NRL left red-faced after embarrassing finals turnout

Adam Bagnall Roar Pro

By Adam Bagnall, Adam Bagnall is a Roar Pro


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    On Friday night a blockbuster AFL final between Geelong and Richmond attracted over 95,000 fans to the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

    » The obvious solution to the NRL’s crowd woes: Get back to the ‘burbs!

    In reply, the Roosters-Broncos clash attracted just 21,000 fans, and things only got worse from there, with a mere 15,000 turning out for an all-Sydney clash between Penrith and Manly and just 22,000 attending the Storm-Eels game.

    A crowd of 15,000 is an absolute embarrassment for the NRL for the first week of finals, the so-called business end of the season, and it clearly shows that the current game is not attracting enough fans.

    Whether it be cost, scheduling or other factors, something must be done to avoid this farce of teams playing in half-empty stadiums.

    » Six talking points Sharks vs Cowboys
    » Five talking points Sea Eagles vs Panthers
    » Six talking points Storm vs Eels
    » Six talking points Roosters vs Broncos

    Manly fans don’t travel, which is disappointing, while the Panthers have a limited supporter base – but surely both sets of fans could have put in a better effort to get to the game.

    The crowd on Friday night for Geelong and Richmond shows just how far ahead the AFL is. They have a great stadium in a convenient city location having abandoned ageing suburban grounds, and the crowds have been flocking through the gates for years.

    Earlier in the week the Crows were dudded with a Thursday night clash against interstate team Greater Western Sydney, yet they still pulled more than 52,000 fans. The Roosters could pull less than half that 24 hours later.

    The Swans hosted the Bombers with close to 50,000 fans in attendance – in Sydney – while the Power and Eagles attracted 41,000 fans to Adelaide Oval.

    In total more than 234,000 fans attended an AFL finals game this week, whereas the NRL could attract just 58,000 across three games, an average of fewer than 20,000 per game.

    Those fans who chose to stay home missed some great games, and you could argue that the NRL games have been as good as, or perhaps better than, the AFL clashes, but that still leaves the NRL with an unwanted headache heading into week two of the finals, with empty bays and a sprinkling of fans a bad look for the game.

    The Sharks and Cowboys do battle today, and if there are more than 20,000 fans there, it will be a modern-day miracle.

    I bet there were another 10,000 to 15,000 fans who were considering heading to Allianz to watch the Panthers and Eagles do battle, but due to a number of factors didn’t make the journey.

    The NRL has no sway over work commitments, family events et cetera, but the boffins in charge can make it much more attractive to attend the games, starting with ticket prices so cheap people will be pouring through the turnstiles.

    I’m thinking $10 for general admission tickets, and for a family of four the price should be around $30 as opposed to $171 that you would have to fork over for today’s game.

    Yes, for a game that is already going to be a hard sell, I went online and selected a family-of-four package, which category three in a non-alcohol area, and the total came to $65. That’s before you buy food and drinks for everyone, which will smash through the $100 barrier for a day out at the footy.

    This is supposed to be the working-class game, but find me a working-class family that can afford to spend $100 for a day out at the footy with power prices and rent through the roof these days.

    Your move, Mr Greenberg.

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    The Crowd Says (326)

    • Roar Guru

      September 10th 2017 @ 8:59am
      The Barry said | September 10th 2017 @ 8:59am | ! Report

      The marketing and advertising for the semi finals is pathetic. I haven’t seen one message reach me all week about what games are on where and who and why I should go that I haven’t specifically looked for.

      Absolutely nothing is done to attract neutral fans and non-fans to games.

      When I was a kid my dad and brother supported the Roosters. Me the Bulldogs, but my old man would take us to neutral games all the time. I wouldnt consider taking my family to a neutral game these days. Mainly to do with cost and scheduling times.

      We all know that the NRL favours the TV audience and rightly so – that’s where the money comes from. But they don’t have to give up on attracting crowds altogether.

      We can’t play semis at suburban grounds because there’s no scope to ever increase the crowds beyond 15-17,000. So the focus needs to be getting people to games.

      If I’m a Penrith fan that lives in the greater west or a Manly fan from the Northern Beaches it’s pretty tough to get to that game. Pretty much a 1.5 hour commute each way. Game ended after 10pm so there’s no way I’m taking the kids. Driving is a punish and means no beers. Public transport is a nightmare at that time of night.

