. But in Sydney the QC is more likely to follow rugby over rugby league.

          This is the real reason why AFL attendance and membership and revenue beats NRL. Rugby league was the ‘working man’s’ game, i.e more blue collar.

          • December 13th 2012 @ 10:42am
            NF said | December 13th 2012 @ 10:42am | ! Report

            Well based on what you said turbo it’s time for both rugby & rugby league to become class-less codes and put there pettiness aside for one. Also, sounds like another excuse too.

            • December 13th 2012 @ 11:26am
              mushi said | December 13th 2012 @ 11:26am | ! Report

              ah so rugby league just needs to change the social structure of an entire state. Why didn’t you say so, that should on take about 2 minutes right?

          • Roar Guru

            December 13th 2012 @ 10:46am
            Cameron Kellett said | December 13th 2012 @ 10:46am | ! Report

            2/3rds following Nrl and yet theWaratahs can only manage a good attendance when winning. Where do you get your information or statistics from. Or is this just an opinion based on living there?

            You’re also saying it has nothing to do with administrators, lack of engagement and because the fans are not as proper, upper class or better socio economic status? Come back to me with some facts then I’ll take you seriously and listen. Don’t make excuses for poor management and engagement with fans cause clearly upward trends are suggesting the opposite. Still have work to do though.

        • December 13th 2012 @ 11:04am
          Australian Rules said | December 13th 2012 @ 11:04am | ! Report


          It’s a bit rich to point to the Broncos 25,000 members and ask: “why can’t all Sydney clubs match it?”

          We all know the answer to that. The Broncos have an entire RL-mad city of over 2M people as its supporter base. The club actually underperforms given its massive advantages.

          • December 13th 2012 @ 11:40am
            turbodewd said | December 13th 2012 @ 11:40am | ! Report

            Sad but true. The Broncos do underperform considering the place holds 2 million!

          • Roar Guru

            December 13th 2012 @ 11:43am
            Cameron Kellett said | December 13th 2012 @ 11:43am | ! Report

            Australian Rules,

            With a 25 yearr history compared to Roosters and Rabbits 104 year history how can you even stick up for the amount of supporters/members broncos lack/have compared to these two other teams.

            Is your name Australian Rules because you follow AFL, if so then explain to me why mad AFL Victoria has:
            Collingwood 73,000 members
            Geelong 40,000
            Carlton 45,000
            Essendon 45,000
            Hawthorn 60,000

            Is it because of their history? If so then why are the Sydney NRL teams so bad?
            If it is not then you can blame it due to engagement on adminstrators part.

            Do not have a go at Broncos 25,000 membership numbers when they average 33,000, again highest in rugby league. If you are going to sit here and ridicule the Broncos for their lack of engagement with a population of 2 million then start to consider other reason why it is not to your expectation or ask yourself instead why Sydney teams have taken so long to realise what needs to be accomplished when Broncos are already doing it!

            • December 13th 2012 @ 11:50am
              NF said | December 13th 2012 @ 11:50am | ! Report


              The Broncos are under-performing they should be averaging 40k (minimum) and have over 30k members aleast when you consider all the winning success they had they should be the ultimate benchmark of the NRL. Instead of being just the benchmark, it still got tons of work to do, plus a 2nd Brisbane team should of being there decades ago and not sabotaged by the Broncos/News LTD too. As a result, of a 2nd team it should of drove both teams off field efforts up, not try and take the Crushers down which the Broncos did. Shows how selfish the Broncos are to let another league team die in Brisbane, yet gladly accepted the Reds & Lions to do what they please.

              • Roar Guru

                December 13th 2012 @ 12:01pm
                Cameron Kellett said | December 13th 2012 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

                Again you fail to address my point without considering all aspects, aspects which you all specifically choose to have a dig at Broncos. Again what about other clubs? Why ridicule the club that aids in increased viewing, increased attendance and increased popularity? I don’t see other clubs being so successful! Address the issue that you pointed out. Moving larger drawing matches like parra v bulldogs to sfs. Raising average attendance to 20k. You fail to address either of these points in response to my defence of the Broncos who are currently doing their part in averaging the required 20k and no point of moving grounds needs to be considered!

