Lesson learnt – size does matter in A-League stadiums

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    Wanderers fans are expected to walk out at half time during their match against the Mariners. (Photo AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

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    3,185. It was the difference between the attendance figures at the home games of Western Sydney Wanderers and Brisbane Roar on the weekend. The difference in atmosphere, however, was huge.

    Tickets to Wanderland are the hottest in town. It’s partly due to the A-League new boys’ incredible on-field success but mostly because Parramatta Stadium is the perfect fit for everyone.

    Having a home end like the Red and Black Bloc helps, and credit must go also to the fans that rocked up to those early fan forums and demanded it be the new club’s HQ.

    Lyall Gorman listened and thank heavens he did, for Wanderers home matches have now become an example that needs to be followed.

    The success of this club has verified a long-standing desire in the game for boutique stadiums in the A-League.

    So back to Brisbane. There were 12,624 fans at the game against Melbourne Victory on Saturday – and 15,809 on hand to see Western Sydney cement their premiership favouritism 24 hours later.

    Not much between them, really. Yet comparing the atmosphere at each is chalk and cheese.

    People come away from Western Sydney games as if they have been part of some sort of religious experience.

    Helping drive the buzz is the feeling of exclusivity, that you might miss out. On the other hand, there will always be plenty of unsold tickets at Roar games.

    This is not just about Brisbane. It’s about stadiums that are too big for clubs.

    And it speaks to the theory that the atmosphere at a sporting event directly correlates with the number of vacant seats in the building.

    As the A-League enters a period of consolidation it is something that cannot be repeated enough. It’s elementary.

    It is why as a general rule, Melbourne Victory games are just better at AAMI Park than in Docklands.

    It is also why it’s easier to find yourself getting sucked into a game on television when the crowd has a part to play in the contest.

    15,000 fans in a stadium with a capacity of 20,000 is infinitely better than the same amount in a cavernous 50,000-seater.

    Apart from on special occasions, Suncorp Stadium will always manage to make a decent Brisbane crowd seem sparse and disconnected.

    The club was extremely close to moving to Ballymore Stadium in the early years of the A-League but never did.

    It is an old and dusty facility, but imagine a minor renovation and a crowd of 10,000 barmy Roar fans at Herston. It might be Wanderland-esque.

    That is the argument pushed by fans in favour of a shift away from Lang Park, and after watching in real time the success of Western Sydney, it’s time to weigh up the pros and cons again.

    Yes, crowds have to grow in the A-League. And they have been. But what has been behind the growth?

    We are slowly appreciating that the unique atmosphere at football games is a trump card in the battle for hearts and minds.

    To best leverage this opportunity we should be downsizing where appropriate and possible.

    Vince Rugari
    Vince Rugari

    Vince Rugari is an Adelaide-born journalist who cut his teeth on the sporting graveyard of the Gold Coast. He fancies the round ball and the Sherrin, and used to be a handy leg-spin bowler before injury curtailed a baggy green push. A Port Adelaide fan by birth, he now is a sports reporter for Australian Associate Press

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    The Crowd Says (200)

    • March 13th 2013 @ 4:39am
      Matt said | March 13th 2013 @ 4:39am | ! Report

      It has taken you this long to work that out?

      From day one all the A-League clubs were playing in grounds far too large for them with the exception of MV.

      You’d think you’d have learnt from rugby league’s mistakes.

      • Columnist

        March 13th 2013 @ 7:48am
        Vince Rugari said | March 13th 2013 @ 7:48am | ! Report

        Not me, personally, but FFA has needed trial and error with a few things over the years you’d think they shouldn’t. Fans have been calling for this for years

        • March 13th 2013 @ 10:10am
          Kasey said | March 13th 2013 @ 10:10am | ! Report

          This to me is why it was important that we got that Aussie bloke back (his name escapes me?) after learning from MLS to work at FFA.

          A wise man only makes mistakes once; a brilliant man never makes them to begin with because he learned from somebody else in a similar situation. There are enough similarities between MLS trying to establish their league and the A-League to make a few American lessons worth learning.

