Sweltering summer A-League season hurts the hot cities

Evan Morgan Grahame Columnist

By Evan Morgan Grahame, Evan Morgan Grahame is a Roar Expert

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    Watching Adelaide United host the Brisbane Roar on Sunday, it struck me how lovely Coopers Stadium looks.

    A proper football stadium, with seats pushed up to the pitch margins, an azure sky dazzled overhead, and a snooker table pitch sat lusciously below.

    The stands are clad in Adelaide United colours, the architecture allows a pleasant breeze to wander through the rows, with crowning flags and neighbouring trees flipping and swaying cheerfully.

    The beers flow ice-cold into cups, and bead with a healthy sweat in the sun, quenching all those with a thirst, even if Coopers’ politics sit defiantly somewhere in the middle of the previous century.

    An image of Australian football emerges, a paradise in the minds of those whose romance of the sport isn’t intrinsically tied-up in the frigid sleet, rubbing hands and breath vapour more commonly seen in the game’s mother country.

    As an image, however, is how this scene is best enjoyed. Because what you can’t see on the television screens is that, in Adelaide during that game, it was 34 degrees Celsius, forcing the inclusion of a first-half drinks break, and making sitting anywhere on the sunny side of the stadium an almost masochistic exercise.

    When matches kick off at 5pm in the warm months, the eastern stand stares directly into the sun as it makes its lazy descent past the horizon. Having – as Adelaide residents have so often this summer – endured a blazing day, the prospect of baking in the final few hours of sunlight can’t be all that enticing.

    This has been a dismal season for Adelaide, and so the fact that their average attendance is down by about 4000 from their double-winning campaign last term is not a huge surprise. But it isn’t helped by afternoon kick-offs in oppressive heat either.

    On February 10, a touch over 6000 people watched Adelaide lose 5-0 to Perth, in a match that was postponed by an hour due to the temperature. It was 40 degrees that day, the third over-40 scorcher in a row. On January 29, at 4:30 pm, 8313 watched Adelaide draw 2-2 with the Phoenix, on a day that acted as a grand crescendo, 39 degrees, the top note of a torturous series of six days where the heat steadily rose from the low 20s to the high 30s.

    The two home games before that draw with Wellington had both cracked just over 10,000 punters, against the glamour pair of Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory. For both of those games, on a Thursday and a Saturday respectively, the heat peaked at 37 and 40 degrees.

    As soon as Reds fans realised that their team was not going to repeat the glories of last season – about four rounds into the campaign – they responded by staying away, not that that’s really a good reason not to support your team. But the fact that heat records tumbled throughout most of the eastern and southern states this season has also wilted the enthusiasm.

    This is not something, if all good climate science is to be believed – which it should be – that will become less common in the future; the world is getting hotter, and weather is becoming more erratic. So what’s stopping the A-League from becoming a winter league?

    Michael Theo is sent off

    Well, firstly, the issue of stadium availability rears its head. This point in the season – as rugby league and union teams all roll up, clicking their tongues expectantly, then tearing up the pitches and leaving – makes all of the A-League keenly aware of how difficult it is for football to co-exist with the the other codes in their seasons. There aren’t enough suitable venues to avoid scheduling clashes.

    A summer season also puts the A-League slightly more in sync with the European leagues, although how useful that is is debatable, when it puts us out of whack with the Chinese, Japanese and Korean leagues. Of the current 23-man Socceroos squad, 13 play in Europe, the rest play in Asia, the Middle East or Australia.

    Extreme heat is a danger to players and spectators, and we’ve seen clubs make complaints about sweltering conditions multiple times this season. Warm evening matches are pleasant in Melbourne or Wellington but they can be an active repellent in Brisbane or Adelaide.

    This entire discussion huffs and puffs beneath – unlike the weekend’s match – a cloud of pointlessness. The switch to a summer season was made with firm intentions, and the venue availability issue alone makes it extremely unlikely a switch back to Winter will occur.

    The fact that Adelaide have to attract crowds for more than two-thirds of the season in spite of temperatures that compel people to venture outside only with the intention of purchasing an air conditioner, is a niche problem. Still, projecting forward into the long-term, rising heat and extreme weather will only become more common.