            • December 13th 2012 @ 12:16pm
              Australian Rules said | December 13th 2012 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

              I’m surprised we’re actually having this argument kellett.

              Blind Freddie can see the difference between the Broncos and any of the 9 Sydney clubs – history or not.

              Memberships are higher in AFL because 1) they’ve been around longer and are part of that sport’s culture; and 2) generally speaking, AFL fans are more passionate about their cluibs than NRL fans.

              I gave a comparison last week between the Broncos and the WCE – it’s the truest comparison you can make between the Broncs and anyone else…and on that scale, the Broncos are underperforming.

              They average 33k in a 53k stadium…for a city of 2M people – that aint that good. They should comfortably average 50k. I realise you’re a parochial Brisbane fella, but your argument lacks credibility.

              • December 13th 2012 @ 4:37pm
                Doghouse said | December 13th 2012 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

                I’m not sure if someone already said this but Oikee just throws grenades..The 2 Melbourne stadiums have 5 games at least between them each weekend as there are 10 Melbourne/Geelong teams and so maybe half play at the only home grounds. Allianz and ANZ have 4 tenants (Souths, Wests, Bulldogs, easts, anyone else and Wests only play there 4 times a year) which means those stadiums may host 2 games a weekend at best. So some stadia are used are some arent. OK the Waratahs use it once a fortnight for 7 times a year plaus finals and there may be a few Rugby tests at both but significantly undersutilised.

              • December 13th 2012 @ 7:05pm
                Nathan of Perth said | December 13th 2012 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

                That’s going to become a doubly-fascinating comparison in a few years when the new Stadium WA comes on line. Brisbane already has Suncorp which most opinion suggests is the top of all Australian rectangular fields. WA currently has Subiaco, which one South African supporter leaving after the Wallabies-Springbok test loudly proclaimed in my hearing was the worst stadium he had ever been to, which is probably a fair call to make. If it is not the worst stadium over 30k capacity in Australia, I would surely like to know its competitor.

                The attendance levels at the new stadium will be a fascinating subject come 2018.

                Of course, that is rather a distant date for now.

              • December 14th 2012 @ 1:55pm
                Australian Rules said | December 14th 2012 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

                Subi, the GABBA and Footy Park are all looking a bit tired.

                In terms of the new Perth stadium, my understanding is that is going to be ready for the 2018 AFL season – oval-shaped and seating 60,000. They’re looking at the Etihad technology in order to cater for rectangular configuration (obviously go so well for Etihad!).

              • December 14th 2012 @ 2:18pm
                Australian Rules said | December 14th 2012 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

                *obviously DIDN’T go so well for Etihad!

        • December 13th 2012 @ 1:11pm
          Renegade said | December 13th 2012 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

          We know you are a Broncos fan but seriously you can’t write this crap about the Broncos being the benchmark because they have 25’000 members.

          25’000 members in a city of 2 million = ratio of 1in every 80 people

          Add up all the members of the 9 sydney clubs and i bet you the ratio measured by population looks far more impressive than Brisbane.

          Also nobody chose to have a dig at the Broncos until you tried to Glorify their figures which should be far greater than they are.
          This is clearly a result of the administrators of the game and clubs only now catching on about the value of memberships.

        • December 13th 2012 @ 5:19pm
          oikee said | December 13th 2012 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

          Broncos can easily support 200 thousand crowds, if we felt like it, but ours is bigger than yours is not a contest we need to get into. Look, Origin supplies a crowd, (travelling) of 40 thousand Queenslanders. The Broncos have the largest, more than even Collywoods shonkey figures of 1.3 mikllion fans who would die for the Broncos,.

