Greenberg: No return to suburban finals


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    NRL CEO Todd Greenberg has shot down calls to bring finals back to suburban ground to boost attendances.

    Despite week one of the NRL finals producing brilliant on-field action, attendances were dismal and dwarfed by AFL crowds.

    The NRL’s aggregate figure of 75,361 across four games was the lowest week-one figure since 2008, when three of the four matches were held at suburban grounds.

    The Sydney Swans sold out the SCG with 46,323 fans turning out for the elimination final against Essendon while on the same night just 15,408 attended the all-Sydney Manly-Penrith clash next door at Allianz Stadium.

    Manly chairman Scott Penn on the weekend described it as an “absolute disgrace” they were not allowed to play their home final at their spiritual home of Lottoland instead of Moore Park.

    Under NRL rules, all Sydney teams must move their home finals in weeks one to three to either Allianz Stadium or ANZ Stadium to allow the greatest number of fans to attend.

    Manly and Cronulla, who were both forced to play at Allianz Stadium, would have likely got bigger crowds had they been allowed to play at Lottoland and Southern Cross Group Stadium respectively.

    Greenberg said the game should be looking at ways to get bigger crowds at the big stadiums.

    “We’ve spoken about this for a number of years, my simple view is we should be talking the sport up, we should be finding a way to get people to the games rather than finding excuses for them not to come,” Greenberg said.

    With Parramatta to play at their home ground at ANZ Stadium on Saturday against North Queensland and Brisbane expecting a bumper crowd at Suncorp Stadium on Friday against the Panthers, Greenberg was buoyant attendances would improve in week two.

    “I was disappointed with some of the crowds but I’m enthusiastic about the crowds to come in week two and week three,” Greenberg said.

    He said he expected crowds to improve with forthcoming upgrades to ANZ Stadium, Allianz Stadium and Parramatta Stadium.

    “Sydney average crowds have not changed for the best part of two decades,” Greenberg said.

    “They are usually one or two per cent up or down year on year. That won’t change until we make a different decision on stadiums.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (17)

    • September 12th 2017 @ 8:44am
      Al Bundy said | September 12th 2017 @ 8:44am | ! Report

      Todd Greenberg should take the blinkers off and ask the fans why they don’t attend games. It wouldn’t be the extraordinarily high ticket prices or inconsistent Refereeing or downright bias towards certain players and teams because he says they are ALL Right! It wouldn’t be the TV-run programming schedule that has games starting at 8pm. Stop telling the fans what to do and actually ask them, or doesn’t he want to hear. Sounds just like a Government official doesn’t he? EMBARRASSING.

    • September 12th 2017 @ 12:59pm
      Big Daddy said | September 12th 2017 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

      Let’s wait and see how the crowds turn up this week.
      You could nearly bet money the crowd in Brisbane will much bigger.
      Let the Sydney public prove all the knockers wrong and turn up in their thousands???.
      Week after will storm play at home against Brisbane and roosters against cowboys and then we can have another qld gf.

      • September 13th 2017 @ 6:17am
        Matt said | September 13th 2017 @ 6:17am | ! Report

        You’re comparing low Sydney numbers to a one team Capital City in Brisbane. Not exactly apples and apples is it?

        • September 13th 2017 @ 11:44am
          Tom G said | September 13th 2017 @ 11:44am | ! Report

          neither is it redemption if finals starve Parramatta fans travel the 8km to ANZ

    • September 12th 2017 @ 1:23pm
      Your kidding said | September 12th 2017 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

      Greenberg and the NRL are liars. The crowds this year are way down on last year. They’ve developed a habit of inflating crowd figures to help keep their jobs.

      • September 13th 2017 @ 10:53am
        hutch said | September 13th 2017 @ 10:53am | ! Report

        Have any proof of that or are you just making things up because you dislike rugby league?

        • September 13th 2017 @ 11:14am
          Your kidding said | September 13th 2017 @ 11:14am | ! Report

          Hutch, I’m happy to repeat it. Greenberg and the NRL are liars and have been caught out many times infating crowd numbers. This is well documented in the press and other media. It’s common knowledge now. Nothing new.
          Why the state government would even listen to these clowns, in regards to stadiums baffles me.
          If the games are better suited to the suburbs then the NRL should tip in some money to do up grounds such as Brookvale.

        • September 13th 2017 @ 11:42am
          clipper said | September 13th 2017 @ 11:42am | ! Report

          QF last year 112,626. QF this year 75361 – down 66% – crowds are down, down so much they could do a coles jingle for them.

    • September 12th 2017 @ 5:23pm
      Suechi said | September 12th 2017 @ 5:23pm | ! Report

      Give these games a ‘local’ feel. That crowd at Sharks vs Cowboys looked ridiculous. I can’t believe that the NRL are just so dumb. I don’t know how many posts I have read about ‘listening to the fans’ – they continually do the opposite.

    • September 12th 2017 @ 10:49pm
      Tom G said | September 12th 2017 @ 10:49pm | ! Report

      When did defending the indefensible become the official strategy for the NRL? More bloody stupidity from this insipid CEO.

    • September 13th 2017 @ 6:22am
      Matt said | September 13th 2017 @ 6:22am | ! Report

      The Players Union should just bloody boycott next years finals if the NRL doesn’t hand back the home ground key they stole like thieves in the night.

      Let’s see who buckles first then.

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