      So we’re asking people to leave home no later than 6pm, spend decent coin and get home around midnight on a cold night…to watch a game of footy that they can watch in two hours for free from their armchair. It’s a tough sell and I’m not sure I know the answer.

      • September 10th 2017 @ 10:10am
        AGO74 said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:10am | ! Report

        You can’t underestimate the difficulty in getting to a game. MCG/Etihad/Adelaide oval are all right outside direct train lines to rest of city. Even the Gabba has good public transport options right outside it (not sure about Suncorp?). For sfs and anz you have to catch train and bus or two or three trains to each venue respectively. This means people drive instead and then get annoyed at length of time and are less inclined to attend and instead stay home. If the sfs was right next to central or Redfern station I have no doubt you’d see attendances at least 50% higher.

        The cost of these games are ok – I got a family of 4 for today’s game and it’s only $60. This is very good value.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 11:32am
          shirtpants said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:32am | ! Report

          Suncorp is basically across the road from the train station

          • Roar Pro

            September 10th 2017 @ 11:47am
            Alexander Clough said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:47am | ! Report

            And you’ve got the free buses which go from all over the city which go to and from suncorp

            • September 10th 2017 @ 7:07pm
              Psychodelia said | September 10th 2017 @ 7:07pm | ! Report

              There’s no denying, though, that Broncos and State of Origin games played in Brisbane are very expensive. Particularly SOO.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 12:33pm
          Matt Dustby said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

          SCG doesn’t have that problem and it is next door

        • September 10th 2017 @ 1:36pm
          Craig said | September 10th 2017 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

          SCG is next door to the SFS and people seem to get there….

          • September 10th 2017 @ 2:00pm
            AGO74 said | September 10th 2017 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

            Two things – 1) it is fairly well known that swans fans are largely from eastern suburbs. This is a different scenario to people from western, south western or even southern Sydney. It’s no surprise that roosters drew a higher crowd against on their own against an out of town team than could Penrith or Manly (Manly fans have less of an excuse to be honest). 2) there is also a higher proportion of people who go to afl games in person due to the recognition that it is a game better to view live than on tv whereas league a lot of people consider is the opposite.

            • September 10th 2017 @ 11:31pm
              Phelpsy said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:31pm | ! Report

              This whole people don’t go as it is better to watch on to falls apart when SoO sells out most years.

              • September 11th 2017 @ 6:27am
                Gray-Hand said | September 11th 2017 @ 6:27am | ! Report

                No it doesn’t.
                State of origin has a much larger support base because all rugby league fans from the home state support the team. This is supported by the fact that more people watch state of origin on TV than watch games between clubs.

                The representative nature of the teams also generates an atmosphere that makes origin games completely different to club games.

            • Roar Pro

              September 11th 2017 @ 11:31am
              MrJSquishy said | September 11th 2017 @ 11:31am | ! Report

              Your second point is absolutely spot on, AGO74. NRL (or league in general) is simply better to watch on TV. Whereas AFL is simply better to watch live. AFL is all about player movements all over the field. NRL Is totally about where the ball is. So, you have the option of 3 hours travel (back and forth) to a stadium that has no atmosphere, to sit somewhere within 10 to a 130 metres from where the ball will be. Or, you get a slab, park your ass on the couch and watch it up close on TV.

              I think if the NRL realised that atmosphere is more important than numbers, they would focus on using suburban grounds and forget about competing with the AFL audience numbers. No one can deny that the game in round 26 between Manly and Penrith had more atmosphere than the first week of Finals. It’s purely to do with the Stadium. Surely a sold out home ground is better than an empty amphitheater…

            • September 11th 2017 @ 3:27pm
              Angela said | September 11th 2017 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

              The idea that NRL is better on TV and AFL is better live doesn’t really hold up.

              There are things you can see on TV in an AFL match that you’ll never see on the ground because the ground is so big and there’s so much running back and forth. Mostly, it’s an exciting high-scoring game in both forums.

              The thing is that the AFL make their games an EVENT – songs, banners, music – that binds the fans together. Apart from the State of Origin and the GF, NRL matches are strangely depressingly low key. No atmosphere. A couple I went to this season the players were on the ground playing for five minutes before I realised the game had begun.