    As it happened, the ending of the match against Brisbane was one of the more astonishing this season. The match played into the 100th minute, and Sergio Cirio scored a penalty against makeshift goalkeeper Thomas Kristensen, after Michael Theo was awarded a straight red card for throwing an elbow in the final minute of added time.

    Cirio’s penalty won the match for the Reds, and the 7197 people that had attended were given a raucous finale.

    Summer soccer can appear so comfortable from a distance, or when the thermometer reading is mild. But when attendance issues prevail around the league generally, and the sun beats down mercilessly, football and summer can seem such strange bedfellows.

    Evan Morgan Grahame
    Evan Morgan Grahame

    Evan Morgan Grahame is a Melbourne-based journalist. Gleaning what he could from his brief career as a painter, the canvas of the football pitch is now his subject of contemplation, with the beautiful game sketching new, intriguing compositions every week. He has been one of The Roar's Expert columnists since 2016. Follow him on Twitter @Evan_M_G.

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    The Crowd Says (94)

    • March 21st 2017 @ 6:13am
      Swanny said | March 21st 2017 @ 6:13am | ! Report

      No doubt thr extreme heat effects attendance, but I believe that beginning of March should be the start of the finals series .

      The last few rounds dragging into the Afl
      And NRL seasons are going to affect attendance and interest in the A league .
      I think we should be having the grand final the week before the afl kicks off .

      This will mean starting the season a month or 2 earlier or having midweek rounds early in the season .
      Just my thoughts anyway

      • March 21st 2017 @ 8:14am
        Waz said | March 21st 2017 @ 8:14am | ! Report

        The length of the season is already too short with a current 6 month off season (7 if you don’t make finals) which kills momentum of the game. The concept of “free air” has all but gone with BBL, Basketball and WAFL spread across the summer so football has to grow up a little bit and pick its best time to play based on its core supporter base and not what other codes do.

        For me that aligns with part of what you’re saying – a grand final in march before the NRL/AFL kicks off but not for that reason, get it out if the way before junior football starts which drags a lot of people away from attending A league.

        But that would mean starting the season, with expansion, in July or August which is something the ffa seen opposed to doing preferring to wait until the other GFs are out of the way in September. But a season kicking off in august in line with the European seasons and running for 7 months plus finals feels about the right length to me.

        • March 21st 2017 @ 9:30am
          Swanny said | March 21st 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report

          August to march season sounds right to me

          Night time games only in December – March

        • Roar Guru

          March 21st 2017 @ 12:21pm
          Griffo said | March 21st 2017 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

          Yep, season is too short, and it shouldn’t matter which other codes play and when. That ‘clear air’ mantra really is the past – it shouldn’t matter to any sport – and summer is no longer the domain of one or two sports.

          Also have to consider the international football calendar: the world cup is June-July; Asian Cup January-February. In World Cup (and Confeds Cup year) finishing around April gives that month and May to prepare.

          While it’s unfortunate we don’t align with ACL from a club sense, nationally a season that finishes March-April in alignment with other international leagues’ finishing times is fortunate.

          It just comes down to when the A-League starts, which is movable depending on the number of teams, and what other competitions will occur during the season (Asian Cup, mainly).

    • March 21st 2017 @ 8:00am
      Fadida said | March 21st 2017 @ 8:00am | ! Report

      Adelaide fans are the ultimate fair weather fans. Traditionally they wait to see how the team will go before turning up, so crowds are usually 8-9k early in the season. A good season and they’ll end with 12-13k. This season they came early because they expected to do well, and dropped when they didn’t.

      Having said that extreme temperatures undoubtedly have affected crowds this season. 35+days in Newcastle see people at the beach, or pool not even taking into account the rotten team they have to watch. It’s uncomfortable to watch, let alone play in.
      Conversely, as most Australian grounds have very open stands, the very wet late summer and autumn have also really damaged crowds. NSW, for those not living here, had been insanely wet and stormy. While you can argue fans should support their teams through thick and thin you can’t expect families to sit out in torrential rain, let alone drive in those conditions.

