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NRL two conferences

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5,608
I tried to engage with you authentically. But it appears that you’re either incapable or unwilling.

Why should I bother?
No you didn't. You shifted the goalposts by comparing apples with oranges. The original topic was about an area of Sydney that has 560k people having 2 teams that have struggles financially over the last 25 years. You then brought up an area outside ot Sydney and compared it to Townsville. Everyone knows Cowboys draw much of their support from FNQ down to Mackay, with people travelling up to 4 hours to get to a game. Plenty book a hotel so they can stay the night. Do you have any evidence that people from Illawarra do this for games at Kogarah and Endeavour?

The other stupid thing about your comparison is Cowboys are financially viable and one of the most watched teams, whereas Dragons and Sharks are not. It was a huge fail on your end, but you're not mature enough to acknowledge it. After 3 seasons at the bottom of the ladder, Cowboys are still more financially stable and drawing better ratings than Dragons and Sharks. That speaks volumes as to why Cowboys are an asset whereas Dragons and Sharks are not.
 

SBD82

Coach
Messages
15,131
No you didn't. You shifted the goalposts by comparing apples with oranges. The original topic was about an area of Sydney that has 560k people having 2 teams that have struggles financially over the last 25 years. You then brought up an area outside ot Sydney and compared it to Townsville. Everyone knows Cowboys draw much of their support from FNQ down to Mackay, with people travelling up to 4 hours to get to a game. Plenty book a hotel so they can stay the night. Do you have any evidence that people from Illawarra do this for games at Kogarah and Endeavour?

The other stupid thing about your comparison is Cowboys are financially viable and one of the most watched teams, whereas Dragons and Sharks are not. It was a huge fail on your end, but you're not mature enough to acknowledge it. After 3 seasons at the bottom of the ladder, Cowboys are still more financially stable and drawing better ratings than Dragons and Sharks. That speaks volumes as to why Cowboys are an asset whereas Dragons and Sharks are not.
Ok champ.
 

84 Baby

Referee
Messages
23,608
Which is why I think 4 conferences would work better.

Western Conference
PENRITH 16
PARRAMATTA 14
Wests 4
Canterbury 2

Eastern Conference
SOUTHS 14
EASTS 12
WARRIORS 8
Manly 6

Southern Conference.
MELBOURNE 12
St Merge 8
CANBERRA 6
Cronulla 4

Northern Conference
GOLD COAST 6
Newcastle 6
Nth Qld 6
Brisbane 4
Switch Warriors and Cronulla and it’s what I’ve been saying for years. But don’t worry about the conferencing gimmick, just utilise the regions for scheduling draw. It’s not like everyone plays each other home and away as it is.
You play each team in your conference home and away every year = 6 games
Then on a rotating basis each season,
You play two conferences home and away = 16 games
The other conference you play 2 away and 2 at home (flips when you come back to the same point in 3 years) = 4 games
That’s 26 games so the RLPA may have a whinge, plus there’s some obvious rivalries that every 3 years will only have 1 game (Drags and Newcastle kind of sit away from usual suspects)
Adding 2 teams completely f**ks it up though unless it’s 6 conferences of 3 teams (ridiculous) or they up/reduce total games to 28/22 every season
 
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5,608
The radical thing to do to expand the league sustainably would be to:

Cut the club grant to $10million. This frees up enough money for 4 new teams.
Reduce salary cap to $8million plus one marquee signing to keep the stars away from Onion
Set a spending cap on clubs of $26million a year, plus extra sending allowed on business and customer growth opportunities (This instantly makes all clubs profitable and much more viable for investors)
Enforce the Football Club spending cap properly
NRL to retake control of membership marketing and growth with them taking a 10% cut of growth revenue

Of course far far too much self interest to ever see that but it would be the best way to grow the NRL to a lot more viable teams
Thank God this forum has you on it to speak reason.

