Why Are Super Rugby Crowd Figures Down?

super-rugby_2733061Super Rugby 2013 figures are down in New Zealand for all franchises except for the Blues and judging by the number of empty seats in the Super Rugby 2013 finals so far, this is disturbing.  Why aren’t people showing up to watch the Super Rugby 2013 finals given that it could easily be their last chance to see their team play live?  Many of these reasons are related.

Price

Interestingly it is cheaper to go to watch the New Zealand football team, the All Whites play their final qualification game for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Wellington than it will be to see the Chiefs play the Brumbies in the Super Rugby 2013 final.  Tickets for adults to both start at $40, but the most expensive tickets for the football are only $60 compared with over $100 in Hamilton.

If you take a family to the whole rugby game and buy some beverages, you are lucky to get any change out $150.  This doesn’t include transport to the game or buying any supporters gear.

The football is hoping for a crowd of 35,000 in Wellington.  If they were to drop the prices to matches then people would be more likely to attend.  Once in the stadium, most people would buy something, so it wouldn’t be a complete loss for the home union.

The Number of Games

There are so many games in Super Rugby 2013 that each game loses significance.  There are 125 games over 25 weeks.  While each team plays 16 regular season matches.  Teams also play the other teams in their conference twice.  This means each game has less significance unlike the good old times when you remember each time your team got a significant win.

There is also the novelty factor associated with the FIFA All Whites match which will see 35,000 fans show up compared with the small crowds that have been showing up in Wellington this season to watch another Hurricanes game.

Fans and player fatigue

Because there are so many games, the fans do get tired and save up for the important matches.  The players are the same in many ways with some players taking sabbaticals counting them out of long periods of Super Rugby, while some others don’t really hit top form until the later rounds.  It is difficult to be at the top of your game all year round, especially when Super Rugby goes for almost six months.  It means people are finding other interests that are fresh and exciting rather than the same old rugby.

Time of Games

Games are played at times to suit the television audience especially because SKY Television is the major sponsor of Super Rugby.  It means that in New Zealand and Australia games are usually played at night time to suit the breakfast viewers in both Europe and South Africa.  This means that players and fans must handle cold and dewy night time conditions.  That is why more people stay at home and watch the game instead of attending.  I have been guilty of that in recent times.

I was watching a rugby league match on Sunday and the quality of the game played in daytime was great.  Dry and sunny conditions were great for open and expansive play.  It was entertaining!

SKY Television

The coverage is pretty good on SKY Television in New Zealand, making it so much easier to sit at home or in a pub and watch the rugby in comfort.  It is cheaper and warmer for fans and you get a far better view of the game along with commentary and more camera angles, so you can actually see what it is happening.  Some channels in Australia don’t screen live coverage of a sport (usually cricket) in the city it is being played unless it is a sellout.  This encourages people to attend the game.

Success

What is disturbing is that it is not just the under-performing teams who are having reduced patronage from fans.  The Blues were the most improved with an 8 percent increase in fans, but all four other New Zealand teams experienced dwindling crowd numbers.  Usually more fans show up if their team is winning.

Entertainment

We need more entertainment at New Zealand Super Rugby matches.  I want to see brass bands, dancers, competitions, circus acts and musicians playing.  I went to a baseball game in the USA and there was always some form of entertainment happening.  I also would love to see cheerleaders (both guys and girls) who actually have some great dance moves and skills.

Have you been to a Super Rugby game in 2013?

Why do you think crowd attendance figures are down at Super Rugby 2013?

http://www.superrugbytips.com/2013/07/why-super-rugby-crowd-attendance.html

Feel Free to ShareShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Comments

comments

2 comments

  1. Hi, I’m a Rebels members and I’ve been to almost all games (missed two due to other commitments, never say yes to your wife without having checked the calendar). Melbourne situation is different, union is the newest code in town and have to compete with the mighty AFL, the winning Storm in the NRL. The Rebels haven’t been great, so again, people do not flock to the stadium.
    I cannot understand why in NZ people will prefer to go watching soccer over rugby, their rugby is world class, their soccer team not.
    Maybe one point could be in the overly televised matches, if I can watch the match from the warmth of my couch, why going in the cold of the stadium? Well I go for the atmosphere of course, but not everyone is the same.

    p.s. the final is sold out.

  2. Yeah I am glad the final sold out. I think it is the novelty factor. For example when the Wellington Phoenix first joined the A League football, they got bigger crowds, but these have dropped recently.

    The Hurricanes have had the smallest crowds in New Zealand. Rugby is no longer the biggest ticket in town and when it is another game against a NZ franchise on a cold Wellington night, then people stay away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *