There are many arguments against expansion.
Diluting the talent pool. Grassroots needs the money before propping up an out of town team. I don’t necessarily agree with them, but I certainly understand them. But Perth being to far? What a joke.
So Peter V’landys thinks five hours on a plane is too much and so he wants to concentrate on Brisbane. Putting Brisbane 2 aside for a second and concentrating on Perth, we only need to look to other codes to see this five-hour trip isn’t necessarily a hindrance.
It hasn’t stopped West Coast from being successful. And if it is difficult for teams travelling to Perth, then logically it would be equally difficult for Perth travelling to other teams. The advantages and disadvantages should balance out giving a fair and equitable competition.
Well at least as fair as a competition can be when you play some teams once and others twice and disrupt your comp with rep games in the middle of the season.
Additionally, in order to grow the game, we need to expand to new areas. That is what expansion is. Nothing against a Brisbane 2 bid (I somewhat agree it’s needed) but you cannot expand into a current area. You can increase your presence there but you can not expand there.
The five hours on a plane away is exactly why we need to go to Perth. The time zone difference allows a new television time slot which means more money for the NRL. They have the fourth largest population in Australia. Which means potential new fans, which means more money for the NRL.
They have the stadiums, they have a healthy local competition, they have an interest in rugby league. It needs to be done.
Okay, there are the costs of travel. But other national competitions run on far less money and have a Perth franchise. Are you telling me NRL clubs can’t achieve what A-League, NBL or Super Netball or hell, even reserve grade netball (ANL) clubs can achieve?
So assuming you can get aboard with all above, we will now address the problem I’m sure a lot of you will raise. What about New Zealand versus Perth? What about all the travel they will have to do to play each other?
Looking past the fact that the Warriors have already been forced to play games in Perth in the past just because a Sydney team has chosen to take a home game there, it turns out an easy solution exists already.
Brisbane already hosts a magic round. So Perth versus New Zealand can be played in the magic round to minimise the travel and time zone difference for either team. They don’t need to play a second time because as mentioned earlier, not every team plays each other twice.
Perth is currently the only viable location for true expansion. Sure there may be challenges, but there are also fairly simple solutions to these challenges if we just take the time to think it through. I welcome negativity around the introduction of a team in Perth.
The more the better. This only gives additional considerations to plan and prepare for and in turn actually strengthen the Perth bid. So, why wouldn’t a Perth team work?