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Time for NRL boss Dave Smith to listen to the fans

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by dowdz, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. dowdz

    dowdz Well-Known Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +852 / 5
    IGNORE rugby league fans at your peril, David (call me Dave) Smith.


    The Daily Telegraph was on Wednesday inundated with frustrated fans offering up dozens of genuine reasons why they have deserted rugby league in droves during recent weeks.

  2. Brookie Brawler

    Brookie Brawler Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +428 / 6
    I feel dirty following the link to that rubbish paper. Here is the full story so others don't need to. What's the bet the NRL ignore all the reasons given by fans (except the one about suburban grounds - which I bet Richie added himself) and blame the fixed scheduling as an excuse to go back to 3 or 4 weeks notice? Oh well at least they know how to increase GF ticket sales - make sure Souths r on top of the ladder. Keep up the good work refs!

    Rant over. Telecrap story below:

    Time for NRL boss Dave Smith to listen to the fans

    NRL CEO Dave Smith. Picture: Bradley Hunter Source: DailyTelegraph

    IGNORE rugby league fans at your peril, David (call me Dave) Smith.


    The Daily Telegraph was on Wednesday inundated with frustrated fans offering up dozens of genuine reasons why they have deserted rugby league in droves during recent weeks.

    It came after our story revealed a steep decline in attendances at NRL matches over the past seven weeks. Average crowds for each round have halved between round four and round 19.

    The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday asked fans why they weren't going to matches. The response was overwhelming, with hundreds of supporters offering a variety of reasons.

    The NRL must start to listen - and act - or face the embarrassing prospect of having half-empty grounds running into the semi-finals.

    The main gripes among fans were high ticket prices, and excessive food and drink prices inside grounds.

    Fans were also frustrated at the number of rule changes, too many night games, no stars playing NRL during State of Origin and an NRL administration that is too politically correct.

    Smith, the NRL chief executive, is suddenly under fire.

    He stumbled through an interview with Macquarie Radio's Alan Jones Wednesday, offering up no answers to the game's crisis with crowds.

    NRL crowd figures are dwindling. The league fans who inundated The Daily Telegraph with feedback weren't so inhibited, nominating:

    * HIGH ticket prices;

    * EXCESSIVE food and drink prices inside grounds;

    * THE game is too sterile, not enough aggression;

    * TOO many rule changes;

    * TOO many night games during the cold months of winter;

    * NO match-day entertainment;

    * TOO easy staying home watching live TV coverage;

    * NO stars playing NRL during State of Origin;

    * TOO much structured, boring play;

    * CROWD misbehaviour;

    * MID-strength beer in plastic cups;*

    NRL administration too politically correct; and

    * INADEQUATE suburban grounds.

    Smith said his organisation was monitoring the attendance issue.

    "The attendance numbers that you have mentioned, obviously, we are watching quite carefully," Smith told 2GB.

    "We are roughly 4 per cent down on attendances across the whole game so far this year. But the system changed quite dramatically. We moved from a flexible system where we scheduled games almost on the fly to a fixed system this year.

    "Some of the bigger games we had in the first part of last year we haven't had (played yet) this season. What we are trying to do is keep an eye on it and make sure we have the pricing right and scheduling right."

    Jones said the NRL had a "significant problem with attendances".

    The NRL has, however, scheduled some blockbuster matches over the remaining seven rounds.

    "It is still too early to predict where crowds will end for 2013," NRL general manager of commercial and marketing Paul Kind said.

    "There were less blockbuster games in the opening rounds and we deliberately changed scheduling around the State of Origin period, which always has some impact.