          • Columnist

            March 13th 2013 @ 10:22am
            Vince Rugari said | March 13th 2013 @ 10:22am | ! Report

            Russell Sargeant, I believe. And yes! Very important appointment.

            • March 13th 2013 @ 10:55am
              Kasey said | March 13th 2013 @ 10:55am | ! Report

              That’s the gentleman, thank you, I’m hoping to see a rise in the level of ‘customer/fan service & engagement’ from the FFA once his thoughts and experiences begin to be implemented.

              • March 13th 2013 @ 10:58am
                Nathan of Perth said | March 13th 2013 @ 10:58am | ! Report

                Unless he came here because he was sick of engaging with supporters and thus got a job at a place that wasn’t going to make him do any of that 😀

              • March 13th 2013 @ 1:22pm
                Kasey said | March 13th 2013 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

                That’s one way to look at the appointment and is consistent with what I would call the traditional ’Oz-soccer-fan’ point of view 😉

                Personally I feel that the FFA have made a group of good decisions in the last 2 years and deserve at least a little bit of trust from us. David Gallop especially deserves a ‘honeymoon period’ from the football fanbase in this country, based on his excellent performance in fronting fan forums across the country, he appears to me to be much more switched on and enthusiastic about football than Buckley ever did.

    • March 13th 2013 @ 5:11am
      Roarsome said | March 13th 2013 @ 5:11am | ! Report

      Having been to both Stadiums this year, I’ll take Suncorp over Parra Stadium any day. The facilities are far superior and excusing the amount of rain we’ve had, the surface is usually better too. All the major football codes play in large stadiums in Brisbane, largely due to the fact that there’s only one team per code here. Brisbane doesn’t have an NRL team on on every street corner and most fans are willing to travel distances to get to the game as it’s convenient so, unlike Sydney, the suburban grounds are used for local clubs, not clubs competing in a national level competition. I can’t see this changing anytime as the main reason they renovated Lang Park was to provide a stadium suitable for national competition. Ballymore isn’t convenient and people don’t go anyway for a number of other reasons including a lack of restaurants, shops, pubs and clubs, even the Reds don’t play there anymore. Regarding atmosphere, there was only 5k at my trip to Wanderland and it was rather quiet so it’s difficult to gauge. Although the beers and tickets were cheaper than Suncorp, Parra stadium is in need of a facelift to bring it into the 21st century. In Brisbane, League and Rugby draw much bigger crowds and create quite a good atmosphere meaning if the Roar want to move to a smaller stadium, they’ll have to go it alone. Something I don’t think they can afford to do and I don’t think the FFA or the government is offering any help. It’ll be interesting to see where the finals are played that involve WSW, particularly if they make the Grand Final.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-roar/id327174726?mt=8].

      • Roar Guru

        March 13th 2013 @ 5:19am
        peeeko said | March 13th 2013 @ 5:19am | ! Report

        i note you say the facilities are better at suncorp, in what way? same old plastic seats, surely the amenities and food service aren’t that much better and don’t mean an awful lot

      • March 13th 2013 @ 5:44am
        Whites said | March 13th 2013 @ 5:44am | ! Report

        I believe ANZ Stadium is booked that weekend so the Grand Final would be at Allianz.

        • Roar Guru

          March 13th 2013 @ 7:23am
          Matt Bungard said | March 13th 2013 @ 7:23am | ! Report

          To be fair, Suncorp has a Red Rooster.

          So there’s that..

          • March 13th 2013 @ 9:49am
            Kasey said | March 13th 2013 @ 9:49am | ! Report

            I love the folks that push Ballymore over Suncorp..have you ever been to Brisbane?

            Ballymore has no parking and no public transport access. Add to that, it is owned by the QRU..but lets just keep giving money to other sports shall we? As Ian W says, we need to start investing in our own facilities..perhaps look at forming a partnersip with the Strikers at Perry Park? Brisbane looks like it could use a Hindmarsh stadium-like 18k “home of Soccer” type facility to me.

