What's new
The Front Row Forums

Register a free account today to become a member of the world's largest Rugby League discussion forum! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

18th club, whose next?

Perth Red

Immortal
Messages
44,504
Ok so with the 17th club all done and dusted this bastion of expansion debate and opinion can cast its eyes further afield and start the arguments of who should be club 18!
 

Perth Red

Immortal
Messages
44,504
ARL Commission chair Peter V’landys has urged the Brisbane Firehawks and Jets not to lose heart after revealing the Dolphins would be a test case for expansion to 18 teams.
“If it goes well, we would look at an 18th team reasonably quickly,” V’landys said.

“This expansionary move with the Dolphins will show us if adding extra teams gets us that growth that we desire.

We are agile, we will always do what is in the best interests of the game and if there is an appetite to keep growing the game, we will look at that scenario.

“The bid teams who missed out this time should not be too disheartened. They could absolutely be considered next time.”
While the Dolphins were celebrating on Wednesday morning, the decision on expansion came as a sledgehammer blow to the NRL aspirations of both the Firehawks and Jets.

Both have spent time and money trying to convince the ARL Commission that they deserved the right to enter the NRL in 2023.

Ultimately, all that hard work came to nothing. However, there may be light at the end of the tunnel for crestfallen officials from the two bid teams as the game finds itself in the grips of expansion fever.

Like V’landys, NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo suggested another side may not be far away.
“The key thing for us is one step at a time,“ Abdo said.

“A move from 16 to 17 is a big move. We need to make sure that we have all the right procedures in place to make that successful.

“We want a team that can compete from day one and we want to make sure the team is financially viable.

“We want this to be incredibly successful. Equally we will have consideration to eventually moving from 17 to 18. I don’t know what that timeline looks like.

“That will be a factor of the success of the 17th team and a factor of which market is right, and whether the economics stack up.”

The advantages of 18 teams are obvious. While it would remove the bye each week, there would be an additional game to sell to broadcasters, which officials would expect to inject more money into the game.
V’landys and Abdo have both preached the importance of growth as a means not only to increase the game’s coffers, but also to ward off the AFL.

It means the addition of an 18th team is on the radar. The game’s existing broadcasting deal with Foxtel runs until the end of 2027, suggesting the logical time to add another side would be for the 2028 season.

“That would give us sufficient time to bed down the existing structures and make sure we have something really compelling for the next rights deal,” Abdo said.

“It may happen before that but that is certainly one milestone. But 17 is a natural stepping stone to 18. At 18 we have another fixture and that provides another opportunity for our fans, another 80 minutes of footy, another match in the round, another opportunity to grow fans in another market.

“I will go back to the quality of these three bids. Each of them could have justifiably probably qualified and been able to run a successful team.

“We are spoiled for choice. It always has to stack up.”
For the time being, V’landys and Abdo were happy to hail a landmark day for the game.

“I am very thrilled,” V’Landys said.

“I firmly believe in the growth of the game and we need to consolidate our existing markets before we expand anywhere else.

“It was ultra important to ensure the certainty of the Queensland market before we start looking at other areas

“There is a lot of competition up there from the AFL so we can‘t take that region for granted. We have to consolidate there first, Queensland and NSW are our key markets, then we will look for further growth.

“There could certainly be an 18th team in the coming years and let‘s see how this exercise goes.”

 

Perth Red

Immortal
Messages
44,504
The addition of the Dolphins as the 17th team will almost certainly spark more expansion talks, with the NRL said to be open to the prospect of adding further franchises to its competition in the future.
It is unlikely there will be further additions before the next broadcast deal expires at the end of 2028 but the NRL is said to be keen on adding an 18th team in the coming years.
NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said rugby league was on track for growth after a period of consolidation due to the impact of COVID-19.
"A move from 16 to 17 is a big move," Abdo said. "We want a team that can compete from day one and we want to make sure the team is financially viable. We want this to be incredibly successful.
"Equally we will have consideration to eventually moving from 17 to 18. I don't know what that timeline looks like. That will be a factor of the success of the 17th team and a factor of which market is right, and whether the economics stack up.
But 17 is a natural stepping stone to 18. At 18 we have another fixture and that provides another opportunity for our fans, another 80 minutes of footy, another match in the round, another opportunity to grow fans in another market."

 

jim_57

Bench
Messages
3,193
Any chance of a poll?

Has to be Perth or NZ2 unless it drags out 10+ years in which case SEQ4/Bris3 comes in to play.

All the potential ideas that I remember being floated over the years:
- Perth (Pirates & a couple other consortiums that I haven’t heard any more about in a long time)
- Brisbane Jets
- Brisbane Firehawks
- Brothers
- Wellington Orcas (+Wellington based “Southern” team)
- Chrustchurch/South Island
- Auckland 2
- Auckland/Pacific Islands “Pacific Cyclones”
- PNG
- Adelaide
- CQ
- Central Coast NSW
- Cairns (+Cairns/PNG)
- Sunshine Coast
- Melbourne 2
- Darwin/PNG
- Hawaii
- London

Some of those get pretty pie in the sky towards the end.

Preference is Perth personally, cities like Perth & Melbourne need the top down approach so major growth won’t happen until there is an NRL team there.
 

Perth Red

Immortal
Messages
44,504
My thinking is a lot will depend on how the nrl financially travels over next couple of years. We know the current leadership is a very conservative, risk averse mentality which would point to the likelihood of another heartland club in queensland. If sky throw big money at them then that might be the motivator for a second nz team. Or if leadership changes in next few years or the nrl keeps operating a surplus they may decide to invest in growing the game into new markets and link up with the interested backers in perth to start work on a new club here. We would realistically need 3-4 years to build a club from scratch, as would nz2 I suspect.
 