    "There are a number of great matches ahead and we have seen the first day of grand final ticket sales finish well ahead of 2012. There are some really positive signs."
    • Like Like x 1
  3. CAMBO

    CAMBO New Member

    +363 / 0
    More David Smith bashing because the tele no longer gets exclusive scoops now their buddy goose gallop is at FFA. Every wondered why feel rothtool writes all the postive soccer stories now ?
  4. dowdz

    dowdz Well-Known Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +852 / 5
    I like the mid strength beer reason ; )

    Yes, crap paper, but had to post it anyway.
  5. globaleagle

    globaleagle Où est mon chapeau Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +7,597 / 55
    Thanks for posting BB, I don't register (or whatever it is) so I don't get to see the article...until I find it on an assoc paper.

    That said.... is anyone going to believe this isn't an agenda filled article?

    Some of the stuff may be true but it'd be interesting if their 'responses' were audited.

    Anyway, Cambo's probably correct.
  6. Frogz

    Frogz Don't mess with the goat, he has photos. Premium Member

    Sydney, Australia
    +1,359 / 36
    Well I personally wrote to the NRL after having to pay $59 to sit in the last row up the back at AAMI stadium, whilst the other side was empty (for TV).

    Guess what, the reply some 6 weeks later, said its not our problem...Clibs determine their own pricing.

    This new guy is a w@nker as is the entire Independant Commission...and responses like this one ensures people dont go back
  7. HappilyManly

    HappilyManly MWTS Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +11,498 / 254
    The most alienating for Fans is the Players constantly switching Clubs, mainly for 'the good of my Family', when they have a Contract, that was signed for their Families, still in force :mad:

    RL is a tribal sport, so having an ever changing roster would be why people do not shell out their hard earned for the high earning transients.

    I can imagine the Tigers and the Sharks Fans are staying away in droves this year.
    Next season looks like the Broncos,Parra and Saints will have an unrecognizable Team as well.:s

    Loyalty is a two way street, and if the Fans do not feel that the Team is representing them (like a lot of us did with that NE debacle), they won't attend games.

    The Media scheduling is a strong second as to why people won't attend.
    Knowing the schedule doesn't aide in attendances of Monday night games:dodgy:

    The $345 GF ticket price was an NRL decision Mr Smith:exclamation:
    WTF were you thinking in discriminating, on financial grounds, on who can attend to cheer their Team on :huh:
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Moondog

    Moondog Grey-beard loon Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    Hervey Bay
    +3,410 / 32
    I don't even want to think about it. What's wrong with the traditional gallon of op rum served in a gumboot?
    • Like Like x 1
  9. lsz

    lsz Well-Known Member Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +3,563 / 66
    Does match entertainment really matter for most?

    I would love all three grades before the game...or does that count towards pre-match entertainment
    • Like Like x 2
  10. ManlyArmy

    ManlyArmy Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +936 / 23
    The one that stands out is food and drink pricing. Surely with all the money the NRL make, they could subsidise the cost.

    Another one is night games during the middle of winter. Fair dinkum, who wants to sit out in the freezing cold on a Monday night, when they have work the next morning. 3 night games and 5 days games during June and July should do.
  11. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +2,097 / 13
    Example a ticket to souffs game on Monday
  12. lismore_fan

    lismore_fan Well-Known Member

    +201 / 1
    Unfortunately for the NRL, they want their cake & to eat it, too.
    They are paid an extraordinary figure by the TV companies to screen the games in their prime time.
    Then they want the crowds to go to the games!

    The TV stations have made a pretty strong case for sitting in your own lounge room, drinking cheap packaged beer, getting the best view of the stadium with their 27 tv cameras around the ground, look & dress like a slob (who cares) and go straight to bed (or whatever) afterwards.

    Hard to compete against.

    Cold nights, dismal parking (or slow public transport), expensive drinks, hot beer & cold pies, have to curb your swearing at the damn silly refs and you have to dress appropriately to the Leagues Club afterwards. If you're from out of town, a motel for the night & a long drive home!