            • March 13th 2013 @ 10:44am
              brisvegas said | March 13th 2013 @ 10:44am | ! Report

              Perry Park doesn’t have much room for growth or development.

              I went to pre season game of Roar v Olympic at Fairfield (or thereabouts). That ground has plenty of room for development. I could easily see a 20000 seater there. But, as ever, there’re transport issues and nowhere to go for a beer pre or post game (not that I’m a young dude or an alcoholic or anything, but I love the build up to matches at the pubs around Suncorp).

              Brisbane is pretty much Suncorp or nothing atm. A whole hub of transport and entertainment has been built up around it.

              • March 13th 2013 @ 10:52am
                Kasey said | March 13th 2013 @ 10:52am | ! Report

                Well if it absolutely must be Suncorp, then BRFC should do their level best to improve the match-day experience at that stadium. They could start by sending a delegation to Seattle to see how the Sounders run things IMO. Of course Seattle has the advantage in that the owners of the Sounders (MLS) are also the owners of the Seahawks (NFL) ‘and’ the operators of the stadium.(Century Link Field) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CenturyLink_Field

              • March 13th 2013 @ 11:06am
                Nathan of Perth said | March 13th 2013 @ 11:06am | ! Report

                Hard to find greenfields areas near rail stations, which is what you need if you don’t want to have to pay out a fortune acquiring land from tenants.

              • March 13th 2013 @ 3:11pm
                Ian said | March 13th 2013 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

                I agree with comments from Kasey, Roarsome and Brisvegas. Kasey has mentioned before about some MLS teams who I think use curtains, that may be a poor term, but devices to use to block out upper unused tiers in larger stadiums. This is something that should be looked at for Brisbane Roar. As the article says its not about the actual crowd or their involvement at a Roar game, its the crowd compared to the full capacity of Suncorp.
                A recent article on Brisbane Roar website, a Q&A with Managing Director Sean Dobson, brought up using ‘tarps’. And they are exploring the use of that option to reduce empty space and increase noise levels. The whole Q&A was quite good. Also looking at options for ensuring the playing surface is up to scratch and working in with other ground users better – perhaps fellow football lovers across the country aren’t aware how much rain there has been in Brisbane from late January with the pseudo cyclone until a week ago basically. Though the drainage systems at SS I”m sure are top class but it must have an effect along with a league game last week 24 hrs prior. At least the last round game against Sydney is on the Thursday before Good Friday when the Broncos play.
                Perry Park is too small overall. Ballymore is good capacity wise but the location is not easy for transport. I went to that preseason game at Fairfield also and enjoyed it but can’t see how it would hold anywhere near enough.
                IMO they won’t change from SS. Its too good a stadium – facility wise, viewing wise and ease of access. That’s the issue with any other option mentioned.
                There are restaurants and pubs at Park Rd Milton and Caxton St, and free buses solely for transport to SS with a bus interchange set up underneath the stadium and Milton and Roma St train stations. You can walk from the CBD to SS also.
                The talk of a boutique stadium is great in theory with a capacity of 20,000 or so, but In short they will have to look at tarps and the like and improving from that angle. Personally i wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.

      • March 13th 2013 @ 9:39am
        Dean said | March 13th 2013 @ 9:39am | ! Report

        “there was only 5k at my trip to Wanderland and it was rather quiet so it’s difficult to gauge.”

        What are you talking about?

        • March 13th 2013 @ 9:55am
          Josh said | March 13th 2013 @ 9:55am | ! Report

          What Dean said… WSW games have never been quiet, and never had a crowd that small. WSW STILL have plenty of work to do, but the fact they are doing so well on all levels has certainly been a bane for many other teams in the HAL, consistantly highlighting where other teams are lacking.

          Oh and, Allianz is almost certainly the GF stadium when the WSW make it. The decision is completely out of the WSW control and in the hands of FFA with all gate receipts going to FFA, and with ANZ option gone, Allianz it must be.