          The Broncos are, now get this only 27 years young. ? We have not been around that long dude, yet we are all almighty, we have London who takes our Name, the Broncos, we have America, Denver, ok maybe that is wrong, but still.
          We are rocking way, WAY above our weight, nobody messes with us, we would eat you alive.
          Brisbane and 2 million would turn on you like a greyhound rabbit. 🙂

          I said the other day, codes have state teams,(the Reds, now the lions, excuse the suns, and the Roar now that they now realise that supporting a team is hard work in Queensland.
          Queensland could easily support 5 rugby league teams, no problems whatsoever, too moorow if we had to, get that support behind any other code, go on. Start now if you like,.

          The indigenous streacth from NSW tweed, why Grweg Inglis is one of ours, to Torres straight islanders, Sam is our Captain, Aurther Beatson was our first indigenous captain.

          That is history, nobody takes that away from you.
          Is why i say, you mess with league, you mess with our whole family. We are the lava that holds queenslabnders together, weather you like it or not.

          • December 13th 2012 @ 5:25pm
            NF said | December 13th 2012 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

            ‘Broncos can easily support 200 thousand crowds’ oikee the Broncos haven’t even sellout Suncorp on a fortnightly basis yet lol. Classic oikee. When the Broncos start getting 40k minimum or even better 50k to selling out Suncorp then you talk about how great a league city Brisbane is as people such as myself, turbo & Australian Rules noted the Broncos are under-performing off the field currently.

            • December 13th 2012 @ 7:07pm
              Nathan of Perth said | December 13th 2012 @ 7:07pm | ! Report

              200k crowds? If they felt like it? I feel like there should be a drinking game going on here and that ought to have been the signal to drain our glasses!

          • December 14th 2012 @ 9:37pm
            Fitzy said | December 14th 2012 @ 9:37pm | ! Report

            Oikee…..seriously dude, change your medication, Bronco’s are not that great man, if you can’t have an appreciation of what people are saying than why comment? Their point is valid if there is 2 mil in Bris (that we accept all follow Bronos, which I doubt). Then why do they have to tell everyone they want to be the Collingwood of the NRL?. Its because NRL fans are passionate when it comes to criticising other codes, other clubs or defending RL. When it comes to putting their hands in their pockets their passion waines, (memberships and attendance bear this out!). I love RL, but the fact is the club with the highest membership in Sydney are the Swans, they also had 20+ k to all home matches, so the argument about geography, tv and rationalisation of grounds is pure rubbish. RL fans have got to stop whinging and put their money and time where their mouths are!

            • December 19th 2012 @ 4:04pm
              NF said | December 19th 2012 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

              It’s pretty pathetic that in Sydney the team with the highest membership & attendance is Swans. With due respect to the AFL Fitzy, since league is suppose to be king in NSW is should look like it but lazy league fans time & time again have let the game down. It’s a embarrassment to be honest I recall when the Lions outdrew the Broncos from 01-05 that was disgraceful too considering the Broncos had way more success than the Lions throughout there history.

              Really shows that some league fans gladly let the other codes walk right through rugby league.

        • December 13th 2012 @ 6:38pm
          Brewski said | December 13th 2012 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

          @ Kellett, if you are going to quote things Australian football, then please get the dates right, the AFL only started in 1990, the actual VFA/VFL started in 1877, and the SA league the SANFL started earlier than that.

          Collingwood was actually one of the newest VFL clubs with a birthdate of 1892, other clubs such as Carlton (1864), Essendon (1871) North Melbourne (1869) etc etc are much older, and amongst the oldest football clubs in the world.

          • Roar Guru

            December 14th 2012 @ 12:32am
            Cameron Kellett said | December 14th 2012 @ 12:32am | ! Report

            No worries brewski. I haven’t really studied much AFL, a poor effort at regurgitating information, sorry.