Clubs are spending well beyond their means. The BRL clubs bankrupted themselves trying to compete with pokies-backed Sydney clubs to retain players that the mob down south were trying to raid. The ARL-Super League War had a similar result, except pity was thrown on many of Sydney's strugglers, bailing them out at the expense of the profitable Chargers and vital locations like Adelaide and Perth. That sort of safety net wasn't offered to the BRL, Chargers, Crushers, Adelaide or Perth, and AwFuL has reaped the benefits.

We should be working to make the game sustainable, as the sport's main battle isn't on the pitch, but off it. If we wish to retain or grow our share of the market then we'll need to invest in junior and senior leagues across Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide so that local clubs can compete with fumbleball clubs that are pumped up with money from AwFuL HQ, local gov and state gov. We need to invest in land that is in the right location so that our game is seen everyday by commuters as they drive to work and drop their kids off at school. That's what AwFuL has done in Brisbane and Sydney over the last 25 years and it's paid dividends. Mums see it as the game for their sons. When all they see is fumbleball posts on ovals located on main roads it presents the illusion that fumbleball is the future, so why have their son play a game they think is dying?

This conferences system is like putting a band aid on a snake bite. Its purpose is obviously to ensure Sydney is never rationalised and give their clubs an even bigger advantage than they currently enjoy. One article quoted a senior figure from the Bulldogs, who said the club's ability to make a profit is dependant on playing big Sydney clubs twice a year. If that doesn't spell out just how unviable it is to have 9 clubs in Sydney, then what does?

If a club cannot break even by playing teams from out of town then that proves it doesn't have a large enough supporter base to generate the funds needed to survive.
 
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Messages
5,608
Yes this ^^^^^
let's see what happens when the debate of why the cowboys aren't competitive since they stopped their NYC team... im glad Kayln, Kiks and BlokoCheese left them, they were going down hill fast.
Paul Green. His priority ws retaining the 2015 Premiership winning roster. It had ageing players who reached their peak and were now past it. The young guns who should have been elevated to the top squad were given an opportunity at other clubs who saw their potential, so they left. Green refused to change his game plan after it was evident the other clubs had figured out they could counter his no-offload, one pass off the ruck hit-up style by condensing their defensive line and rushing up and in, getting numbers in the tackle so they could slow the ruck and then get their line reset for the next play. Coote and Granville fell out of form and injuries to key older players, combined with the loss of young guns, left us with a bottom-tier team.

Broncos, Storm and Roosters built their dynasties around pissing off older players before they were past it and investing in junior talent.
 

MugaB

Bench
Messages
4,631
Paul Green. His priority ws retaining the 2015 Premiership winning roster. It had ageing players who reached their peak and were now past it. The young guns who should have been elevated to the top squad were given an opportunity at other clubs who saw their potential, so they left. Green refused to change his game plan after it was evident the other clubs had figured out they could counter his no-offload, one pass off the ruck hit-up style by condensing their defensive line and rushing up and in, getting numbers in the tackle so they could slow the ruck and then get their line reset for the next play. Coote and Granville fell out of form and injuries to key older players, combined with the loss of young guns, left us with a bottom-tier team.

Broncos, Storm and Roosters built their dynasties around pissing off older players before they were past it and investing in junior talent.
It was rhetorical, i actually don't really care about your point of view, pretty much full stop. It's draining reading the same rubbish being spewed out over a paragraph of repetitious nonesense, i can't wait till both 17th and 18th teams have finally got licences, then reading anything in the expansion threads will be a god honest break, I'm actually wanting @Stallion back, I feel his rhetoric was a lot more easier to read than that of this garbage merchant
 