          • March 13th 2013 @ 3:59pm
            Ian said | March 13th 2013 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

            yeah with music concerts at anz, allianz is the venue if wsw make it. even in melbourne etihad is booked out and only AAMI left if a MV were to host. Suncorp is available for a 3rd orange sunday…….;-). hindmarsh is available too.

            i’m actually surprised both days of our GF weekend have games at etihad. the cynic in me thinks that was done intentionally. if there was a GF in melbourne it has to be at Etihad no matter how much more the fans rate AAMI over it.

            • March 13th 2013 @ 6:59pm
              Backheeler said | March 13th 2013 @ 6:59pm | ! Report

              Surely MV fans could provide a decent crowd at the MCG?

              • Roar Guru

                March 13th 2013 @ 7:10pm
                Fussball ist unser leben said | March 13th 2013 @ 7:10pm | ! Report

                I’m a 7 year MVFC season ticket holder & have attended 90% of matches, but I’d never go to watch a MVFC playing at the MCG.

                I have yet to meet a single MVFC season ticket holder, who prefers games at Docklands.

              • March 13th 2013 @ 11:11pm
                Australian Rules said | March 13th 2013 @ 11:11pm | ! Report

                So if the Victory were to play Man Utd at the MCG, you wouldn’t go?

              • Roar Guru

                March 14th 2013 @ 7:42am
                Fussball ist unser leben said | March 14th 2013 @ 7:42am | ! Report

                No, I wouldn’t go to watch MVFC v Man United at the MCG. Liverpool are meant to be coming to play MVFC next June & I won’t go.

                If I want to watch Man United, I’ll go to England and watch them – at home or away.

              • March 15th 2013 @ 4:04pm
                Australian Rules said | March 15th 2013 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

                Just because you reeeeallly don’t like AFL and its home, the MCG?

                Wow. Guess you’re not as passionate about MBV as you make out.

        • March 13th 2013 @ 5:57pm
          Roarsome said | March 13th 2013 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

          Sorry, 6755. WSW v BR @ Parra

    • March 13th 2013 @ 5:46am
      Whites said | March 13th 2013 @ 5:46am | ! Report

      Parramatta may have the right shape and size but it’s a pretty dated facility and the roof on either side is way to short in wet weather.

    • March 13th 2013 @ 8:36am
      Aljay said | March 13th 2013 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      I love the quaintness of using “boutique” as a euphemism for “small” in stadium discussions.

      Stadium issues derailed GCU too. I’ll be keen to see what support for the Glory is like after their renovations.

      • March 13th 2013 @ 9:16am
        Brick Tamlin of the Pants Party said | March 13th 2013 @ 9:16am | ! Report

        The initial impact of having a nice new stadium will bump up the crowds at the Glory but at the end of the day the football is the most important thing.Theres a massive opportunity next season for the Glory to get football fans excited in west oz again,new stadium,new manager and direction and maybe a big name wouldn’t go astray either to put some icing on the cake and get that place rocking again like the old days.

        • March 13th 2013 @ 12:25pm
          Towser said | March 13th 2013 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

          Yes in terms of stadiums Perth are in an ideal position,get it right on the park & back to the Glory days that IMO showed the way to go for football in Australia.

          • March 13th 2013 @ 12:41pm
            Nathan of Perth said | March 13th 2013 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

            I’m hoping for an uptick, especially with the Edwards-Naven factor.

            The sort of thing we saw with the Perth Wildcats, where they moved to the new stadium and are now averaging in excess of 11 thousand spectators a game (I think they’ll end up with the third highest aggregate attendance for the state) is probably too much to hope for. The new stand rather pales compared to Perth Arena, after all. However we should expect to see a jump in interest anytime terrible amenities are replaced with good amenities.

            I dunno how many people here have attended Perth Oval but mein gott it is a terribly unfriendly above ground hole. I love my PGFC and the Shed end but that old east stand and family stand was nothing better than temporary tarped over scaffolding made semi-permanent.