            • December 14th 2012 @ 10:16am
              oikee said | December 14th 2012 @ 10:16am | ! Report

              Lift your game son, you dont see me sprouting rubbish. 🙂

          • December 14th 2012 @ 9:46pm
            Fitzy said | December 14th 2012 @ 9:46pm | ! Report

            By ur lodgic then NRL is only as old as the date when NRL came into being, e.g. 1998 therefore NRL is only 14 years old as well, if we are going to split hairs! We all know their backgrounds, we also know that both AFL and NRL recognise their heritages e.g VFL-NSWRL. So ur point is really meaningless

      • December 13th 2012 @ 3:34pm
        NF said | December 13th 2012 @ 3:34pm | ! Report


        No need to deflect about the AFL, rugby league has potential to be in a better place now than years ago. It’s insane the incompetence that has held this game back for so long and stun growth for a long time. Only now, plans are in place to move this game forward for once no more in-fighting or conflict of interest this time around. Through strategic plans by the ARLC I do expect membership & attendance to finally rise where it should of been decades ago.

        For far too long, rugby league has lagged behind now it’s time for it to catch up to modern day out with the ‘dinosaurs’ as you say oikee in with the future.

        • December 13th 2012 @ 5:27pm
          oikee said | December 13th 2012 @ 5:27pm | ! Report

          Fair enough NF,.

    • December 13th 2012 @ 7:58am
      TC said | December 13th 2012 @ 7:58am | ! Report

      It’s not a bad idea to go for a more tailored mix and match approach.

      When Carlton’s home ground was decommissioned as an AFL venue, many thought it was a lost opportunity to retain a boutique sized stadium (around 32k capacity) for lower drawing games.

      I think it becomes a question of the economics of the approach. Is sufficient revenue generated to maintain so many grounds.


      • Roar Rookie

        December 13th 2012 @ 10:03am
        Chris Hardiman said | December 13th 2012 @ 10:03am | ! Report

        Do you know what the worst thing about AFL is TC and AR? The legions of dorks that religiously follow and preach about the game. Your kind are doing a disservice to your code of footy. What happens in Melbourne and AFL have nothing to do with Sydney, Rugby League, Union or Soccer. These codes have been decimated by greed and selfishness because they’re awesome. AFL does not have that problem.

        • December 13th 2012 @ 11:05am
          Australian Rules said | December 13th 2012 @ 11:05am | ! Report

          “These codes have been decimated by greed and selfishness because they’re awesome.”

          I see…

          • December 13th 2012 @ 2:17pm
            Christo the Daddyo said | December 13th 2012 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

            I don’t

        • December 13th 2012 @ 2:17pm
          TC said | December 13th 2012 @ 2:17pm | ! Report


        • Roar Guru

          December 13th 2012 @ 2:22pm
          Dogs Of War said | December 13th 2012 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

          Well said Chris.

        • December 13th 2012 @ 8:45pm
          Brewski said | December 13th 2012 @ 8:45pm | ! Report

          Wel i guess you must be mighty upset that the NRL is copying membership, independant commission and now centralising grounds, just as the AFL has done, seeing as though anything that happens in Melbourne is irrelevant to the NRL.

          • December 14th 2012 @ 7:00am
            Crosscoder said | December 14th 2012 @ 7:00am | ! Report

            But not the three strikes drug policy,nor tanking.At least we are independent on a couple of things.

        • Roar Guru

          December 14th 2012 @ 8:20am
          Redb said | December 14th 2012 @ 8:20am | ! Report

          “These codes have been decimated by greed and selfishness because they’re awesome”

          Are you 12? lol

          In an article talking about attendance I’d say awesome and crowd numbers don’t go together lad.

          • December 14th 2012 @ 8:29am
            NF said | December 14th 2012 @ 8:29am | ! Report

            Hello Redb

            Since you’re one of the many AFL roarers on this site can you give your honest opinion on how the AFL got to where it is today membership/attendance wise in comparison to the NRL. Also, what ideas would you implement if you were in charge of increasing any code’s attendance?