      The only solution is later kick offs, 7.30 pm. The Nux can play at any time, as they live in a permanent winter over there

      • March 21st 2017 @ 8:32am
        Chris said | March 21st 2017 @ 8:32am | ! Report

        I think to say that Adelaide are fair weather fans is a bit rough. They stuck it out for most of the season even though the team wasn’t playing that well.

      • Roar Guru

        March 21st 2017 @ 8:53am
        Kaks said | March 21st 2017 @ 8:53am | ! Report

        “Adelaide fans are the ultimate fair weather fans. Traditionally they wait to see how the team will go before turning up, so crowds are usually 8-9k early in the season.”

        Exactly.

        Was surprised to see how many Adelaide ‘fans’ there were just before last seasons grand final. Where are they now?

      • Roar Guru

        March 21st 2017 @ 12:38pm
        Griffo said | March 21st 2017 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

        Yep, the lower eastern stand at Hunter Stadium is a solar oven in the afternoon, even with hats, sunscreen, and cold beverages. Closing the upper Eastern was a mistake but I understand the savings in rental is the justified reason.

        However, no one enjoys sitting over there in the afternoon sun, let alone watching poor passing and lack of finishing in the humid, sweltering heat.

      • March 21st 2017 @ 1:54pm
        Franko said | March 21st 2017 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

        HEY? Where are the stats to back this up?

        Adelaide’s average attendance sits within about a 3k range and has done for over a decade

        2005–06 10,948
        2006–07 12,165
        2007–08 12,697
        2008–09 11,713
        2009–10 10,765
        2010–11 11,552
        2011–12 8,829
        2012–13 9,793
        2013–14 11,225
        2014–15 12,637
        2015–16 11,287

        • March 21st 2017 @ 5:39pm
          Fadida said | March 21st 2017 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

          Those averages seem about right Franko. Where are the stats? I watch every game and have noticed this trend every season. Confident that this is exactly what happens

    • Roar Guru

      March 21st 2017 @ 8:04am
      Rick Disnick said | March 21st 2017 @ 8:04am | ! Report

      There’s a reason football is a winter sport.

      • March 21st 2017 @ 8:17am
        Fadida said | March 21st 2017 @ 8:17am | ! Report

        Unlike AFL though Rick, there is an international calendar. When AFL cracks it big in Europe it’ll have to be a summer sport there to align with the world calendar, you know the World Cup etc

        • Roar Guru

          March 21st 2017 @ 9:21am
          Rick Disnick said | March 21st 2017 @ 9:21am | ! Report

          You guys should try going just one week without mentioning the AFL. I issued this challenge over 2 years ago as well.

        • March 21st 2017 @ 12:37pm
          Jack Russell said | March 21st 2017 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

          That makes no sense given our East Asian colleagues run their leagues in what would be our winter. Does the international calendar not apply there?

          • Roar Guru

            March 21st 2017 @ 1:08pm
            Rick Disnick said | March 21st 2017 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

            Of course not. Don’t be so stup!d.

      • March 21st 2017 @ 8:32am
        Nemesis said | March 21st 2017 @ 8:32am | ! Report

        Is football a winter sport? Well, if football were only played during winter months, that would make sense.

        Let’s take the Premier League since this is the only competition that is watched by people who don’t understand football culture.

        The Premier League starts in August. In England, August is part of summer.

        Then the Premier League continues during Sept, Oct, Nov. These are the months of Autumn.
        Through Dec, Jan, Feb which are, indeed, Winter months in England.
        And, finally the Premier League reaches its climax during March, April, May. In England, these are the months of Spring.

        So, anyone who understands football and the seasonal cycles produced by the planet orbiting around the Sun, will know that saying Football is a Winter sport has no foundation.

        Additionally, those of us who follow football in Europe beyond the Premier League, know that many European nations halt their football calendar during the Winter.

        • Roar Guru

          March 21st 2017 @ 9:19am
          Rick Disnick said | March 21st 2017 @ 9:19am | ! Report

          Let’s take the Premier League since this is the only competition that is watched by people who don’t understand football culture.