              It’s crazy to just blame poor attendances in NRL on TV screenings taking the audience away. Sydney is relatively new to AFL, no one watched it when the Swans first arrived – and look at it now, year by year draining kids and fans away from NRL.

              The AFL has helped make our indigenous game magic. Gone are the days of NSW people sneeringly referring to it as aerial ping-pong. It’s here to stay and unless NRL get their act together fairly quickly AFL will continue to draw the crowds. More people at matches means more people at matches – the atmosphere is electric.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 5:42pm
          MD43 said | September 10th 2017 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

          Oh please, the bulk of Geelong fans had to travel 80km in peak hour to the MCG and there still would have been more Cats fans at friday’s AFL final than the total attendance of any of the NRL finals, and Geelong are only a medium sized AFL club.

          Waverley Park was notoriously a nightmare to travel to with public transport limited to a handful of buses, far worse than the SCG/SFS and yet finals in the 90’s when the stadium was neglected in the lead up to it’s closing would still regularly attract 60k.

          Either the NRL has a culture problem when it comes to attendance, the AFL has created a culture which can’t be replicated by the NRL (or any other competition in Aus), or the truth lies somewhere in the middle of those.

      • September 10th 2017 @ 11:17am
        Alicesprings said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:17am | ! Report

        Poor form Penrith and Manly fans. Can’t travel halfway across Sydney!

        West Coast Eagles will have more fans making the trip across the country next weekend.

      • September 11th 2017 @ 8:14am
        chris said | September 11th 2017 @ 8:14am | ! Report

        Are you being serious about non-promotion? What exactly are you after? All news on radio, tv and papers have wall to wall NRL stories and promos. Give me a break.

    • September 10th 2017 @ 9:25am
      Gus Paella said | September 10th 2017 @ 9:25am | ! Report

      I’m not sure what the answer is either. It’s easy to blame the Todd for not doing enough but nobody throws out an excuse like the average NSW NRL fan.

      It seems to me that in NSW you can pack out a game for origin and only for origin. Could it be that the majority of NRL fans just don’t want to go to the regular games bad enough?

      Why are you happy to stump up for an origin ticket, all associated food and beverage costs and travel but you won’t watch your own team play? Just admit it. You don’t want it bad enough.

      • September 10th 2017 @ 12:06pm
        Big Daddy said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

        It is very easy to blame Todd and the NRL as they have made it easier for the fan to watch it on TV rather than going to game.
        But in contrast AFL have probably similar broadcast and TV coverage but AFL fans seem to support their teams more passionately hence bigger crowds.

      • September 10th 2017 @ 12:59pm
        JT4President said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

        Don’t want it bad enough… Haha. I love this phrase.

        Want what? To go to the game? To win? To pay? To ride the public transport.

        I admit it. I don’t want it bad enough. Whatever it is.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 10:54pm
          Jock Cornet said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:54pm | ! Report

          Plus security treat you like a criminal and it is too hard to enjoy a beer. Too hard to get home and poor times. Should be arvo games but tv have all the rights

      • September 10th 2017 @ 2:49pm
        Ryan said | September 10th 2017 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

        People all over NSW trek to Origin, its the game you want to go to highest level game of any code…maybe ppl just dont want to go bad enough to put up with traffic, roads, parking, public transport…Biggest Sydney teams werent playing in Sydney. If Tiges, Eels, Dragons, Dogs or Bunnies were playing Roosters, Penrith or Eagles there would of been 35k

        • September 11th 2017 @ 1:33pm
          republican said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

          …….an interesting distinction between these two code cultures is that the SOO is the highest pinnacle of the game in Australia, even compared with any NRL GF or international fixture, whereas the reverse is the case in Australian Footy, given its supposed domestic ‘impediment’.
          The domestic tribal focus is way more intense in our code than in League while there is a lack of interest on the part of the AFL and its support base to revisit origin these days.
          It would be interesting to see how well an origin match between the big V, WA or SA would be patronised.
          I do recall that these games attracted much fervour before being compromised with the instalment of the AFL………

      • September 10th 2017 @ 5:14pm
        woodart said | September 10th 2017 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

        good post. too many clubs in sydney is now coming back to haunt the nrl. when you have people whining that its too hard to get across sydney to support their teams, its time to cull a couple of them.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 5:37pm
          Doug Graves said | September 10th 2017 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

          Agree woodart but who to cull? I’d say relocate Tigers to Perth and cronulla to Adelaide.