MugaB

Bench
Messages
4,631
Switch Warriors and Cronulla and it’s what I’ve been saying for years. But don’t worry about the conferencing gimmick, just utilise the regions for scheduling draw. It’s not like everyone plays each other home and away as it is.
You play each team in your conference home and away every year = 6 games
Then on a rotating basis each season,
You play two conferences home and away = 16 games
The other conference you play 2 away and 2 at home (flips when you come back to the same point in 3 years) = 4 games
That’s 26 games so the RLPA may have a whinge, plus there’s some obvious rivalries that every 3 years will only have 1 game (Drags and Newcastle kind of sit away from usual suspects)
Adding 2 teams completely f**ks it up though unless it’s 6 conferences of 3 teams (ridiculous) or they up/reduce total games to 28/22 every season
No club is more East than the Warriors
 

84 Baby

Referee
Messages
23,608
No club is more East than the Warriors
No club is more South than the Warriors

well no 4 clubs are at least

and given east/west is more subjective than north/south, it’s arguable all teams are more east than Warriors

But actually I may have come around a little. Having the Sharks in southern conference provides some rivalry between them and the other 3 teams plus Warriors/Rorters at the expense of Warriors/Scum, Sharks/Souffs and Sharks/Manly
 
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It was rhetorical, i actually don't really care about your point of view, pretty much full stop. It's draining reading the same rubbish being spewed out over a paragraph of repetitious nonesense, i can't wait till both 17th and 18th teams have finally got licences, then reading anything in the expansion threads will be a god honest break, I'm actually wanting @Stallion back, I feel his rhetoric was a lot more easier to read than that of this garbage merchant
You care about my views, hence the reason you shit your nappy every time I speak about rationalisation. If you didn't care you would just ignore my posts and not respond like a nutter. You're over-sensitive about Sydney to the point of being a sook.
@Perth Red and I don't advocate rationalisation out of hatred, which is pretty much how you interpret it. We do it because we don't have an emotional attachment to any of the nine clubs and, in my opinion, I believe that two or three of them can serve the game better, especially in Sydney, by relocating to Adelaide, Perth and NZ.

I'll never get why you take it so personally. You should see it as a badge of honour that I think 2 or 3 of your clubs can be embraced and succeed in AwFuL/RU markets. AwFuL made it work in Sydney and Brisbane with Swans and Lions. We can make it work too if we put our minds to it.

Imagine a couple of conferences like this:

Blues Conference

Adelaide Sharks
North Sydney Sea Eagles
Parramatta Eels
Penrith Panthers
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Southern Sydney Dragons
Sydney Roosters
West Coast Pirates
Western Sydney Tigers

Maroons Conference

Auckland Warriors
Brisbane Broncos
Brisbane Firehawks
Canberra Raiders
Canterbury Bulldogs (Christchurch)
Gold Coast Titans
Melbourne Storm
Newcastle Knights
North Queensland Cowboys

Over time you could increase the competition to 20 teams by adding Central Coast Bears to the Blues Conference and Moreton Bay Dolphins to the Maroons Conference. All 9 Sydney brands survive, with the reintroduction of the Bears.

Southern Sydney Dragons could even relocate full time to Illawarra as the Illawarra Dragons and South Sydney could represent St George and Sutherland, freeing up room for the Roosters to expand.

Adelaide and Perth will eventually become supportive of the NSW Blues, with Melbourne and NZ attached to Queensland Maroons. There are already plenty of people in northern NSW who support Queensland due to Brisbane being closer to them than Sydney and feeling that the NSWRL doesn't represent them, which it doesn't when the NSWRL governs Sydney and the CRL governs everywhere else in the state.

Anyone who chucks a tanty and becomes a Swans or Waratahs fan should this proposal become reality is a sook.
 
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MugaB

Bench
Messages
4,631
You care about my views, hence the reason you shit your nappy every time I speak about rationalisation. If you didn't care you would just ignore my posts and not respond like a nutter. You're over-sensitive about Sydney to the point of being a sook.
@Perth Red and I don't advocate rationalisation out of hatred, which is pretty much how you interpret it. We do it because we don't have an emotional attachment to any of the nine clubs and, in my opinion, I believe that two or three of them can serve the game better, especially in Sydney, by relocating to Adelaide, Perth and NZ.