            • March 13th 2013 @ 1:01pm
              Brick Tamlin of the Pants Party said | March 13th 2013 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

              It definatley doesn’t hurt tht the Wildats have won 5 titles and competed every single finals series in NBL history(26 of them),ten years of doing nothing will dull the enthusiasm of Wildcats fans im sure if they ever get to experience it.Having a great modern facility definatley helps but getting it right on the pitch or court will fill those nice new seats in any code.

              • March 13th 2013 @ 1:49pm
                Whites said | March 13th 2013 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

                They haven’t been in every NBL final series and they weren’t a founding club either.

              • March 13th 2013 @ 2:10pm
                Brick Tamlin of the Pants Party said | March 13th 2013 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

                Yes i stand corrected they have been in 26 consectutive finals series not every finals series.

              • March 13th 2013 @ 3:30pm
                Nathan of Perth said | March 13th 2013 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

                It’s no accident that the WA teams that have performed the best on the park have had the sharpest administrations off the park. I confess, I have looked between Jack Bendat/Nick Marvin and Tony Sage/Paul Kelly (well, formerly Paul Kelly) and shaken my head in frustration.

                Hard to believe that we’re going to have our season average eclipsed by an NBL team.

                And yes, Wildcats were not a founding member, but this will be their 27th consecutive finals campaign. Admittedly, a couple of those years they took advantage of some very generous qualifying rules, but the pattern has been pretty undeniable. I don’t think they’re going to add a sixth title though – NZ will get the three-peat barring injury shocks.

            • March 13th 2013 @ 2:56pm
              King Robbo said | March 13th 2013 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

              I know a few regular Glory supporters who have not turned up this year due to construction and also members who have missed many games as they dont like their new allocated seats. I expect from this small sample others would be in a similar boat. To be honest I am suprised the WA govt has spent any money on a rectangular stadium, knowing the way they neglected other football facilities over the years, while advancing paying millions for homes/grassroots for rugby and basketball.

              Perth oval has always been a nightmare for parking, and quite a long walk to eateries (besides brisbane hotel) and railway. Least its close to the red light district and the players may not have to use wheelie bins as ice baths anymore.

              • March 13th 2013 @ 3:33pm
                Nathan of Perth said | March 13th 2013 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

                All true points. People who would normally have mid-line vantage points are crammed into corners on low angles, consigned to standing room, etc, etc. Huge problems, especially at the start of the year. I would hope for, if I don’t yet dare to expect, that we got all those back, plus some bandwagoners and a number of the old guard who slowly lost hope and maybe a chunk of the immigrants (Poms particularly but many others) that might simply appreciate Edwards style of football.

                Maybe, hopefully … 10k plus average next year.

            • Roar Pro

              March 13th 2013 @ 3:52pm
              Rob Gremio said | March 13th 2013 @ 3:52pm | ! Report


              When I moved to Perth from Brisbane, I was shocked at just how bad Perth Oval was. I have only been to 2 games at the “stadium” (I think it’s unjust to call that – what did you call it, “a terribly unfriendly above ground hole” – a stadium), both times to see Brisbane play Perth.

              I am pleased that they are rebuilding it and creating a nice stand (which I can see from my office tower in the city). It is probably going to be just the right size for the Glory. Let’s just hope they don’t bump up the rent too much as a result. They will lose Sage quick smart if they do.

              • March 13th 2013 @ 4:13pm
                Nathan of Perth said | March 13th 2013 @ 4:13pm | ! Report

                Combine that stadium with what we have had to deal with on and off the pitch over the last eight years and little wonder Alistair Edwards calls us the best fans in the land! 😉 Who else would have endured the deprivation! No cover, no vomitories (access only from the front), terrible rake, blerk chairs, limited toilet facilities, amenities consist of a number of transitory food vans, extremely minimal parking, have to navigate a kilometer of sidestreets from Claisebrook station or a couple kilometers from Northbridge, just up the road from a couple of knock shops, itty bitty replay screen you cannot actually watch from anywhere on the north end, nor discern from the south end, the scoreboard and timer is a manual contraption run by a pair of nice oldies from the GSSC, the player’s race is so cramped the players have to come out interlocked like a zipper, the ops facilities are cramped and shared between Glory, WARL and RugbyWA, a number of the corporate facilities were, up until this year, tents on top of poles…

                Actually, how on earth *are* we averaging between 8 and 9 thousand?