        • September 11th 2017 @ 8:17am
          chris said | September 11th 2017 @ 8:17am | ! Report

          And they almost succeeded in culling the bunnies. How’s that decision looking now?

          • September 11th 2017 @ 4:40pm
            Josh said | September 11th 2017 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

            Well given the bunnies got 6k to their last home game and had the worst crowds in sydney it looks like it would have been a good idea still

            • September 12th 2017 @ 7:30am
              chris said | September 12th 2017 @ 7:30am | ! Report

              Season was done and gone by then.

    • September 10th 2017 @ 9:36am
      Justin Smith said | September 10th 2017 @ 9:36am | ! Report

      Just play it in smaller stadiums. Then it will look like people care

      • September 10th 2017 @ 9:48am
        Crosscoder said | September 10th 2017 @ 9:48am | ! Report

        Play it at the home stadiums of the higher place club.They’d at least pack the stadiums .
        Neutral stadiums for clubs from outer fringe Sydney are not going to get the numbers.Seriously Manly v Penrith what was the NRL thinking?
        Fans will; not travel in Sydney long distances from their home club base.The Swans play at their home base central for the majority of their fans.

        Parramatta at ANZ would have got a hell of a lot more if they played there and that will show when they play the winner of Sharks v Cows..As would at least 3 other NRL Sydney clubs with bigger followings when they are in the top 8 Dogs/Souths/Tigers.

        Anycase the crowds despite being ordinary, are hardly different to what transpired in the prior few years.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 10:49am
          Wayne Turner said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:49am | ! Report

          Yeap. Manly vs Penrith should have been at Brookvale oval.

      • September 10th 2017 @ 2:15pm
        Norad said | September 10th 2017 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

        AFL had bigger crowds than NRL. Wow tell us something new. Boxing Day at the Gee gets twice as many people as the SCG Test. Melb Cup gets 5 times as many fans as the Golden Slipper. So what?

        • September 10th 2017 @ 3:21pm
          republican said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

          ……..& the Melbourne Cup has diddly Aussie content, so is Australian by name only…………

          • September 10th 2017 @ 10:44pm
            ChrisB said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:44pm | ! Report

            I always find it hugely amusing when people comment on the nationality of animals

            • September 11th 2017 @ 10:43am
              republican said | September 11th 2017 @ 10:43am | ! Report


            • September 11th 2017 @ 1:39pm
              republican said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

              …….a tad like multi national products, i.e. to say, sport is just that today, while the Sport of Kings has always been about the filthy lucre and isn’t really sport at all, truth be told.
              Some Aussies still think Bundy & XXXX are Australian, now thats amusing.
              So why does anyone support sport at all today, if the nationalistic, parochial dynamic is purely tokenistic?

        • September 10th 2017 @ 8:08pm
          Lumps23 said | September 10th 2017 @ 8:08pm | ! Report

          Hey norad….. 46343 people at the scg swans v bombers and last time I checked the scg is in Sydney

      • September 10th 2017 @ 3:41pm
        ajg said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

        exactly! im sick of going to games in bethemoth stadiums and tiny crowds. it leads to crap atmosphere and i just cant be bothered to go along

        Why cant the games be played in reasonable sized stadiums?

        • September 10th 2017 @ 7:11pm
          Psychodelia said | September 10th 2017 @ 7:11pm | ! Report

          ajg You hit the nail on the head. I cringe when I see those almost empty stadiums on tv. Particularly the ones at ANZ stadium. No atmosphere, and a very bad look for the game. We pay a lot to see a game in Brisbane but at least we get decent crowds.

    • September 10th 2017 @ 9:42am
      Agent11 said | September 10th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

      There’s so much negativity around Rugby League at the moment I think people are keeping away. It’s a shame because the three finals games so far have been amazing entertainment.

      I don’t usually push this idea but I think the NRL needs to seriously look at rationalizing the Sydney market and putting new teams in Perth and Brisbane as soon as possible. The way things are I don’t see any of the current 9 teams in sydney growing their fanbases and attendances and they are holding the rest of the League back. The NRL can’t have teams in a city where their fans will only go to the local suburban ground on a sunny afternoon, but can’t be stuffed going to any other games.

