I don't think we should read too much into crowd figures just yet. A lot of it depends on the draw, scheduling and form. It was highlighted that Bulldogs-Souths drew 34,000 one year then only 21,000 the next. This is the same with Eels-Tigers this year that everyone was so disappointed about. Round 4 last year saw Broncos and Dragons play in front of 42,000 at Suncorp. This is because both teams were in form, Broncos were undefeated, and Bennett returning. This year however Broncos will likely be out of the top 8 while Dragons will be hot favourites. 2008 saw the opening of Skilled Park, of course everyone wanted to go no matter what the ticket prices and the Titans average was over 20,000. The year before was the Titans first year and the crowd average was boosted by a few 40,000+ games at Suncorp. This year their crowds are lower (although they have only played Warriors and Raiders, both at silly times). Hopefully this year we will see something similar with the opening of AAMI Park. Also this year we have seen terrible scheduling and weather. A ton of 8.35 Friday kickoffs (there were none last year), 1pm games in searing heat, a cyclone in North Queensland and 35 degrees+ temperatures in Sydney. Also the NRL seemed to want all the blockbusters to happen in the first few weeks, leaving smaller teams like Sharks and Panthers with low drawing games against unpopular out of town teams. The 11,000 crowds were better than were expected against Raiders or Storm last year. Last year we were lucky at drawing some big crowds when teams in form met each other at the back end of last season. Tigers-Eels especially, if these two teams had continued their poor form probably would have seen a crowd of about 15,000. However they were the two form sides of the comp and there was a record crowd. Now who is to say that when the Rabbitohs and Tigers meet at ANZ in Round 22 they won't be 1 and 2 and attract 40,000+? The crowds will come, just be patient.