            • Roar Guru

              December 14th 2012 @ 12:17pm
              Redb said | December 14th 2012 @ 12:17pm | ! Report


              Heap of factors.

              Melbourne historicially has always been a sports mad city, cricket, Melb Cup, footy,etc.

              Early 1900’s was first to make Sat arvo leisure time due to strong labour movement.

              Great game live, always attracted spectators.

              Not class based, men and women from the early days attended.

              Melbourne’s own game,etc.


            • Roar Guru

              December 14th 2012 @ 12:29pm
              Redb said | December 14th 2012 @ 12:29pm | ! Report


              Missed the second part of your question.

              The NRL is headed in the right direction:

              1. Boost club membership
              2. Move to bigger stadiums for big games.
              3. Fixed schedule


              1. Too many night games for TV.
              2. Mon & Thurs night terrible.


              • December 19th 2012 @ 4:05pm
                NF said | December 19th 2012 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

                Thanks for the advice redb, Monday Night is a proven crowd killer but it brings in the ratings. I expect over time membership/attendance to increase over time with a highly proactive push something that has been missing in RL for so long it’s being reactive not proactive. All I want is for rugby league to succeed for once I’m sick of the other codes in particular rugby union getting the upper hand on league time & time again.

    • Roar Guru

      December 13th 2012 @ 8:08am
      Dogs Of War said | December 13th 2012 @ 8:08am | ! Report

      It was what the NRL have suggested they were going to do all along, with marquee games being asked to be moved from smaller venues, lets say Dragons vs Bulldogs and both are travelling well, it seems silly to limit the attendance to 19K at Kogarah when it would get 25K+ at the SFS.

      There still needs to be ground rationalisation, but it will take 10 years that to happen, as teams move those big matches to different venues and fans get used to their “match of the day” event.

      From what we see in the ARLC plan, I can see the NRL possible putting some money into Brookvale, along with NSW Govt and the local council to get that facility up to scratch, as I can see the need for a decent 25K stadium out that way, but I don’t see a lot of other Sydney teams being provided the same opportunities as that, as all have other options available.

      • December 13th 2012 @ 8:44am
        eagleJack said | December 13th 2012 @ 8:44am | ! Report

        Exactly my thoughts. The NRL have always said they will only move the “blockbusters” to the major stadiums. Suburban grounds are here to stay – atleast for the next decade or so.

    • December 13th 2012 @ 8:37am
      Australian Rules said | December 13th 2012 @ 8:37am | ! Report

      “If you really care about your team you show up to the ground, not stay on the couch. There’s also the numerous excuses about geographical and transport issues which can be easily sorted through planning days in advance, thus dismissing that excuse.”

      That’s pretty much it.

      • Roar Guru

        December 13th 2012 @ 9:25am
        Dogs Of War said | December 13th 2012 @ 9:25am | ! Report

        For season tickets though, I used to work shift work, and due to the uncertainty of when the matches would be played, I could not commit to getting season tickets, and things like 3 match passes where not available then (unless you were out of town).

        WIth the first 20 rounds locked in, it makes it easier for fans to actually review when matches are on, and plan their life around that. This will have the greatest effect on improving memberships.

        • December 13th 2012 @ 7:17pm
          Nathan of Perth said | December 13th 2012 @ 7:17pm | ! Report

          That locked in schedule was probably the single best thing to come out of the TV rights negotiations. Will be worth several million per year going to clubs in gate takings.

        • Roar Guru

          December 14th 2012 @ 8:23am
          Redb said | December 14th 2012 @ 8:23am | ! Report

          I agree a fixed schedule will help crowds – both home crowds for members and away crowds for travelling fans.

      • December 14th 2012 @ 7:16am
        Crosscoder said | December 14th 2012 @ 7:16am | ! Report

        With families on a weeknight as discussed,the answer is a simple”geographical and transport issues cannot be easily sorted out”.