          Remind me again who invented the game?

          You ever lived for longer than 2 weeks in England Fuss? No! You’ve lived in Melbourne all your life champ.

          However, if this particular alias you’re currently using actually did live in Bulgaria for 100 years, you’ll realise the winters are VERY long in Europe; unlike Australia, where the winters are VERY short. You’ll lose this battle of semantics every time Fuss.

          There’s a reason football is played predominately in the cooler months, which in Europe, is a vast majority of the time compared to Australia.

          For an Australian football competition to be run predominately in the hotter months is well… just plain stup!d.

          • March 21st 2017 @ 9:54am
            Nemesis said | March 21st 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

            I will repeat, for those who don’t understand the concept of seasons.
            Football in England is played during: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring

            Using Man Utd’s schedule for 2016/17, their English Premier League fixturing is:

            Total matches = 38
            Summer: 3 matches
            Autumn: 10 matches
            Winter: 12 matches
            Spring: 13 matches

            So, if this data is presented in an IQ Test and, using this data, the IQ Question is

            “Is the Premier League a winter sports competition” and you answered “YES”.

            You would be marked: Wrong.

            • Roar Guru

              March 21st 2017 @ 10:10am
              Rick Disnick said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:10am | ! Report

              Fuss, I think you need help with the terms ‘winter sport’ and ‘summer sport’. I can understand living in Bulgaria for 100 years may have influence your understanding of these terms.

              Cricket is a summer sport traditionally here in Australia. Football (AFL, NRL, Assoc. Football) is a winter sport traditionally here in Australia. The reasons for this are obvious if you’ve ever played these sports.

              Shield cricket starts in the spring, ending in the Autumn. Does that mean it’s not classified as a summer sport by a vast MAJORITY of people (with the exception being you of course)? No, of course not, but I’m happy for you to conduct a survey on this very forum highlighting this simple fact.

              “Is the Premier League a winter sports competition” and you answered “YES”.

              Like I said: you’ll lose this game of semantics every time Fuss.

              • March 21st 2017 @ 10:20am
                Nemesis said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report

                I suggest you buy a dictionary & look up the meaning of “semantics”.

                Your argument is based on colloquial use of the word “winter sport”. It is not based on semantics.

              • March 21st 2017 @ 10:31am
                Lionheart said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:31am | ! Report

                semantics?
                I’d call this a childish exchange

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2017 @ 10:48am
                Rick Disnick said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:48am | ! Report

                My argument is not based on semantics at all Fuss…totally agree with you. But yours is!

                http://www.dictionary.com/browse/semantics

                3. the meaning, or an interpretation of the meaning, of a word, sign, sentence, etc.:
                Let’s not argue about semantics.

                You can argue all you like about what the ‘meaning’ of summer or winter sport is, but anyone else reading this will realise: you’ll continue to lose this battle of ‘semantics’.

                Why? Because football is commonly or colloquially (too strong a word for this instance though) referred to as a winter sport.

                I’ve warned you before about being too cute with the English language.

              • March 21st 2017 @ 11:20am
                Nemesis said | March 21st 2017 @ 11:20am | ! Report

                I’ve found Aussies tend to have a limited lexicon and poor grasp of grammar, so they’re loose with their words and don’t understand the importance of choosing words carefully. Part of the Lazy Aussie Culture.

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2017 @ 1:35pm
                Rick Disnick said | March 21st 2017 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

                “I’ve found Aussies tend to have a limited lexicon and poor grasp of grammar”

                Nice bit of stereotyping there. I’ve noticed you intermittently stick the boot into Australians; particularly those aged under 40.

                “so they’re loose with their words and don’t understand the importance of choosing words carefully”

                Self-refereeing again I see. You tend to do this a lot with me, especially when you’ve been put in your place.

                Simple fact is: ‘Semantics’ was used correctly. The use of ‘colloquial’ makes no sense in its place. Accept it and move on.