                I suppose on balance we can’t really complain that the FFA brings us no internationals, nor that the state government seems to refuse to bid for them. The place really, objectively, has not been up to the required standard.

              • March 13th 2013 @ 4:13pm
                Nathan of Perth said | March 13th 2013 @ 4:13pm | ! Report

                P.S., get a Glory membership, you’ll get to see live football and you can always go turncoat for 1-2 days a year =D

              • March 13th 2013 @ 4:27pm
                King Robbo said | March 13th 2013 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

                Perth oval was home of East Perth in the wafl back in 1996 when the glory joined. If you have seen any other wafl grounds like east fremantle oval, claremont oval and lathlain park, it is like going into 1970s time warp during the wafls heyday and nothing has been fixed since.

                Ex premier and premier, Alan ‘Colin’ Carpenter and Colin ‘Carpenter’ Barnett are ex WAFL players, while head of sport and rec Ron Alexander use to coach west coast eagles in 1987 are definitely anti football. Having gone to the football west talk a few weeks back, we have no hope of getting a home for footbal, despite huge youth numbers (yet they are happy to build things like $11m basketball facility north of the river). Basically we were told govt officials do not want football to succeed in this state.

              • March 13th 2013 @ 5:02pm
                Nathan of Perth said | March 13th 2013 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

                Which is odd when you consider how amicable things tend to be between Glory’s supporters and the police compared to the absurdities perpetrated by VicPol or NSW police. But yes, 11m for basketball, 20m for rugby.

                Now, don’t get me wrong, both of those sports, particularly the former, DO have significant social and junior grassroots and deserve to be assisted. It’s just that FootballWest is so overdue it is staggering. The little office they have to make do with is such a dinky little affair it is amazing they are able to run as professionally as they are.

              • March 13th 2013 @ 5:44pm
                King Robbo said | March 13th 2013 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

                Bob Kucera who was a former state politician (now footballwest director) believed it was becaue football was too fractured previously ie womens association, amatuer association, state league, juniors etc for substantial govt funding.

                Now they are under the one banner – football west it is no excuse anymore. Its amazing wa has produced the calibre of players like zabica, lazaridis, robbie dunn, petkovic brothers, rhys williams, lowry, brad jones, sean murphy, richard garcia etc There are many promising juniors also from this state that have to either go to england, indoneasia or go to other a-league clubs as facilities are beyond a joke.

                On a lighter note – It was funny seeing the repainted 1945 wafl clock at nib not working for the sydney fc game, so they had to bring out a big stick to get the minute hand working again. State of the art stadium (to go with the iced bath wheelie bins used for the visiting Celtic teamlast year).

      • March 13th 2013 @ 9:41am
        Dean said | March 13th 2013 @ 9:41am | ! Report

        If you want to get technical…let’s say a 20K stadium is smaller. To state that it is small is an exaggeration.

      • Roar Guru

        March 13th 2013 @ 11:29am
        Ben of Phnom Penh said | March 13th 2013 @ 11:29am | ! Report

        Given that the term refers to small and specialised you are largely correct, with the exception of Hindmarsh which fits the bill.

      • March 13th 2013 @ 8:46pm
        Ian Whitchurch said | March 13th 2013 @ 8:46pm | ! Report

        Note that the AFL deliberately had Skoda, Metricon and Ethihad built much smaller than other facilities.

        You want a right-sized stadium for your crowd – and as you grow, you need to think about moving or extending them.

    • March 13th 2013 @ 8:52am
      striker said | March 13th 2013 @ 8:52am | ! Report

      Gotta agree small boutique stadiums are the way to go, Brisbane Roar,Wellington and even Newcastle don’t have the atmosphere to make you want to watch these games, where as the WSW games and when Victory play at AAMI you are glued to the TV.