        With a few mates after work in Sydney,a different ball game.

        For the very first time,I googled street view for Etihad and noted the road set up out the front and the tram lines out the front of the main entrance.Convenience plus.Ditto the G with direct rail.That is eons ahead of what Sydney has infrastructure wise.

        The only way to match that in Sydney would be to have a stadium at Darling Harbour.or rail passing in front of the SFS.

        I note with interest that Cronulla has one of the highest number of walk up crowds in the NRL.The influence of locality does have a major impact.

        Fans care about their teams,they tend to put families first.That is my attitude,and defy anyone to suggest I lack passion for my club or code.

        The mix IMO has to be those that currently utilise ANZ and SFS continue to do so.Those big ticket events at either of these two venues,but care taken to ensure that a crowd at these venues will be far less than a local venue.viz a viz Cronulla v St george.

    • December 13th 2012 @ 8:45am
      B.A Sports said | December 13th 2012 @ 8:45am | ! Report

      I don’t see in the correlation in your rationale for poor crowds and the solution of mixed suburban and stadia fixtures for club matches.

      If the culture is “its a TV sport”, how will moving a game to a different venue change that mindset?

      I don’t like the idea of mixing up venues anymore than I like what teams do now. All it is doing is diluting the identity of the clubs and making it even harder for the average fan to know where their team is playing on any given week. So all you are doing is giving them an extra excuse not to go.

      Why not MAKE these clubs play at their designated home grounds and through success at their venues, justify the need for improved capacities or relocated venues? And if they fail, even better, as it helps to rationalise the number of clubs in Sydney.

      • December 13th 2012 @ 9:18am
        Mals said | December 13th 2012 @ 9:18am | ! Report

        For NRL supporters sadly League has become a TV watched sport not a live at the ground sport and we can thank the games administrators for this.

        Let’s look at the scheduling of EPL games this coming weekend as a comparison (note the kick off times):-

        SAT 15 DEC 2012 – PREMIER LEAGUE
        Newcastle v Man City 12:45
        Liverpool v Aston Villa 15:00
        Man Utd v Sunderland 15:00
        Norwich v Wigan 15:00
        QPR v Fulham 15:00
        Stoke v Everton 15:00

        SUN 16 DEC 2012 – PREMIER LEAGUE
        Tottenham v Swansea 13:30
        West Brom v West Ham 16:00

        • December 13th 2012 @ 9:36am
          B.A Sports said | December 13th 2012 @ 9:36am | ! Report

          The NFL is the same
          1 x Thursday night game
          8 x Sunday 1pm Kick offs
          5 x Sunday 4pm (approx) kick offs
          1 x Sunday 8:30pm kick off
          1x Monday 8:30pm kick off

          The difference though obviously is that in the NRL on any given weekend there can be three games in Sydney alone, where as the EPL and NFL examples are spread across the country.

          But whe yo consider the conditions that many of these supporters face when going to the game in the UK and in the north of the USA, people still brave the transport and the at game experience despite snow, slippery roads, freezing temps, chilling winds. Aussies just stay at home.

          • December 13th 2012 @ 11:42am
            mushi said | December 13th 2012 @ 11:42am | ! Report

            And then you consider that almost double the percentage of Australian’s attend NRL games each week compared to Americans attending the NFL.

            the big reason the NFL get’s great crowds…is they have 315 freaking million people not because they are more likely to go to a game (given the stats say they aren’t)

            • December 13th 2012 @ 11:48am
              Tigranes said | December 13th 2012 @ 11:48am | ! Report


              A lot of Americans also go to College games as well.

              • December 13th 2012 @ 12:31pm
                mushi said | December 13th 2012 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

                Well aware.

                Also aware that college and the NFL are completely separate. So to credit the college attendance to the grand panacea of NFL scheduling is a ridiculously long bow to draw.