                Of course you could refute its definition if you like. No self-refereeing from me though. Here it is again, just for you:

                1 [usually treated as singular] The branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning. The two main areas are logical semantics, concerned with matters such as sense and reference and presupposition and implication, and lexical semantics, concerned with the analysis of word meanings and relations between them.

                Example sentences
                1.1 The meaning of a word, phrase, or text.
                ‘such quibbling over semantics may seem petty stuff’

                Source: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/semantics

              • March 21st 2017 @ 4:00pm
                Post_hoc said | March 21st 2017 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

                Rick, the argument was the alignment with the international Calendar yet you constantly bring in League AFL and Cricket in the Australian context. Now argue semantics all you want but you fundamentally failed in your argument because you switch arguments when the previous one doesn’t suit you.

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2017 @ 4:54pm
                Rick Disnick said | March 21st 2017 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

                @Post_hoc

                I think you’re confusing my arguments here. This is simply Fuss and I having an English lesson.

                Unfortunately for the Bulgarian Butcher of English, he has once again managed to catastrophically @#$% up, which is why you won’t see him refuting the definition of ‘semantics’ I’ve given him.

                You’re more than welcome coming to his aid, providing you can provide a different definition of ‘semantics’ for all to read.

                If you want to discuss the International Calendar, I suggest you make your comments below where I’ve mentioned this to Kaks.

                Otherwise, I suggest you runaway like the Bulgarian Butcher has done.

              • March 21st 2017 @ 5:01pm
                Sydneysider said | March 21st 2017 @ 5:01pm | ! Report

                Rick & Nemesis, get a room!

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2017 @ 5:31pm
                Rick Disnick said | March 21st 2017 @ 5:31pm | ! Report

                I don’t need a room; he’s hanging around outside my house unfortunately. He tends to stalk me a lot — hopefully my new deadlocks will holdout.

                A community announcement for everyone else though. This is what XMAS Day Stalker looks like incase he’s in your area:

              • March 21st 2017 @ 10:19pm
                Chris said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:19pm | ! Report

                Rick you are just an imbec*le

        • Roar Rookie

          March 24th 2017 @ 12:41am
          Martyn50 said | March 24th 2017 @ 12:41am | ! Report

          The UK summer is not exactly the same as the Aussie summer. How often does Manchester get to 30c let along 35 on many weekends. Heck London hardly gets more than 35 once every 10 years.

    • March 21st 2017 @ 8:27am
      AR said | March 21st 2017 @ 8:27am | ! Report

      Evan asks: “what’s stopping the A-League from becoming a winter league?”

      But doesn’t really attempt to answer the question.

      It’s not easy.

      The move into summer was certainly based, in part, to get ‘clear air’ from the winter codes, as Waz says above.

      And it still works, when there’s clear air. The start of every ALeague season sees ratings and crowds peak when there’s few other sports on. That makes sense.

      Ground availability is an issue, one which is coupled with pitch quality. But I think the FFA should probably move the season back to an August start, with a international break if possible.

      It’s a crowded landscape so there’s no perfect solution, but that makes sense to me.

      • Roar Guru

        March 21st 2017 @ 9:19am
        Kaks said | March 21st 2017 @ 9:19am | ! Report

        Disagree. We are currently aligned with the FIFA calendar, no reason to change.

        • Roar Guru

          March 21st 2017 @ 9:30am
          Rick Disnick said | March 21st 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report

          Remind me again why the Campeonato Brasileiro doesn’t align itself with the FIFA calendar?

          • Roar Guru

            March 21st 2017 @ 11:06am
            Kaks said | March 21st 2017 @ 11:06am | ! Report

            Because that’s what the Brazilians want to do?

            Australia should continue to align itself with the FIFA calendar and schedule games later in the afternoon during the hotter months.

            Simple, easy, everyone’s happy and I just saved everyone 100 comments about absolutely nothing where people like DRick bait people so they can have a laugh or two.

