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Memo to Canberra’s sports administrators. Get out of your heated box and go sit in the stands

By johnboy - 11 June 2013 30

There’s a lot of whining coming out of the Raiders and Brumbies camps (and their associated tame shills we call journalists) about Canberra crowds being on the low side despite the teams playing rather well.

I would humbly suggest that anyone surprised by the turnouts should try getting out of corporate hospitality and try sitting in the cold, windy, often wet conditions on the sideline.

Sitting in the pub, or even at home, begins to seem like a better option than paying a lot of money to get very cold.

The Brumbies especially need to realise that the extended super rugby season is pushing their night time games into much colder territory.

In years gone by the fans would turn out in June, but that was for a grand final.

What’s Your opinion?


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30 Responses to
Memo to Canberra’s sports administrators. Get out of your heated box and go sit in the stands
Ronald_Coase 5:55 pm 11 Jun 13

NRL ticketing policy is quite silly. They fail to take the interconnectedness of atmosphere and the value of selling the broadcasting rights. I suspect the problem lies in the division of revenue from the game, but am happy to stand corrected.

The stadium, and presumably the clubs, get revenue directly from supporters through charging entry, but the big bucks are for selling the broadcast rights, which the clubs get via the NRL.

The entry ticket prices don’t take into account that demand for each game varies, hence we have sell-out games sometimes when the demand is high, but mostly empty seats for other games.

Why oh why can’t they experiment with the ticket prices to get a better approximation of demand? If they did, I suspect they would increase revenue and the experience.

Seriously, if you’ve got kids do you really want to pay the motza it costs to watch the game and pay for food at the stadium. Sure, you could bring your own food, but when you want to watch the friggin game and all your kids are saying is, “Dad, I want chips” it’s not such a great experience. Last time I went it was north of $50 for one adult and a child, plus almost $20 to buy the crap food.

For two hours entertainment and the rain, why would I do that when I can subscribe to Fox for the month, buy food and beer, sit at home and let my kids watch DVDs or other entertainment when they’re bored? Ticket prices are too high, the food is god-awful and the beer is in a plastic cup and costs a motza. But I would go if it were cheaper, hence the NRL gets a better atmosphere and the stadium earns some money.

For the economists out there, it’s pretty friggn obvious that the administrators have no idea about demand and supply. So yes, you idiotic sports administrators get out of the corporate box, speak to fans, and change the goddman pricing you morons!

cranky 5:46 pm 11 Jun 13

Not a football enthusiast, but does it cost more than $20 to spectate a game?

beardedclam 3:51 pm 11 Jun 13

CrocodileGandhi said :

johnboy said :

A full house for the Lions game at least I hear.

There’s no guarantee that it will lead to a better atmosphere, though. I find that the atmosphere of these types of matches is usually worse than the 10,000ish fans that the Raiders and Brumbies usually muster. You tend to get a horde of sports fans who are not necessarily Brumbies or even rugby fans. The last few times the Wallabies have played in town I have been surrounded by people complaining that rugby is boring.

The ANZAC test played earlier this year is by far the worst atmosphere I have ever encountered while watching sport and that includes when I used to play junior soccer at Wanniassa oval.

Thats because everyone was lined up for a drink or something to eat for half the game.

beardedclam 3:49 pm 11 Jun 13

dungfungus said :

beardedclam said :

New covered stadium in the City sounds good.

you’re deamin’.

Thats right, deamin’ it the right way forward.

CrocodileGandhi 3:42 pm 11 Jun 13

johnboy said :

A full house for the Lions game at least I hear.

There’s no guarantee that it will lead to a better atmosphere, though. I find that the atmosphere of these types of matches is usually worse than the 10,000ish fans that the Raiders and Brumbies usually muster. You tend to get a horde of sports fans who are not necessarily Brumbies or even rugby fans. The last few times the Wallabies have played in town I have been surrounded by people complaining that rugby is boring.