                Why not accredit the NRL with AFL attendance?

              • December 13th 2012 @ 1:06pm
                Mals said | December 13th 2012 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

                And High School games!

              • December 13th 2012 @ 1:43pm
                mushi said | December 13th 2012 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

                And AAA baseball and gymnastics

              • Roar Guru

                December 13th 2012 @ 1:56pm
                Dogs Of War said | December 13th 2012 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

                Mushi, you have to understand how that NFL has built into the lower levels of the sport. High School football is played on Fridays, College on Saturdays, NFL on Sundays (and a game Thursday and Monday).

                This ensures that each level of the game has it’s own platform to build off, ensuring that each level can build an audience without competing with the others.

                It would be great if the NRL could do something similar, have U20’s matches all on a Saturday (Double/Triple headers for each match to give some value for money for fans turning up), and make it a larger product than it is, and more NRL matches on a Sunday. You could then also return a reserve grade match before the NRL games to fill the void that moving the U20’s matches has created.

              • December 13th 2012 @ 3:21pm
                mushi said | December 13th 2012 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

                I understand how the NFL schedules its games to avoid competing product, been a fan of the Broncos since soda pop orange and the three amigos and casually follow the huskers outside of that. It does not do this to build football, as the NFL is run for the purposes of its private owners, it does this solely to maximise their revenue. The NFL has no duty of care to the game as a whole, something often neglected when we look at how they administer their game.

                I do think there is merit in trying to do something but that wasn’t really the point. The point is BA Sports painted the picture that the NFL scheduling contributes to droves of Americans coming out to support their team whilst Australian’s sit at home.

                It is a fact that a higher percentage of our population attend NRL games on a weekend than attend NFL games. The reason they get an 11 figure TV deal is because there are millions at home watching. When I think of American friends and colleagues the majority of them don’t go to a game every year. Instead, because of the amazing TV coverage, they park themselves on the couch and in front of the TV.

                The primary reason behind the higher attendance for NFL games is population, not scheduling. Throwing college etc out there is just a red herring as the NFL isn’t responsible in any way shape or form for the administration of those games.

                There isn’t any conceivable scheduling tweek that is going to make 290 odd million more people pop up before next season

              • December 13th 2012 @ 4:40pm
                Doghouse said | December 13th 2012 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

                The NRL has maximised the TV audience with its scheduling although took a step backward this year with fixed scheduling. However it now means the small clubs rarely get on FTA TV so means they will go backward…

            • December 14th 2012 @ 8:27am
              B.A Sports said | December 14th 2012 @ 8:27am | ! Report

              Mushi, I appreciate that you know your american sport, and i recognise the differences, the population differences, and yes they have more people, but they also have significantly bigger stadia and they fill those significantly bigger stadia each and every week so plenty of people are watching at home because some of these grounds could be filled twice over if there was enough seats.

              My point is more, in the US if Green Bay are playing Arizona at home on a sunny 25 degree Sunday afternoon they get a full house. If it is a Thursday night, 10 below witha wind chill of -20C, they still get a full house.

              Parramatta plays Newcastle on a sunny sunday afternoon they get 15,000, if it even looks like rain, they don’t get 10,000.

      • December 14th 2012 @ 10:03pm
        Fitzy said | December 14th 2012 @ 10:03pm | ! Report

        These same excuses were made by die hard Collingwood fans when they were holding into Victoria Park. They were in debt and no where on the ladder. They now have 70k + members, everyone wants to play them and made 4.8mil profit before the AFL equalisation payment. Wake up and move into the 21st century, your club will get stronger because, fans will know they will get a seat, they know they wont have to sit in the rain on grass and they can go out afterwards. Families wont worry about drunken fans and second hand smoke, because ya can’t get away with both with state of art cctv. So the young kids will cone more often. In any event I will go to AAMI stadium and watch the storm and think how much nicer it is than standing near the try line in the rain getting cold, like you.

