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Why Manly Must Stay at Brookie

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Canteen Worker, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member

    +215 /5
    A tribal tragedy
    Article from: The Daily Telegraph

    By Rebecca Wilson

    April 26, 2008 12:00am

    ONE of the great sporting tragedies has gradually unfolded before our eyes in recent years.

    It is one of those things that happened before we realised how terrible it was and now there is no way it can be fixed without a great deal of pain.

    The whole hideous scenario came to a head at ANZ Stadium (the former Olympic/Telstra stadium) in Sydney yesterday. A match that for many years has been held at the Sydney Football Stadium in the inner city (with great success) was moved to the cavernous former Olympic Stadium.

    To put this into perspective, let's have a look at what has unfolded over recent seasons. A large number of AFL and NRL clubs have moved from their traditional ovals and parks to massive arenas that seat up to 100,000 people.

    Melbourne led the way and, thanks to what is a great footy venue, has largely succeeded in transplanting half a dozen AFL clubs from their home grounds to Telstra Dome.

    The fact that AFL attracts crowds of more than 40,000 to matches makes the home ground sacrifice for clubs a lot more palatable. But what is happening in the NRL is nothing short of disgraceful and tragic.

    St George Illawarra and South Sydney have entered into a venture with the former Olympic Stadium that will see them play most of their home games at a venue that is around 50km from where most of their fans live.

    Yesterday's match featured two teams from the south and east of the city playing in the heart of Sydney's west before a crowd of people who feel like foreigners sitting there.

    They have done this because ANZ Stadium offers huge financial incentives to embattled clubs struggling to break even. Rugby league insiders question how on earth the stadium management finds the money to pay so many teams so much.

    While the clubs claim their bottom line looks a little more healthy in the short term, the result is that teams are now playing before very low crowds in a stadium that really needs to seat 60,000 before it feels like you are at the footy.

    Leading NRL commentator Matty Johns says ANZ stadium "stinks''. Players and commentators hate the place.

    St George, Wests Tigers, South Sydney and the Canterbury Bulldogs have all given up home ground advantages because club bosses lacked the vision to fix their home grounds rather than make the move. They saw the money, they ran and they forgot about what really matters in football - tribalism.

    These blokes have taken the quick fix and ignored the damage they have caused their clubs, the fans and the game. If they had spent more time promoting the game in their local districts, they would never have become so desperate for cash in the first place.

    The AFL can quite gleefully look for a second team in the Sydney market because they see so many rugby league clubs struggling to attract crowds.

    ANZ is tailor-made for Aussie rules. While league teams are like fish out of water there, the Aussie rules boys will be lapping it up in front of huge crowds.

    If the clubs who have made the ridiculous move to the city's worst football stadium had thought it through, the solution was at their own front door.

    Restoring home grounds in suburban Sydney satisfies a footy fan's need to feel like part of a football community.

    Home grounds that seat around 20,000 give all teams a home ground advantage that players reckon is worth up to 10 points a game.

    It is no coincidence that the teams that have sold themselves to ANZ are wallowing at the bottom of the NRL ladder. They no longer actually have games on familiar turf in front of a big home crowd.

    Nothing good can come of clubs who up stumps from established league communities for the sake of a lousy dollar. The AFL model has worked because Telstra Dome is easy to access, spectators are close to the action on the field and AFL crowds are always big.

    A small bunch of league lovers will travel with their binoculars a long way to watch their footy team in a bad stadium.

    A large majority won't.

    League fans traditionally want to enjoy their fortnightly footy game at the end of their street. The beauty of the rundown home ground and its closeness to the action has been unbelievably under-rated.

    These football bosses will learn the hard way that a financial quick fix will end up stuffing their clubs and sending thousands of fans away in the process.

    By the time the AFL juggernaut lands another team in Sydney, their demise will be complete and the Sydney football market will be dominated by those who live south of the border.
  2. deadlyeagle

    deadlyeagle Member

    +11 /0
    fairly pessimistic outlook, but it does hod truth to a degree. I dont think AFL will DOMINATE in sydney west but it sure will put up more competition.

    sucks to be a St George,Wests, Rabbits ect supporter. Tigers will struggle, how can they have 3 home grounds? there not home grounds anymore.