The ANZAC test played earlier this year is by far the worst atmosphere I have ever encountered while watching sport and that includes when I used to play junior soccer at Wanniassa oval.

c_c™ 3:35 pm 11 Jun 13

damien haas said :

As i sat in Etihad Stadium, Docklands Melbourne, last Monday I thought – “This would be great in Canberra”. Covered roof, no rain, no biting June wind. What do the City to Lake stadium renderings show?

Too early in the process to read much into the renderings. In my discussions though, the City To Lake stadium will replace Canberra Stadium, and a roof has long been proposed for that one, so you’d have to think they will carry that through should the City to Lake one go ahead. I’d also think noise abatement and light leak would make it preferable to have a closable roof. They don’t foresee any issues with that given the proposed surrounding zoning, but when you look at precedent, these issues tend to come up and shouldn’t be ignored.

johnboy 3:33 pm 11 Jun 13

A full house for the Lions game at least I hear.

CrocodileGandhi 3:32 pm 11 Jun 13

It doesn’t help that league and union are games that are virtually made for television (though were obviously invented prior to the television). Unlike football or AFL, that sprawl over a massive pitch and players can pass to their teammates in all directions, the rugby variants are far more linear and can be almost fully appreciated in the comfort of one’s home.

I am a little surprised this year that the Brumbies are performing so well and yet it isn’t being reflected in increased crowds. Not really sure what this can be put down to. Though I suspect that after playing in a finals game or two this year, the crowds will go up a touch at the start of next season.

damien haas 2:56 pm 11 Jun 13

As i sat in Etihad Stadium, Docklands Melbourne, last Monday I thought – “This would be great in Canberra”. Covered roof, no rain, no biting June wind. What do the City to Lake stadium renderings show?

Thumper 2:50 pm 11 Jun 13

Cold is bearable.

Wet is not.

dungfungus 2:46 pm 11 Jun 13

beardedclam said :

New covered stadium in the City sounds good.

dreamin’ actually

dungfungus 2:45 pm 11 Jun 13

beardedclam said :

New covered stadium in the City sounds good.

you’re deamin’.

enrique 2:02 pm 11 Jun 13

They should try and model their ticketing and supporter strategy on the German Bundesliga.

In the Budesliga, attendance is always high largely due to the very simple facts that supporters come first and ticket prices are reasonable… around 15Euro on average.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that you’ll fill seats and take in more more revenue overall if you make it an affordable experience for families and fans to *regularly* attend.

At around $15-$20 most people wouldn’t have to think too much about heading to a local game would they. At present though a trip to the footy stings the average wallet somewhat…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2010/apr/11/bundesliga-premier-league
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/the-german-bundesliga-continues-to-provide-a-successful-1533798
http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/german-bundesliga-football-remains-true-1851197

Simple strategy… lower the prices, build up supporter numbers, increase attendance at games (and as a spinoff, increase broadcast viewers)… leading to increased revenues, increased sponsorship, increased team spirit and increased supporter engagement…

At present, the current strategy is failing. High ticket prices, low attendance, lower overall supporter numbers, low community engagement. People in general see it as an entertainment franchise/event that they may occasionally think about attending as opposed to something they’re passionate about.

dph 1:51 pm 11 Jun 13

The live sports experience in Australia has simply failed to keep with the times & has fallen far behind the comfort & technology available in a standard living room.

– Canberra Stadium is a cement ice bowl. Unbearably cold at this time of yr.
– Food & beverage options are dated, limited & over priced.
– Transport & parking is average at best.
– Entertainment is well dated & almost non-exsistant.
– Atmosphere is very poor, especially at Brumbies games. You can hear a pin drop.
– Admission prices are okay but the game day/night experience simply doesn’t add up.

What they need to understand is that times have changed & they desperately need to upgrade the live experience. Unless they address some or all of these issues, nothing will change.

beardedclam 12:57 pm 11 Jun 13

New covered stadium in the City sounds good.

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