      • December 19th 2012 @ 4:10pm
        NF said | December 19th 2012 @ 4:10pm | ! Report


        It’s no secret there are too many teams in Sydney. As for the ‘TV sport’ culture it will take tons of time to persuade people to go to the game then sitting on the couch, do you want to see empty seats at every game I don’t want to see nor does anyone else want to see it. It seems to me there are those who are content where they are and it’s holding the game back.

    • December 13th 2012 @ 9:14am
      turbodewd said | December 13th 2012 @ 9:14am | ! Report

      Its very easy to fix NRL crowds.

      1. Put SOO on dedicated weekends because NRL crowds before and after take a hit.

      2. Geographic groupings are a must. NQld draw terrible crowds in Sydney for example, so NQld should play Bris and the GC twice per year, every year. You need to use rivalries to increase crowds. Here’s how you would split the league for a 22 round comp:

      Northern: Bris, NQld, GC, Newc, Manly, Parra, Penrith, Cbury

      Southern: NZ, Melb, Canb, Cron, Wests, Easts, Souths, St.Geo

      So as per the above every team plays each other once and then those in their conference again – voila! – 22 rounds. You still run a normal top 8 however.

      These 2 measures would see NRL average crowds jump heaps!

      • December 13th 2012 @ 9:24am
        B.A Sports said | December 13th 2012 @ 9:24am | ! Report

        I agree turbo that the way to address the crowd issues isn’t to change the venues but to change to improve the entertainment and so I agree that creating conferences which will create more rivalries, and more important games is the way to engage to fan base. If football is about tribalism, you have to pit yourself against the tribe your doesn’t like in order to get a response from them.

        I could make a case for splitting those two divisions you have into 2 conferences within each division so that you can rotate the teams you place twice a little more, but in concept I agree with you.

        • December 13th 2012 @ 10:03am
          turbodewd said | December 13th 2012 @ 10:03am | ! Report

          Mate, for maximum crowd goodness I think u would agree that, say, Parra should play Cbury twice per year every year, same goes for:

          Souths v Wests v StGeo

          Melb v NZ gets good crowds

          Bris v NQld gets good crowds

          • Roar Guru

            December 13th 2012 @ 10:54am
            Cameron Kellett said | December 13th 2012 @ 10:54am | ! Report

            that’s all good said and done in which this case it has occurred within the match scheduling for 2013 but then once again we are back to the issue of – oh but they got an easier run to the finals. Can’t have everything go our way.

            • December 13th 2012 @ 11:08am
              turbodewd said | December 13th 2012 @ 11:08am | ! Report

              I didnt understand anything you just said.

            • December 13th 2012 @ 11:21am
              B.A Sports said | December 13th 2012 @ 11:21am | ! Report

              That will always be an arguement if you don’t have a draw where everyone plays everyone twice.

              The best way to overcome it, try and be the best team so that it is you who has the easy schedule.

              • Roar Guru

                December 13th 2012 @ 11:28am
                Cameron Kellett said | December 13th 2012 @ 11:28am | ! Report

                That’s fine with me, as long as when next season rolls round I don’t hear the same complaints about match scheduling and fairness. Everyone complained about Broncos all year quiet annoying actually!

              • December 13th 2012 @ 11:33am
                NF said | December 13th 2012 @ 11:33am | ! Report


                True the Broncos get some undeserved & deserved flak they deserve there timeslot since they bring in the high attendance (still can be better) & the ratings. It’s just there are those who are sick of Friday Night Broncos and want some variety to go with it. While, the Broncos can have good share of FNF, other teams should have a slice of the pie too.

      • Roar Guru

        December 14th 2012 @ 8:22am
        Redb said | December 14th 2012 @ 8:22am | ! Report

        Good idea turbo, not so much conferences but pickig the right team v team combos to take to a larger stadium and build them up. horses for courses.

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