    Gosh! I hope the atmosphere is worth it!
    A Manly game? Definitely worth it!
    • Like Like x 1
  13. The Who

    The Who Well-Known Member

    Mona Vale
    +4,719 / 96
    Hey Dave, I'll say it slowly so you understand: It's the schedule, stupid!
    The NRL long ago sold out the fans when it allowed television to determine when matches would be played.
    If you had more daytime RL on a Saturday and Sunday the crowds would flock back.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. MissKate

    MissKate Well-Known Member Premium Member

    +1,016 / 7
    maybe mr smith is still listening to the rugby union feedback by mistake and doesn't realise there may be an issue with rugby league attendances
  15. Jatz Crackers

    Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

    +1,239 / 7
    Any piece produced by the tele should be used exclusively in the loo.

    The ARLC are doing a fine job so far but I agree that listening to fans feedback is a crucially important factor in how they plan for the games progress. I am confident they already recognise that though.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Shoe1

    Shoe1 Well-Known Member

    +4,358 / 66
    It is ridiculous to suggest pre-match or halftime entertainment makes any difference. What sort of idiot would go to a game because an idol contestant or some such lightweight was doing the anthem? Or a choreographed dance troupe was featuring in the lead-up? Or a particular band was appearing on a distant stage to mime one song, played back through tinny out of phase speakers?

    Actually anyone who attends for any reason other than the footy needs their head read, and frankly, if the NRL tries to cater to these sorts of flakes it does so at its own peril.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. lsz

    lsz Well-Known Member Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +3,563 / 66
    Agree Shoe - got to be honest it is the same for food for me

    Do not like what is on offer....bring something

    The biggest issue has to be scheduling. We have had 2 (i think) Sunday arvo games this year...both of which i have not been able to make

    It would be great to get the option more than a couple of times a year
    • Like Like x 1
  18. flying sea eagle

    flying sea eagle Active Member

    +182 / 16
    Studies in the United States have shown that the demand for tickets is highly price inelastic. So sadly increasing crowds isn't as simple as lowering prices.

    The NRL needs to look at other avenues of increasing demand which is not as easy as it sounds. Unfortunately Rugby League has become a television oriented game and fans can watch many matches in the comfort of their own home free of charge.

    If The NRL want to increase crowds then they have to enhance the experience of attending the game live in some way whether this is through the use of pre-match entertainment improvement of catering or some other avenue is hard to say.

    Regrettably it may be a case of the stadiums being too large rather than prices being too high.
  19. The Indian

    The Indian Well-Known Member

    +256 / 9
    For my ten cents I don't agree the NRL doesn't listen to fans or whoever - in my opinion they are too reactive.

    They introduced a fixed schedule of games ( I had heard people complain about that for years )...has that helped crowds like was hoped ??? Everytime there is a high tackle or punch or anything aggressive they listen to the " I wont let my boy play rugby league ever again" lunatic crowd and hand out penalties. Plenty of other examples.

    People love to complain if you let them. I never get what all the negativity is about in Rugby League. Its always on its last legs and people are always walking away from the game apparently, everything is a crisis.
  20. sheridanstand78

    sheridanstand78 Well-Known Member

    +3,302 / 51
    The NRL is now owned lock stock and barrel, not by the fans as it should be but by greedy medial outlets.

    If you want to look at one symptom of why the game is struggling look no further than Monday night football, every club loses money cause the crowds are consistently down compared to average. Anyone who works or has a family has a nigh impossible task to get to a game unless you live near.

    This season we had a staggering 7 games on a Monday night. Games that our fans could normally get too, like Kogarah, Campbelltown and the SFS were made much harder.

    Also the unfair scheduling where too many teams are forced into a 5 day turn around when others get the luxury of a consistent week. I would love to see a rule of a 6 day minimum turn around and that would share out the free to air TV.

    I would also love to see a scenario where instead of there being 3 games on a Saturday, make it a super Sunday, the fans want Sunday arvo footy, night games especially in winter are a major turn off.

    Its also time to put origin on stand alone weekends as the competition loses its polish while the series is on and the clubs are unfairly handicapped who lose players.

    Smith could do himself a favour and spend an arvo on the Brooky hill and learn first hands about what the fans want!!

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