I'll never get why you take it so personally. You should see it as a badge of honour that I think 2 or 3 of your clubs can be embraced and succeed in AwFuL/RU markets. AwFuL made it work in Sydney and Brisbane with Swans and Lions. We can make it work too if we put our minds to it.

Imagine a couple of conferences like this:

Blues Conference

Adelaide Sharks
North Sydney Sea Eagles
Parramatta Eels
Penrith Panthers
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Southern Sydney Dragons
Sydney Roosters
West Coast Pirates
Western Sydney Tigers

Maroons Conference

Auckland Warriors
Brisbane Broncos
Brisbane Firehawks
Canberra Raiders
Canterbury Bulldogs (Christchurch)
Gold Coast Titans
Melbourne Storm
Newcastle Knights
North Queensland Cowboys

Over time you could increase the competition to 20 teams by adding Central Coast Bears to the Blues Conference and Moreton Bay Dolphins to the Maroons Conference. All 9 Sydney brands survive, with the reintroduction of the Bears.

Southern Sydney Dragons could even relocate full time to Illawarra as the Illawarra Dragons and South Sydney could represent St George and Sutherland, freeing up room for the Roosters to expand.

Adelaide and Perth will eventually become supportive of the NSW Blues, with Melbourne and NZ attached to Queensland Maroons. There are already plenty of people in northern NSW who support Queensland due to Brisbane being closer to them than Sydney and feeling that the NSWRL doesn't represent them, which it doesn't when the NSWRL governs Sydney and the CRL governs everywhere else in the state.

Anyone who chucks a tanty and becomes a Swans or Waratahs fan should this proposal become reality is a sook.
No sooking, just you talk garbage, I'm an advocate for Expansion, which means expanding ontop what is already there, and dont rope in Perth red, he has plenty of credible posts, where yours is basically not even close to 1% worth reading, as it's mostly ranting over rationalization of the league...
Which is not EXPANSION..

Either way i heard confirmation from the ARLC, that the bidding process will begin and the numbers they had been looking at stack up, lets start talking about who is the 17th licence, instead of dribbling on about relocations and branding changes that will never happen
 
Messages
5,608
No sooking, just you talk garbage, I'm an advocate for Expansion, which means expanding ontop what is already there, and dont rope in Perth red, he has plenty of credible posts, where yours is basically not even close to 1% worth reading, as it's mostly ranting over rationalization of the league...
Which is not EXPANSION..

Either way i heard confirmation from the ARLC, that the bidding process will begin and the numbers they had been looking at stack up, lets start talking about who is the 17th licence, instead of dribbling on about relocations and branding changes that will never happen
I'm not the the one who said there's an unlimited amount of licences to be printed. You have no idea if you think a small market like Australia, which has the most competitive sports market in the world, can have more than 20 teams. Australia only has five metropolitan areas with a population of over 1m. It's just not feasible long term to have so many teams.

Super Rugby had teams in Argentina, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa, and even they didn't have what you're advocating.

The only reason we have 16 teams is because a court forced the NRL to readmit South Sydney, which forced their hand into bringing in the Titans. News Ltd wanted just 14 teams. That was when they were far more profitable and had a monopoly on PTV. Now they're massively in debt and have serious competition from streaming networks. There's no way they're breaking the bank to support the amount of teams you're talking about.

ARLC were going to relocate the Sharks interstate until PVL made a hypocrite of himself and bailed them out, after saying expansion will only happen where the game is strong, the business case stacks up and money won't be wasted. The Sharks have been bailed out several times since the 90s, proving they're weak and economically unviable. PVL has now set one rule for Sydney and one for everywhere else. If you want to alienate everyone outside of Sydney, that's a good way of going about it.

The fact the ARLC were going to relocate the Sharks proves rationalisation isn't out of the question, regardless of how hysterical you get whenever it's brought up.
 