      • September 10th 2017 @ 9:49am
        Agent11 said | September 10th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

        Penrith and Manly showed last night they should be the first 2 teams relocated or relegated.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 9:58am
          AGO74 said | September 10th 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report

          There would be Intrust cup teams with better facilities than brookvale oval.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 10:26am
          Andrew said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:26am | ! Report

          To be fair, Allianz is 60km’s from Pepper Stadium. But Brookvale is less than 20km’s from the SFS. If Manly got relocated, I would be more than fine with that.

          • Roar Guru

            September 10th 2017 @ 10:31am
            eagleJack said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:31am | ! Report

            As the crow flies. If you’ve ever tried to travel across the Spit you’d know it’s a 1.5hr trip to the SFS at the very least.

            So 3 hours of travel for a 40km round trip. Unsurprisingly many choose not to do it.

            There were more Manly fans in the crowd though last night it should be noted.

            • September 10th 2017 @ 11:11am
              Griffo said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:11am | ! Report

              Hi EJ, I’m not a Sydney Sider. When that tram line gets finished that goes from George St, past Moore Park will a ferry and tram ride from Manly be quicker?

              • Roar Guru

                September 10th 2017 @ 3:07pm
                eagleJack said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

                For those in Manly, yes. But Manly isn’t all that accessible for the rest of the northern beaches. The upgrade to the Spit Bridge will definitely help though.

            • September 10th 2017 @ 11:41am
              Big Daddy said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:41am | ! Report

              As opposed to getting to brookvale from any where.
              Train,ferry, bus and if you drive no parking .
              Spare me.
              If you really are a true team supporter you go anywhere they play.

              • September 11th 2017 @ 8:18am
                BrainsTrust said | September 11th 2017 @ 8:18am | ! Report

                Brookvale is central to anywhere on the Northern beaches, all the buses run by there.
                You have to park in the street a fair way from the ground, but its huge time saving compared to getting out of the Allianz improvised car park. ANd if you want to to park in the street and walk to Allianz stadium you need a lot of expert local knowledge and to walk a long way as well.
                ANywhere on the Northern half of Sydney by car its as easy to get to Brookvale, M2 go over Roseville bridge. If you use the M4 and M7 onto the M2 its quicker from Penrith.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 11:11am
          Simon said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:11am | ! Report

          Last night’s game was a cracker tho

        • September 10th 2017 @ 12:59pm
          Chris Wright said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

          Same game;

          If its Souths v. Canterbury = 25,000
          If its Canterbury v. Dragons = 30,000
          If its Wests Tigers v. Dragons = 25,000
          If its Souths v. Dragons = 25,000
          If its Parramatta v. Canterbury = 30,000

          These are the clubs that draw in Sydney.
          Other Sydney clubs only get good crowds when they play one of these clubs.

          Crowds have been down because all bar Paramatta had a good year this season.

          Not saying anything.
          Make your own conclusions.

          • September 10th 2017 @ 2:11pm
            hutch said | September 10th 2017 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

            Exactly. Penrith, manly, roosters and Cronulla are the 4 ‘local’ teams in the nrl. They don’t have massive fan bases across the city. Parra, dogs, Souths, tigers and dragons are the more popular teams by far. I think you are being conservative with your estimates if those teams played each other, they would draw much more.

            Fridays crowd is a pass, roosters v out of town team wasn’t going to draw much more than 20k and is on par with most first round semi finals from the last 15 years. But last nights crowd was pathetic. Their fans should be embarrassed.

            And the answer isn’t to play semi finals in suburban grounds. It is prestigious to play in a semi, they should be trying to fill the bigger stadiums.

            • Roar Guru

              September 10th 2017 @ 3:11pm
              eagleJack said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

              But the data suggests the first round of finals should be played in Suburban grounds.

              The NRL need to face facts. Sydney rugby league fans do not travel. Unless it’s a Preliminary Final or GF.

              I think it’s cute that people genuinely believe people will change. And the data available, over decades, is irrelevant.

      • September 10th 2017 @ 2:54pm
        Ryan said | September 10th 2017 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

        Holding the rest of the league back ??? i dont see Warriors, Storm, Raiders, Knights, Titans playing in front of 25k home crowds every week ? Its not too many teams that is the problem its the amatuerish way the NRL conducts its business such as Refs, Bunker, adminstration

      • September 10th 2017 @ 2:54pm
        Ryan said | September 10th 2017 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

        Holding the rest of the league back ??? i dont see Warriors, Storm, Raiders, Knights, Titans playing in front of 25k home crowds every week ? Its not too many teams that is the problem its the amatuerish way the NRL conducts its business such as Refs, Bunker, adminstration

        • September 11th 2017 @ 1:44am
          chump said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:44am | ! Report

          Knights are averaging the third largest crowd for the year. The broncos are the only team in the comp with > 20k home average.