            You’re welcome everyone

            • March 21st 2017 @ 11:38am
              Lionheart said | March 21st 2017 @ 11:38am | ! Report

              thanks for the laugh there too Kaks

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2017 @ 12:13pm
                Kaks said | March 21st 2017 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

                You’re welcome my friend 🙂

            • Roar Guru

              March 21st 2017 @ 1:40pm
              Rick Disnick said | March 21st 2017 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

              “Because that’s what the Brazilians want to do?”

              …and right there lies the problem with Australian elite football. The Brazilians do what ‘they want’ to do.

              Thank you very much for making my point.

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2017 @ 3:52pm
                Kaks said | March 21st 2017 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

                Got us there! Well done DRick

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2017 @ 5:36pm
                Rick Disnick said | March 21st 2017 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

                Thought you’d like it, which is why you felt the burning desire to respond; despite deep down knowing you really shouldn’t.

          • March 21st 2017 @ 7:31pm
            SmithHatesMaxwell said | March 21st 2017 @ 7:31pm | ! Report

            The Brazilians don’t have to compete with the AFL and NRL.

            Soccer is the number one sport and football code in Brazil.

            Soccer is the least popular of the four football codes in Australia, hence seeking refuge in the summer months. That worked well for awhile but now you have the A-League taking a battering from the BBL.

            • March 21st 2017 @ 7:53pm
              Nemesis said | March 21st 2017 @ 7:53pm | ! Report

              ALeague doesn’t compete with AFL & NRL for viewers.

              It competes with EPL, LaLiga, Bundeslig, etc. etc.

              AFL & NRL don’t attract football fans. Why would they? Crash & bash sports. Nothing in common with Football.

              • March 21st 2017 @ 8:00pm
                SoccerTheWorldGame said | March 21st 2017 @ 8:00pm | ! Report

                No, the A-League competes with the AFL and NRL hence running off to summer like the NBL did.

                Just like the BBL competes with the A-League too (with great success).

              • March 21st 2017 @ 8:13pm
                Midfielder said | March 21st 2017 @ 8:13pm | ! Report

                very true N

            • March 21st 2017 @ 8:15pm
              punter said | March 21st 2017 @ 8:15pm | ! Report

              The most negative person on the Roar is back with a different name.

      • March 21st 2017 @ 9:38am
        Nemesis said | March 21st 2017 @ 9:38am | ! Report

        The biggest nonsense that keeps repeating by football illiterates is that ALeague needs to avoid AFL & NRL to survive.

        1) The ALeague season currently overlaps 1/3rd of the AFL, NRL & Super Rugby seasons. If Aleague wanted to avoid competing with these competitions, the ALeague would’ve finished 3 weeks ago.

        But, the ALeague still has 20 more matches in the H&A Season.
        Then another 3 weeks of knock-out cup football for the best 6 teams in the competition.

        This is all occurring during the AFL, NRL & Rugby season.

        Now for the really important point.

        2) The highest average season attendances for ALeague occurred in 2007/08.

        In this season, the ALeague started in August. That’s right it started during the final stages of the AFL & NRL season.

        And, not only that, in this season of record high average attendances…

        a) ALeague played every day that the AFL & NRL had their finals matches

        b) ALeague even played a match on the same day as the 2007 AFL Grand Final
        Sydney vs Jets: 13.8k crowd

        c) ALeague played TWO matches on the same day as the 2007 NRL Grand Final
        AUFC vs CCM: 11k crowd
        NIX vs Perth: 10.1k crowd

        So, to summarise.

        The season when ALeague recorded the HIGHEST average crowds for a season that still holds today, was the season ALeague overlapped with AFL & NRL finals and even played on the same day as the AFL & NRL Grand Final.

        No one cares about the AFL Grand Final in NSW or Qld.
        No one cares about the NRL Grand Final in outside NSW or Qld.

        • March 21st 2017 @ 10:00am
          Swanny said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

          I’m not worried abt survival of the A league in regards to the Afl

          I just reckon mid March grand final. End of summer. Sounds a perfect fit for the A league
          I be happy if we start in July August to accomodate a March grand final

          • March 21st 2017 @ 10:47am
            Nemesis said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report

            Season needs to be (and will soon be) much longer; not shorter.