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5,608
I think this article sums up all we need to know about what will happen when revenue from broadcast deals dry up as FTA TV and Foxtel no longer have the capital to provide us with so much cash.

Any plan to create a Sydney conference will end badly because it's inevitable that Sydney clubs will go broke and fold. If the weak ones don't relocate now to keep their brand alive then they'll end up folding and cashed up consortiums such as the Pirates, Firehawks, Dolphins and Jets will take their spot.

'He capitulated': Richardson savages former ARLC chair Grant over NRL finances
Andrew Webster
By Andrew Webster
March 27, 2020 — 12.01am

Don't do it, John. The game cannot afford it.

This was the warning several members of the NRL executive told former ARL Commission chairman John Grant before a critical meeting with the 16 club bosses on December 3, 2015.

They pleaded with Grant to refuse a demand to increase the clubs' annual grant to 130 per cent of the salary cap.

Grant's decision temporarily won him support from the clubs, who did not move to sack him in 2015. The financial cost to the game, however, would be heavy. That cost has been exposed in the current crisis.

"Instead, he capitulated," recalled Shane Richardson, who was the NRL's head of game development at the time having been charged by then chief executive Dave Smith to streamline the entire code. "Greed set in."

Richardson ended his 17-year association with the Rabbitohs on Thursday when he resigned to ease the burden of financial cost of the COVID-19 crisis on the club. He will remain as a consultant but the decision expedites his departure at the end of the 2021 season.

"It's an incredibly selfless gesture," Souths co-owner Russell Crowe said.

In a lengthy interview with the Herald, though, the ever-polarising "Richo" preferred to riff about the perilous state of the game and that time, in 2015, when he worked for the NRL mothership.

"I was sitting there with [NRL chief financial officer] Tony Crawford, the whole executive — we would look at the figures every day and say, 'This isn't sustainable'," Richardson said. "Todd [Greenberg] was the head of football at the time and, while he's not a real figures man, he's smart and fully understood the situation.

"The game couldn't afford the 130 per cent. We said this to John Grant. But there was pressure on him from a cartel of clubs wanting more money; from player agents; from people inside the game; all wanting more money.


"We knew things had to change to make the game viable — but the clubs didn't want to hear it. When the $13m was put up there in front of them, they grabbed it. It shouldn't have been a decision just about the clubs. It should have been for the whole game."

Indeed, there's been plenty of finger pointing since the NRL competition shuddered to an indefinite halt because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Understandably, with no money coming in and hundreds of football people being stood down, questions are being asked about where the cash reserves are for a code that has secured billions in broadcast revenue in recent years.

It's unfair to skewer Grant for the game's current financial predicament, which has been exposed by a crisis that no one could have predicted. However, many remember that moment when Grant agreed to the clubs' demands and kept his job in the process. In the end, the clubs pushed him out a year later anyway.

"John Grant was one of my heroes growing up," Richardson said. "He was a Queenslander, a smart businessman. I'm just not sure he understood how difficult the politics of rugby league were and how vested interests were always going to be difficult to control.

"I think he thought he could talk sense into them. When it got to the crunch, and he realised he couldn't, I honestly believe he panicked.

"I'm sure he never got any money out of what he did. But when you are faced with those sorts of decisions, you need to cop the crap from club land, from sections of the media — because we had a real plan."

Richardson reckoned he had a plan, albeit a controversial one. Within weeks of Souths winning the 2014 premiership, Smith convinced him to leave Souths, where he had been chief executive since 2003, to join head office and come up with a "whole of game" strategy.

Richardson's' pay packet was rumoured to be massive.

"People go on about my wage," Richardson said. "My wage wasn't over the top. We would've saved millions so my wage would've been inconsequential."

Over the next year, Richardson spoke to countless people across the game "from under-6s to the NRL". He travelled to the US to study minor league baseball, which was turning profits, and seeing how that could be adopted in the lower tiers of rugby league. He then came up with his recommendations.