          • September 11th 2017 @ 12:25pm
            bbt said | September 11th 2017 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

            Storm is 2nd after the Broncos.

      • September 11th 2017 @ 12:32pm
        Paul Chapman said | September 11th 2017 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

        Agent 11,
        Of course there is too many teams/clubs in Sydney. Almost all of them with negative 1908 suburban mentalities. The over sized number of clubs in Sydney is stopping expansion. Cull at least 3 clubs & give them the opportunity to relocate to Perth, Adelaide & Brisbane.
        League in Sydney is almost dead because of 1908 thinking. Sydney doesn’t own the game even though I have stated that on Roar several times to stir. League started in Qld within weeks of Sydney. In 1908 League was a breakaway RU competition (like Super League) playing to RU 15 a side rules until 1910. Rule books arrived from England & Referees were coached to the 13 a side. Melbourne, Brisbane & Newcastle leave Sydney based clubs for dead in fan numbers at club games.

      • September 11th 2017 @ 5:20pm
        Tingo Tango said | September 11th 2017 @ 5:20pm | ! Report

        Yes they tried that many years ago and Souths were gone.

        Since coming back they have won a premiership and have the largest membership base of 30k+ of any Sydney Club.

        Who goes and what effect do you think it would have on the game if it happened?

        Look at what he ARU has gone through getting rid of a side in a non rugby state.

        In the end Sydney is still growing faster than anywhere else so cutting any sides does not really make much sense

    • September 10th 2017 @ 9:44am
      Birdy said | September 10th 2017 @ 9:44am | ! Report

      The last time i went to Sydney was ’95.
      Any form of travel, day or night, week day or weekend was a nightmare.
      I cant imagine travelling to work let alone going to the footy with a family.
      If Brisbane had 2 or even 3 teams they would all attract great crowds as the transport is acceptable.
      Transport aside, i dont understand why the southern code can pack out the SCG when RL averages 20k for finals. ???????
      With all my family and friends that i still have in Sydney , even though a lot of them gave checked out what the fuss is about , i can honestly say , i only know 1 person who jumped ship .
      So where are their fans coming from?

      • September 10th 2017 @ 10:49am
        Jacko said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:49am | ! Report

        Brisbane is magic…..Every ticket comes with free public transport and the bus drops you off at Suncorp from almost any direction. Then after the game it takes about 15 mins to get on the bus going back to where you came in from…..All too easy

        • September 10th 2017 @ 11:07am
          Birdy said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:07am | ! Report

          Trouble with Sydney, unfortunately is that nothing was ever planned, it just kept spreading.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 4:48pm
          Your kidding said | September 10th 2017 @ 4:48pm | ! Report

          Finals Footy, $15 tickets, free transport offers, fine weather, less traffic on weekends, blanket media coverage etc,etc. The poor crowds are a disgrace and an embarrassment.
          Sorry, but Sydney has run out of excuses . Even TV ratings aren’t that great. Surely it can’t keep going like this, or is it only going to get worse ? And the NRL is lobbying for new stadiums. What a joke!

          • September 11th 2017 @ 9:17am
            clipper said | September 11th 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

            Weather wise it was a perfect weekend – must annoy the league die hards that they can’t use that excuse. It was raining in Adelaide and they got a full house, overcast for Richmond and they got 95k. Parramatta is meant to be one of the big drawing clubs – and so the decline in Sydney continues.

            • September 11th 2017 @ 2:46pm
              Cathar Treize said | September 11th 2017 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

              Wonder what would happen if the NRL finals had Parra v Bulldogs, Tigers v Souths at ANZ in the finals? 60-70,000+ Clipper & your ‘decline in Sydney’ theory would go out the window. Last few years the NRL has been extremely unlucky with scheduling & match ups giving the likes of you false hope. Sharks by all sense & purpose should have beaten the Cowboys setting up a Parra match up-50k plus. Not to mention a week one Sharks v Dragons with 30-35k plus was ruined by the Bulldogs upstaging that match up. So blah blah Clipper, that’s how you sound. Still devote so much spite for a game on the decline hey? Why’s that?

