Ridiculous prices are strangling live rugby league

Scottyvee1986 Roar Rookie

By Scottyvee1986, Scottyvee1986 is a Roar Rookie


26 Have your say

    Todd Greenberg doesn’t seem to be worried about NRL crowd figures for 2017, saying in an interview after the weekend’s finals, “Sydney average crowds have not changed for the best part of two decades – they are usually one or two per cent up or down annually, year on year.”

    After doing some digging, I generally have to agree with him (at the bottom of the page is a list of the average attendances for the past decade, including all finals games, except for 2017).

    But, as a game, are we happy to throw up the white flag and accept defeat in crowd figures?

    Some of the most common responses to why people don’t go to games is the scheduling, costs, and excellent TV coverage. However, the scheduling and television coverage has changed a lot over the past decade, and the crowd figures have remained the same.

    Which only leaves… the cost.

    I will use my example of going to see my beloved Roosters play this season. The total cost for a night or day at the game for my wife and me (no kids) is roughly $120.00:

    Entry – $30 (with memberships at $150.00 each for the year)
    Parking – $25
    Drinks – $33 (four beers and one soft drink)
    Food – $32 (two hotdogs and two hot chips)

    These prices are beyond crazy – particularly when added to the rising costs of everything in Sydney, from house prices, rent, petrol – and it’s a wonder how people get to the game at all.

    If we want to grow crowd figures, we need a serious look into the budget.

    If the NRL slashed all other prices by half and doubled attendance, not only would you get the same outcome financially, but the atmosphere would be better, encouraging even more fans to attend games.

    It’s time to crunch the numbers, Greenberg. Strive to improve, not just settle.

    Crowd figures 2008-17
    2017 – 14,919 (not including final crowd figures)
    2016 – 16,057
    2015 – 16,155
    2014 – 16,798
    2013 – 16,643
    2012 – 17,346
    2011 – 17,243
    2010 – 17,367
    2009 – 17,098
    2008 – 16,321

    Do you find yourself logged out of The Roar?
    We have just switched over to a secure site (https). This means you will need to log-in afresh. If you need help with recovering your password, please get in contact.

    If you could choose from any and every NRL player in the competition, who would you pick in your rugby league dream team? Let us know with our team picker right here, and be sure to share it with all your league-loving mates.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (26)

    • September 14th 2017 @ 6:34am
      peeeko said | September 14th 2017 @ 6:34am | ! Report

      The NRL has little control over food and drink and they are comparable with event pricing anywhere. why dont you eat at home ? its only an 80 minute game. i think a $150 membership is really cheap and its easier to park and walk

      • September 14th 2017 @ 12:35pm
        Your kidding said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

        Aren’t finals tickets $15? With free transport! Sounds reasonable to me.

    • Roar Rookie

      September 14th 2017 @ 6:52am
      Dogs Boddy said | September 14th 2017 @ 6:52am | ! Report

      So general entry admission is $15 each and you think that is a bit much?? Is this subsidised because you are a member or is this the general admission price??

      Food and drinks are set by the ground, they have nothing to do with the NRL. There is no restriction on bringing in your own food and drink though right?? Taking public transport to the ground is not that convenient (I take it you are talking about the SFS if you are a Roosters fan) but it is certainly also not impossible. Do the Roosters offer membership that includes entry to all their games?? Is that a better or worse option than the $15 gate entry you are currently paying??

      There are many issues making fans stay home, just getting around Sydney itself would be one of them. I haven’t lived there in 6 years now but I don’t remember the traffic or public transport system fondly.

    • September 14th 2017 @ 7:09am
      Adam said | September 14th 2017 @ 7:09am | ! Report

      Is the $30 entry for away games? Doesn’t your membership allow you free entry to home games? Also if you could put up with not drinking beer for a couple of hours you would save money

    • September 14th 2017 @ 7:25am
      Oingo Boingo said | September 14th 2017 @ 7:25am | ! Report

      I watched the 1994 prelim between the raiders and the dogs yesterday, a crowd of almost 45,000 were on hand .
      Back then they were talking about needing a bigger stadium for finals games.
      Where , when , how and why have the NRL f#%ked it up so badly , yet the AFL have gone from strength to strength with almost 100,000 at the Richmond V Geelong game on Friday.
      Greenturd should enter into politics , he’d be a perfect fit.

    • September 14th 2017 @ 8:02am
      Leonard said | September 14th 2017 @ 8:02am | ! Report

      Be interesting to compare (and, more likely, contrast) Aussie costs to ‘go to the footy’ with similar ones overseas – the usual claim from each code’s suits is that ours are well below OS ones.

      It is very obvious that AFL and NRL are dominant either side of the Murray/Darling line, so the question is really ‘Why won’t NRL fans fill their venues at Finals time?’ Often, history provides a factor in answering such questions.

      In League’s case, is it decades of sponging off the gambling revenue from its well-known ‘Leagues clubs’, with a disconnect between wallet and watching. It is probably too early to judge the success/failure of the NRL’s belated efforts to create a culture of fans supporting their clubs by massive membership tallies. [Seems that Brisbane (with its history of huge success) and Melbourne (in a place where club membership is part of that city’s sporting culture) are exceptions; these two seem to be the best run of the 16 NRL clubs.]

      The target? Pro-rata, the ALF’s (almost) 1,000,000 membership tally. (And even if claims that Fido and Fifi are included in some totals, their household humans have to cough up the $$$s.)

      But lurking in some dark corners, the horrid feeling that NRL fans just can’t be bothered going.

      BTW, there was a media story this week that some NRL ‘identities’ wanted the SFS to reduce its seating capacity to create a ‘more intimate’ atmosphere.

      • September 14th 2017 @ 11:46am
        RandyM said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:46am | ! Report

        South Sydney have the second highest amount of members and aren’t that far behind Brisbane, yet they averaged 11k this season, go figure.

    • September 14th 2017 @ 8:18am
      AR said | September 14th 2017 @ 8:18am | ! Report

      Anyone who claims a $15-20 ticket to go to the football is too expensive is kidding themselves.

      That said, the NRL appear to do absolutely nothing to make the game more affordable for families. The NRL talks about wanting to improve crowds, but with every decision makes it a tv-first sport more and more.

      Last year, the AFL put a freeze on ticket prices, slashed food and drink prices, made kids free on Sundays, and brought back kick-to-kick on the field after the game.

      This year, their crowds went up again.