"It was a comprehensive plan that broke down the game's finances from the bottom to the top, and talked about a whole-of-game approach about the changes that needed to be made to streamline the game, to make it more efficient, to make it worthwhile, to replace things that hadn't worked for a hundred years: things like boundaries on junior leagues, about the reliance on leagues clubs, all the way through to the NRL.

"There would be a restriction on what could be spent on the lower tier; cutting back ridiculous money on young players before their time, spending $40,000 in some cases. That money could be reinvested into the state leagues, the famous 'Platinum League', that would bring in teams from the country as well as Fiji and Samoa …

"We wanted to decentralise the NRL, which would simply concentrate on the elite competition. Their staff would be minimal now."

Richardson presented his paper to the commission and it was accepted. Then the clubs caught wind of what was being recommended.

"The clubs had vested interests," he said. "They wanted to keep 9000 juniors to themselves, still wanting to stockpile young players. There were texts to John Grant about what an arsehole I was, and they hadn't even read the paper.

"We've all sat here as administrators and allowed football budgets to go ridiculously high. If we had the cap at $8m instead of $10m, we'd have $10m per club more in the game [over the five-year period of the broadcast deal]. We should've built up a cash reserve … Instead we went $49m into deficit. Who makes a business decision where you haven't got enough money for the next year?"

When Smith finished up at the NRL in late 2015, Richardson lost his biggest supporter. When Grant gave the clubs what they wanted, he knew he, too, had to go.

"I said to John, 'This is ridiculous because there's no point in me staying if I can't implement what I want to do'," Richardson said. "Todd and I were the obvious people to go for the CEO's role. But I said, 'Todd, you are the man for the job because you can handle the politics. I can't'."

Richardson returned to Souths in 2016 at the behest of Crowe, but in recent times has butted heads with chairman Nick Pappas, who tried to push him out the door late last year.

He's uncertain what his future holds – "I'm sure there's a feedbag out there for me somewhere!" — but he's convinced ARLC chairman Peter V'landys is the right man to navigate the game through troubled times.

"Plastic balls have to become titanium ones," Richardson said. "Hopefully, the strong leader in V'landys can drive us through. I can see it in his eyes. They are beady little eyes, focussing in. I wouldn't want them focussing on me. He's single-minded in what he wants to do.

"Nobody could've seen what was coming with the coronavirus, but what it's done is made the errors of the past blatantly clear. If we make the same decisions now, we will die. But there's no doubt V'landys knows what to do."

Grant did not return calls or texts offering him the chance to comment.

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/he...-grant-over-nrl-finances-20200326-p54e50.html
 
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MugaB

Bench
Messages
4,631
This thread is the most yuk thing on this forum
Agreed, as soon as PVL and ARLC hurry up and admit the next 2 teams, then we can finally close down these expansion threads for good.... and hopefully GROTD can get a life
 

_Johnsy

Referee
Messages
25,940
Do RL fans from Illawarra travel long distances like RL fans from Far North Queensland extending south ro Mackay?

If so then you can claim them as part of the catchment, but if that were the case they wouldn't be playing games in Wollongong.
When I lived in Townsville there were a group of about 10 of us that would travel at least 2-4 ganes per season to matches at Kogarah/Gong/SFS or ANZ each year. I’m sure we weren’t the only non Sydney resident fans of a Sydney club that would often travel thousands of in’s a few times a year to watch their club. To suggest there are no fans outside metropolitan Sydney that attend several games each year is a moronic premise. In short is is a false dichotomy, that is easily disproved compared to proving the point you have attempted to make. A simple poll in JA or saints forum or any other clubs forum would show how ridiculous your premise is.
 
Messages
5,608
Agreed, as soon as PVL and ARLC hurry up and admit the next 2 teams, then we can finally close down these expansion threads for good.... and hopefully GROTD can get a life
Intelligent businesses learn from their mistakes and adjust to an ever changing environment. Those that don't, go broke. NSWRL and the Sydney-centric ARLC have done the same things for over 100 years, to the detriment of the game, and when it's pointed out your response is to attack the messenger. You insist that the game should keep on making the same mistakes.