    As for us, well, long live brookie we dont have a need to move to ANZ as it is way too far away so were going to be sticking at Brookie oval for a while.
  3. Corso_Pete

    Corso_Pete Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +46 /0
    I read a quote recently from a CEO (not Mayer) that the fans need to "move on" from their suburban grounds and encompass what stadiums like the Olympic Stadium offer. Whilst I admit to being from the dinosaur era I see nothing attractive at all about watching football at the Olympic stadium. There are simply no good viewing seats there, you are simply too far from the action.

    I will not attend any matches there unless in features Manly in a semi final or grand final.

    Interestingly my non dinosaur children (aged between 25 and 19) who all regularly attend Manly matches at Brookvale with their friends also will not attend the Olympic Stadium. They tell me the place is sterile and lacks the atmosphere of Brookvale.

    So maybe the CEO who wrote that we should all "move on" may better reconsider what the fans really want.

    We cannot compare the trend of AFL teams playing at just 2 venues in Melbourne. They have always attracted far bigger crowds than the NRL.

    If Manly ever lose Brookvale as their home ground and are forced to play out of some concrete coliseum, that is not on the Northern Beaches then my patronage of Manly games will fall considerably. 
  4. deadlyeagle

    deadlyeagle Member

    +11 /0
    that's just the thing it is highly unlikely to happen unless we move to the central coast, as grant said that stadiums such as Olympic is too far away from where we are and the risk would be greatly high for such a move.

    Central Coast option would only work if we changed our name completely and left the Manly image behind, which is also very unlikely.

    So it seems our only option is brookie and the attempts to upgrade it.
  5. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member

    +215 /5
    I have been to Manly games against the Dogs and Rabbits at Telstra as I live 10 mins from there and Pete is right. The atmosphere is sterile and empty. Unless it is full it lacks vibe and it is not a good league spectating ground. It is fine for the swans. Manly is Manly and that means Northern Beaches.
  6. Cameron

    Cameron Cambo

    +669 /35
    i think we need more modern stadiums for our sport.
    But they dont have to be half full concrete jungles like anz stadium.

    Suncorp is modern and is a senstation league ground. Tommorow im off to another modern but sensation league ground at skilled stadium.

    Thats all we need at manly a modern ground that seats 20 - 25 k
  7. SilentBob

    SilentBob Well-Known Member

    +4 /0
    Rebecca Wilson? Please. She's talking like AFL is yet to arrive in western Sydney and when it does it will take over, she should have a lie down and think about what she writes before submitting it.

    Only people to blame if Manly leave Brookvale are the one minded voters of the northern beaches, how anyone can align themselves to political parties like footy teams is beyond me.
  8. NYEagle

    NYEagle Well-Known Member

    +1,400 /84
    The team that people always blamed for trying to buy premierships now looks the one with the most identity and loyalty - MANLY

    Its sad to see teams like the bulldogs, rabbitohs, dragons all lose their identities. They are just blokes with different color jerseys who swap colors between them all the time.

    That will never be Manly.

    They nearly got us though with that NE disaster.

    PONTIAN SEA EAGLE Well-Known Member

    +1,521 /114
    We've missed the biggest factor we were 10 points down last nite & the atmosphere got us home that's another we must remain at brookie.
  10. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

    +972 /7
    I posted earlier that I felt we really needed $40M to make Brookvale come up to the standard that just about all the other grounds enjoy. I am going to do a complete turnaround, as I don't want Brookie to ever become one of those stadiums. The current proposal for the Brookie revamp is perfect. It adds only a few stands but retains the closeness of spectators to the ground, and I never want to lose that. I guess I am saying I love our home ground and don't want it to change a great deal from what we currently enjoy. As a tribal centre for the northern beaches it is tops.

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