Pippen94

Juniors
Messages
775
The addition of the Dolphins as the 17th team will almost certainly spark more expansion talks, with the NRL said to be open to the prospect of adding further franchises to its competition in the future.
It is unlikely there will be further additions before the next broadcast deal expires at the end of 2028 but the NRL is said to be keen on adding an 18th team in the coming years.
NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said rugby league was on track for growth after a period of consolidation due to the impact of COVID-19.
"A move from 16 to 17 is a big move," Abdo said. "We want a team that can compete from day one and we want to make sure the team is financially viable. We want this to be incredibly successful.
"Equally we will have consideration to eventually moving from 17 to 18. I don't know what that timeline looks like. That will be a factor of the success of the 17th team and a factor of which market is right, and whether the economics stack up.
But 17 is a natural stepping stone to 18. At 18 we have another fixture and that provides another opportunity for our fans, another 80 minutes of footy, another match in the round, another opportunity to grow fans in another market."


Pvl is a smart bugger. Wants competition for 18th team so wa government come to party
 
Messages
3,997
My thinking is a lot will depend on how the nrl financially travels over next couple of years. We know the current leadership is a very conservative, risk averse mentality which would point to the likelihood of another heartland club in queensland. If sky throw big money at them then that might be the motivator for a second nz team. Or if leadership changes in next few years or the nrl keeps operating a surplus they may decide to invest in growing the game into new markets and link up with the interested backers in perth to start work on a new club here. We would realistically need 3-4 years to build a club from scratch, as would nz2 I suspect.
Perth's best option might be to saddle up with the Ipswich Jets or Easts Tigers.

If News Ltd and the Broncos are still dictating expansion then they won't want a competitor from inner-city Brisbane that will cater to the south-side of the river. That rules the Firehawks out.

If I was the Broncos I would amalgamate with Easts Tigers. Keep the Broncos brand, but change the colour scheme to predominantly gold with a black trim. Having Easts Leagues under the Broncos banner would create an extra revenue stream right in the heart of Brisbane Lions territory.

If I was the Perth bid I would want Easts to have a 50% stake in the club. Richardson said he wanted the Firehawks brand to be national. They could do this by having a base in Brisbane and Perth. Having a link with Brisbane might help the club draw a decent following in the area, like the Storm did in the 90s and 00s.
 
Messages
3,765
The realistic options are:

Perth
NZ2
Adelaide
Brisbane 3 / QLD 5

Perth is the biggest un-serviced market out of that list and makes the most sense.
NZ2 would be a smaller market but has the player pathways and potential Sky money going for it
Adelaide won't happen before Perth
Brisbane 3 probably shouldn't happen until significant population growth happens, if ever
 
Messages
3,997
The realistic options are:

Perth
NZ2
Adelaide
Brisbane 3 / QLD 5

Perth is the biggest un-serviced market out of that list and makes the most sense.
NZ2 would be a smaller market but has the player pathways and potential Sky money going for it
Adelaide won't happen before Perth
Brisbane 3 probably shouldn't happen until significant population growth happens, if ever
It will come down to what the broadcasters want. If they decide that Bris 3 will draw higher ratings on FTA than a team in Perth or NZ 2 then that's what they will fund.

Sky NZ won't throw in much more money for NZ 2 and neither will Foxtel or Ch9.

Perth should have the 18th licence, but what value does it provide to Ch9?

I think the next few years will determine where the 18th team is based. If Dolphins increase ratings and attendances in Brisbane then Ch9, Foxtel and ARLC will go with the Jets or Firehawks. ARLC already said both bids have a chance of getting the 18th licence. Easts mentioned in last year's annual report that they plan on having an NRL side within the next ten years.
 

jim_57

Bench
Messages
3,193
Then he needs to be talking to them whilst we have a massive budget surplus and a Newcastle kid in charge!

If the NRL is still looking at “conservative” approach for the 18th team it may even be worth Perth, NZ2 or Adelaide having serious discussions with the Bears. It’s not ideal but with that history behind them along with Leagues club, juniors, etc then it could appeal to V’landys and co.

Of course some assurances would have to be in place to ensure they don’t cut and run back to Central Coast as soon as they get the chance.

There’s some disadvantages sure but it also provides Leagues club backing, a ready made reserve team and juniors plus a modest supporter base in Sydney that they could sell specialised memberships for.
 

Perth Red

Immortal
Messages
44,504
In
Perth's best option might be to saddle up with the Ipswich Jets or Easts Tigers.

If News Ltd and the Broncos are still dictating expansion then they won't want a competitor from inner-city Brisbane that will cater to the south-side of the river. That rules the Firehawks out.

If I was the Broncos I would amalgamate with Easts Tigers. Keep the Broncos brand, but change the colour scheme to predominantly gold with a black trim. Having Easts Leagues under the Broncos banner would create an extra revenue stream right in the heart of Brisbane Lions territory.

If I was the Perth bid I would want Easts to have a 50% stake in the club. Richardson said he wanted the Firehawks brand to be national. They could do this by having a base in Brisbane and Perth. Having a link with Brisbane might help the club draw a decent following in the area, like the Storm did in the 90s and 00s.
In my experience the egos of two owners usually causes problems unless they are mates or already business partners. There sense in a perth club have a feeder arrangement with a intrust cup side, especially for jnr elite level but can’t see a joint ownership on opposite sides of the country working.
 

Latest posts

Top