A Sydney conference is just a continuance of the mistakes the NSWRL has made for over 100 years, in an attempt to hold onto something from a bygone era. AwFuL overtook us years ago due to the Sydney-centric approach and refusal ro get with the times in 1995. We're probably never going to catch up with them as they've had a 25 year bead start, thanks to the arrogance, ignorance and selfishness of the NSWRL and its clubs.

Ask yourself these questions.

Has the junior district system used by the NSWRL stopped fumbleball from making serious inroads in Sydney?

Has the game declined in Sydney over the 40 years?

Are all nine Sydney clubs solvent and able to survive should the annual grant be reduced to just 100% of the salary cap?

Can all nine Sydney clubs survive without Leagues Clubs?

Can the NRL develop a fanbase in Adelaide and Perth, or has that door been nailed shut after years of rejection from the ARLC?

Pointing out the flaws of the ARLC and Sydney-centric approach shouldn't be taboo. The fact it is taboo is the reason our game is in dire straights. I want the game to survive and thrive because I love RL. I genuinely fear that in 20 or 30 years it'll struggle to remain relevant unless it changes the way it goes about business.
 
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5,608
When I lived in Townsville there were a group of about 10 of us that would travel at least 2-4 ganes per season to matches at Kogarah/Gong/SFS or ANZ each year. I’m sure we weren’t the only non Sydney resident fans of a Sydney club that would often travel thousands of in’s a few times a year to watch their club. To suggest there are no fans outside metropolitan Sydney that attend several games each year is a moronic premise. In short is is a false dichotomy, that is easily disproved compared to proving the point you have attempted to make. A simple poll in JA or saints forum or any other clubs forum would show how ridiculous your premise is.
So if 10 people from Townsville travel interstate to watch the Dragons then that means there are thousands of people from Wollongong pouring into Kogarah to watch the Dragons?

St George-Illawarra have played 90 games at Kogarah and 125 at Wollongong since 1999. Their average attendance at those grounds is 12,700 and 12,485.

Their three lowest attendances prior to COVID-19, were all based in Wollongong.

5,578 vs Melbourne 4 July 2019
5,662 vs Brisbane 4 August 2016
6,024 vs North Queensland 12 February 2000

All 19 of their highest attendances have occurred in Sydney, 2 of which were at Kogarah.

https://afltables.com/rl/crowds/st_geo-illa.html

Going by those figures, if there's a large segment of fans travelling to watch the team play, it's probably from Sydney to Wollongong. An old St George Dragons fan from Sydney is probably going to be more inclined to travel long distances to watch the club play as there's not much from the Steelers remaining at it. The Steelers' all time average was just 8,971.

https://afltables.com/rl/crowds/illawarra.html
 

Perth Red

Immortal
Messages
47,849
Its pointless talking about rationalisation of Sydney as it isn't going to happen, regardless if you believe it should or not. The bigger question needs to be come how does the NRL grow into new markets, or is it going to try and become more popular in its existing markets and hope that's enough for the future? Leaving AFL not to have to worry about its heartlands has meant they can be as gung ho as they wish in pushing into new markets. Maybe making the game in Sydney more popular somehow is the answer but it is a great shame not to see it prosper in other areas currently devoid of any top tier rugby league. I can see a AFL3 team in Perth before an NRL one at this rate

Sadly I think we have lost the war with AFL and now its about how do we be as strong a second place as we can be. Brisabne2 HAS to be the next step in that then some serious consideration about a 20 team confernec eplan over the next decade or so. That's our only hope at the top level really. Shame we dont have administrators who can plan a strategy that far ahead, I mean they didnt even have the business case for Brisabne2 in place before blurting it to the media!
 
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