            I’d prefer 2 breaks –
            1) Break for Christmas- Jan
            – Often very hot period plus it’s school holidays & people are more likely to not have access to their home stadium, or Foxtel TV.
            2) Break for June & July
            – International calendar, including visiting club friendlies

            Benefits:
            1) Our Champions will be in their prime when they are involved with ACL
            2) 2 Short breaks to rejuvenate players & fans; rather than one mind-numbingly boring long break
            3) Opportunity to stop for Fifa international dates.

        • March 21st 2017 @ 2:51pm
          Mickyo said | March 21st 2017 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

          Keep telling yourself that soccer different change seasons to avoid the AFL and NRL, I guess they didn’t imagine the BBL which has subsequently obliterated any clear air they were banking on.

          Both the BBL and AFLW will have longer seasons next year.

          Australians have spoken with their eyeballs and feet.

          • March 21st 2017 @ 3:33pm
            Nemesis said | March 21st 2017 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

            BBL lasts 6 weeks.
            AFLW lasts 7 weeks.

            The players on My Kitchen Rules have a more arduous season of competition than BBL or AFLW.

            ALeague’s highest season average crowds occurred when ALeague played matches on the same day as the AFL Grand Final & NRL Grand Final.

            Nothing to fear from those competitions because there is limited overlap of fans.

            For the fans who do like both, well they’ll choose ALeague. If they don’t, no problem – go back to where they came from. They’re not one of us.

            • March 21st 2017 @ 4:33pm
              Tom m said | March 21st 2017 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

              This is exactly the type of attitude that is hurting Soccer in Australia.

            • March 21st 2017 @ 5:27pm
              Mickyo said | March 21st 2017 @ 5:27pm | ! Report

              Lol

              Of course

            • March 21st 2017 @ 5:56pm
              AR said | March 21st 2017 @ 5:56pm | ! Report

              “ALeague’s highest season average crowds occurred when ALeague played matches on the same day as the AFL Grand Final & NRL Grand Final.”

              Why refer to the scenario ten years ago?

              Things have changed in ten years.

              Why be scared to refer to the situation as it is now?

    • March 21st 2017 @ 8:28am
      j binnie said | March 21st 2017 @ 8:28am | ! Report

      A beautifully worded ,almost travel agency’s description, of Adelaide’s Cooper Stadium, and surrounds, on a summer’s evening.
      However,what those undoubtedly beautiful words have to do with attendance figures is probably a stretch too far for the average football fan to comprehend. The current HAL Champions are having an abysmal season and that is as good a reason as any for their aggregate average attendance to have dropped by 4000. There is little doubt that the weather ,especially in “sunlight hours” could have an effect in a stadium that is only 35% in potential shade, but surely, while the weather is beyond the control of the FFA it certainly falls under the jurisdiction of the schedulers for TV exposure,posing the counter argument ,why is the game not being played under lights when the sun has dropped behind the horizon.????
      The writer then attempts a “reconciliation” into the discussion by citing the differences between our league and those of our neighbours in Asia, seemingly forgetting weather patterns in those countries,especially those affected by monsoons in central Asia, and sub Zero temeperatures in the more northern countries like China.This is not a good argument.
      To finish how does the writer explain how Brisbane and Perth ,two areas badly affected by tropical weather patterns have actually increased their “average ” home attendances this season over last season ,Perth by 1500 per match and Roar by 1800 per match.
      Could it be that even outstanding success in our league doesn’t guarantee an increase in this area of comparison for Sydney FC, despite their runaway performance, are averaging 16,000 to their home games this season,compared to —–16,000 last season.
      Amazing,despite heat and rain also affecting NSW..
      On the other hand, their near city neighbours have had a different experience, drawing 61,000 to their opening “derby” game but ,due to a forced movement to another stadium have seen their average drop to 18,000.
      Wellington on the other hand totally unaffected by heat or snow and, taking their “road show” all around the country, have dropped from 8000 to 6,300.
      A fickle lot are we football fans. so back to the drawing board for her author, weather,and it’s effect on crowds, is not the only area that needs to be examined. Cheers jb.

      • March 21st 2017 @ 10:17am
        Caltex & SBS support Australian Football said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:17am | ! Report

        JB, as a couple of old timers, we remember “ALL” summer football played under lights. I think we deserve an explanation from FOX why they insists in scheduling football in afternoon heat wave conditions—it doesn’t make sense; does it really make that much of a difference to TV ratings? I see no conceivable excuse for football to be played in early time kick-offs on a summer afternoon.

        • March 21st 2017 @ 10:51am
          j binnie said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

          Caltex -When the idea of summer soccer was first discussed, was, as you say, in the early days of NSL but by the time the then parent body ,the ASF,got around to implementing the idea ,much of the original suggestions were “shelved”.
          Playing in a time slot between 6 and 7pm, the original idea saw the importance of playing in that time slot.,under floodlights thus satisfying a large cross section of the potential football market,families and youth…
          However ,as I said, the idea was to play under floodlight and even by the time the idea was finally implemented ,many of the NSL clubs at that time were playing on grounds that had no lights, or lights not up to FIFA standards for playing under.
          And so that part of the suggestion was “shelved” the ‘ politicians” voting with hearts instead of their brains. A common occurrence in those days. Cheers jb.

      • March 21st 2017 @ 10:44am
        Lionheart said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

        Nicely put onslaught of the article there JB, but not without cause. I too have similar reservations about the effect of weather on crowds, which lets face it, aren’t given much encouragement to turn up anyway, regardless of the weather.
        Adelaide only has two codes, no teams in either of the rugby national competitions, so AU has a much easier market to work with, they have their own ground and they seem to have a ragingly supportive local media. To cite the weather is a bit of a cop out. really. In Brisbane, I don’t recall any matches taking a drinks break for the heat, maybe I’ve missed something, and I don’t think we can blame the weather for crowd lapses.

        • March 22nd 2017 @ 9:00am
          j binnie said | March 22nd 2017 @ 9:00am | ! Report

          Lionheart – When we did the original inquiry and investigation into the feasibility of “summer soccer” being played under lights,(yes it was done in Brisbane) it was contributed to by the meteorological bureau that Brisbane matches would be under more threat from thunderstorms and torrential rain than it would be from excessive heat.. Cheers jb.

    • March 21st 2017 @ 9:00am
      Square Nostrils said | March 21st 2017 @ 9:00am | ! Report

      Whilst nobody could argue that kicking off A-League matches after the sun goes down in the height of Summer should be mandatory, the problem lies as much in the style of play expected on the park.
      Brazil I should imagine with the Equator running through the top part and the Tropic of Capricorn to the South plays football in hot weather, along with Peru etc squashed between the two lines.
      Difference is that their style of football is based on their far superior ball skills.
      Conserve energy, keep possession, make the ball do the work, once in the oppositions half up the tempo, quicker passing to open their defence.
      In Australia Arnie lauds Rhyan Grant for his box to box endeavours. In other words a slower pace doesn’t suit Australian audiences. I guarantee that if Australian fans looked back over 12 years of the A-League, that the outstanding matches were those played at pace with the magic ingredient added called intensity.
      Conversely the most lacklustre boring matches(The ending the other day being the exception) were those played in the height of Summer in the late afternoon.
      Bottom line, get over the phobia about what other sports do and play the majority of matches in Winter or in the height of Summer kick off after dark.

      • March 21st 2017 @ 10:50am
        Lionheart said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

        hang on SN, aren’t you contradicting yourself here? Your first sentence says, inter alia, no one can argue we should play at night, then your last sentence says, we should play at night. Or am I nitpicking?

        • March 21st 2017 @ 11:13am
          Square Nostrils said | March 21st 2017 @ 11:13am | ! Report

          Lionheart

          Dont think your nitpicking as both the beginning lines regarding night matches and the ending lines are meant to indicate the same thing, “Playing at night is the go”.
          Maybe could be clearer perhaps with the use of the English language.

          • March 21st 2017 @ 11:17am
            Lionheart said | March 21st 2017 @ 11:17am | ! Report

            ok, won’t go there but I got the point of your post.

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