    • Roar Guru

      March 13th 2013 @ 9:11am
      Fussball ist unser leben said | March 13th 2013 @ 9:11am | ! Report

      Well said, Vince. Totally agree.

      ADU, CCM, MBV, PER & WSW all have appropriate home stadiums for their crowd size.

      BNR, NUJ & SFC need a 20-30k capacity stadium

      NIX & MBH need 10-15k stadiums

      • March 13th 2013 @ 10:06am
        Kasey said | March 13th 2013 @ 10:06am | ! Report

        Tarping off the upper tier should be step one for SFC and BRFC. Artificially decreasing the capacity of the stadium increases the ‘I must get a ticketed membership’ factor at season start. Its basic business and Seattle in MLS are prime examples of it… even when they regularly drew 30k to a 56k stadium, they only gradually released more tickets onto the market and even then only to those on its season ticket waiting list. They were very careful to keep the Sounders tickets as a ‘hot’ item.

        • March 13th 2013 @ 10:41am
          jbinnie said | March 13th 2013 @ 10:41am | ! Report

          Kasey I recently visited a stadium in Vancouver that was purpose built for the Comm Games. Capacity around 50,000 under cover. Seattle were playing Whitecaps .more or less a “derby” but the organisers had done their homework and simply curtained off the top tiers.Result – The 20,000 crowd was condensed onto the bottom tiers and close to the field.
          It would appear that knowing the drawing capacity of a “soccer” game this curtaining can be easily accomplished or retracted when a bigger event is foreseen.
          Now to the Roar and Sydney problem,They don’t own the grounds they play in so I suppose they have very little say in any “improvements” they can see.jb

        • March 13th 2013 @ 11:06am
          Titus said | March 13th 2013 @ 11:06am | ! Report

          You can’t tarp of the top tiers at the SFS because it is where a lot of the corporate facilities and stadium members sit.

          It would be interesting to see the difference in corporate sales between SFC and WSW.

          • March 13th 2013 @ 4:16pm
            Nathan of Perth said | March 13th 2013 @ 4:16pm | ! Report

            Also interesting, how much SFC makes out of the Allianz stadium membership contingent.

      • March 13th 2013 @ 12:08pm
        nordster said | March 13th 2013 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

        What about having the smaller stadium for some or even most games…and then maintaining the use of the larger ground for the bigger drawing matches? Seems like a common sense compromise.

        The issue seems to be that they have drawn up stadium and participation benchmarks that are limiting scope for smaller clubs to adapt. Perhaps tv production constraints dictate this also. Also some issues with organising member seating across two venues but it hardly seems insurmountable.

        • March 14th 2013 @ 1:25pm
          Evan Askew said | March 14th 2013 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

          Good point. Thats what Dinamo Kiev do. They play out of the 15kseater Lobanovsky stadium for most league games and play at the city stadium for games against Shaktar and in the Champions league.

      • Roar Guru

        March 13th 2013 @ 2:39pm
        The Bush said | March 13th 2013 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

        Newcastle United Jets play out of Hunter stadium, which has a capacity fo 33,000. So just right I’d say…

      • Roar Guru

        March 13th 2013 @ 9:41pm
        Griffo said | March 13th 2013 @ 9:41pm | ! Report

        Before the Western Grandstand was demolished and rebuilt (and it needed to be), Hunter Stadium had around 25k capacity.

        Some of the big crowds of HAL2 and HAL3 would be 10k-12k short now. Room for growth or too big for the moment?

        I have this pipe dream that the trots track behind the Eastern Grandstand will be bought and relocated to create room for a football park and Mariners- type COE with a mini-stadium close by for Jets teams and season crossover when it happens. I know, I’m dreaming on the trots going…

        …but goes to show in hindsight what a loss the Newcastle Breakers stadium may have been.

        This article talks about that, Wanderers Oval now and how difficult Northern NSW Football has found it to get funds to build a football park at Speers Point – in which they were asking for public donations last Friday at Jets vs Glory game at half time:


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