              • September 11th 2017 @ 4:22pm
                clipper said | September 11th 2017 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

                Yes, I agree – if you can get the top 8 attended teams to fill the 8 top spots, you may just get a few more attending. Strangely enough, not even the AFL can manage that, with Collingwood, Hawthorn and Carlton languishing at the bottom – imagine if they had all been in the mix.

      • September 11th 2017 @ 8:22am
        chris said | September 11th 2017 @ 8:22am | ! Report

        “The last time i went to Sydney was ’95.”
        Mate you should see it now. Permanent parking station regardless of where you are going.

    • September 10th 2017 @ 9:45am
      Paul Chapman said | September 10th 2017 @ 9:45am | ! Report

      Support for Sydney “Tribal Suburban Teams” is very limited & this will not change while there are too many Sydney based teams in the NRL.

      My solution ( it will never happen) is to include all the Sydney based teams in a purely suburban competition like it was years ago & then have a NRL competition with only 4 Franchised Sydney teams without Club connections included.
      This would increase interest in a smaller group of teams for the Sydney public to support & they could still support their Suburban teams in the Sydney competition.

      I have written this to encourage some “sane debate” on a very serious situation for rugby League not just in Sydney.

      • September 10th 2017 @ 2:56pm
        Ryan said | September 10th 2017 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

        It wont happen because only a mental patient would come up with this….lunacy !

      • September 10th 2017 @ 2:56pm
        Ryan said | September 10th 2017 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

        It wont happen because only a mental patient would come up with this….lunacy !

        • September 11th 2017 @ 1:23pm
          Paul Chapman said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

          Ryan, full of insults & no debate in you??

      • September 10th 2017 @ 4:13pm
        no one in particular said | September 10th 2017 @ 4:13pm | ! Report

        yeh, its the highest rating sport in the country, so lets change it

        • September 10th 2017 @ 7:37pm
          Your kidding said | September 10th 2017 @ 7:37pm | ! Report

          It’s not the highest rating sport in the country. Origin is very high rating but not the NRL club season.

          • September 10th 2017 @ 9:46pm
            hutch said | September 10th 2017 @ 9:46pm | ! Report

            The majority of weeks the nrl is the highest rating sport on free to air and pretty much every week Fox league outdated fox footy (sic).

            • September 10th 2017 @ 10:00pm
              Dier-ba-zor said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:00pm | ! Report

              Actually, it’s more two out of every five weeks the NRL outrates the AFL.

              • September 11th 2017 @ 9:22am
                clipper said | September 11th 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

                Just go and look at the FTA ratings. It is very, very rare that a NRL game outrates a AFL game this year – The finals even more so – Sat. 847k for AFL, 389k for NRL, Friday 807 vs 589 – how can anyway seriously think the NRL is outrating the AFL on FTA.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 8:06pm
          Kangajets said | September 10th 2017 @ 8:06pm | ! Report

          It’s just boring these days

          • September 10th 2017 @ 9:10pm
            Your kidding said | September 10th 2017 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

            I think you would find the NRL would acknowledge they are a distant 2nd to the AFL. But are still happy to be number 1 in NSW and Qld.
            The market share between all sports particularly in NSW seems to be changing. And that’s what they should be concerned about. The AFL and soccer are doing better at the grass roots level.

            • September 11th 2017 @ 1:57pm
              Perry Bridge said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

              #Your Kidding

              The issue for the NRL as you say about market share changing is that the NRL ‘home fortress’ states of NSW and QLD are the most ‘shared’ markets.

              The AFL ‘home fortress’ markets in SA, WA and Vic it is clear daylight 1st to the rest.

              The irony is that that is the case whilst the Storm and Victory in Victoria are very well attended.

              The AFL has put a lot on the line but with a minimum 2 teams in each mainland state – that’s a solid base to move forward on. The NRL seems to be standing still and in doing so is going backwards.

              • September 11th 2017 @ 5:43pm
                republican said | September 11th 2017 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

                ……& next it must be time for the AFL and this nation who tout this code as ‘national’ to show some respect for both Tassie & the nations capital, in re. to any further expansion.
                Enough of the commercial double standard speak and excuses, lets get on with it!