Discussion in 'NRL' started by DC_fan, Mar 2, 2018.
Ray Warren won't travel to the USA because Ray Warren is scared of flying. He has a pathetic phobia.
Assuming that they are serious about playing games in the US and it's not just a media piece (which I'm not convinced of), then Florida is probably the biggest RL area in North America, so they'd have to be in the discussions, but the NRL will almost certainly want to play the games on the West Coast so that's unlikely.
Hawaii has been talked about a lot as a possible place for a match so that's a possibility, but if you're trying to make an impact on the USA as a whole Hawaii isn't the place to do it, though there would be benefits for the sport if we did try to grow the sport in Hawaii, and that's something that the NRL should totally do as well for a whole host of reasons, in this conversation I don't think they're really a factor.
Realistically that leaves us with the big cities on the West Coast, so LA, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Portland, and Seattle as the most likely, maybe they might go further inland to Phoenix but I doubt that they'll want to go further then that cause of player welfare and stuff.
Who knows though maybe I'm completely wrong and they are totally down with planning it so they can go anywhere and they do end up playing in New York or wherever, but I doubt it, they'll want to stick to the West Coast if at all possible.
Even though it's a bad idea for a lot of reasons my money would be on LA...
Take 2 Double Headers to
Hawaii & LA/SanF
Fri 6pm Fri 8pm
Sat 2pm Sat 4pm (Aus Sydney)
Sat 6pm sat 8pm
Sun 1pm Sun 3pm (Aus Sydney)
Sat 6pm 8pm
Teams that play overseas play the following Sunday/Saturday against each other (Obviously not against the same team).
Going to need to find somewhere with a grass pitch - or will they play on synthetic? Would that be allowed if the game was for premiership points?
Only stadium in Hawaii has a synthetic surface and I doubt they'll go to the cost of laying grass for what the locals will view as an exhibition game of a sport they don't care about.
Good to see some work being done to build up for the World Cup in 2025:
- 2018: England v New Zealand in Denver
- 2019: NRL Match & Hopefully Toronto into SL and USA Club entering League 1
- 2020: NRL Match & Toronto in SL, USA Club in Championship
I like the idea about a stand-alone weekend for the round 1 clash. A Saturday night match in either LA (6pm), Denver (7pm) or Chicago (8pm) is like 1pm Sydney time, Sunday afternoon - it would be a great time to have the season launch and live-site to watch the game.
Toronto Wolfpack play in TO on artificial grass.
Dallas maybe? Easier flight. Not sure if there is any RL interest in Dallas?
Wherever it is I hope its part of a bigger longer term strategy otherwise its pointless. One off games do little for any sport in a new market.
Dallas is a shit hole. If professional players can’t get a 2-3hr connecting flight they can f**k off chap imo
I'm hoping Moore Sport pick a few cities to target and go with a few events in each leading up. Pick 8-10 and target them for 3+ games each leading up to the World Cup, then play most of the World Cup games in those cities. Best case scenario they all have a pro team by 2026 in either the RFL system or Moore's proposed comp.
The difference is the NRL won’t be the ones marketing the game and it’s not just a once off. Moore Sports International would be marketing it and it’s obviously part of the strategy to building the game for the 2025WC. They’re already doing an ok job so far with the Denver test and what kind of crowd they get will be a good indicator of what needs to happen moving forward.
I don’t think anywhere is the right place to do it. The impact will be very likely be minimal. The main reason is the inclination towards home bred sports, a feeling of cultural obligation if you will. Such an inclination saw the origin of one sport made up;
How well would baseball, a British sport, have done in America if its history was not made up? The origin of “America’s national pastime” was made up to make it feel like a home bred game, as “American as apple pie” (it too is English)
Invented in England for young children - and I played it, Baseball (which became known as Rounders) is the most British of games that 7 million children in the UK play it on a weekly basis with Catherine Duchess of Cambridge a former player. Had this actual origin been publicised and not some made up myth I’m not convinced baseball would have taken off in the US. The sport is now in a downward spiral in terms of interest in the US (though I don’t think the myth being exposed and its history as a British game for children has much to do with that, there are other reasons put forward). Rugby league is a British sport from the north of England but Aussies took to it easily as they don’t have the same inclination/devotion toward a home grown product. A better example to how open Aussies are is Cricket, a more stereotypically genteel English game you won’t find (“jolly good shot ol chap”, players in whites, break for tea), very un-Australian and yet it’s Australia’s national sport. A similar scenario would never (knowingly) happen in the US.
Overcoming this home bred affiliation is the biggest hurdle. In addition to this the sports market is already overcrowded in the US and the collison based sport is covered: oval ball, running into people, objective of getting the ball to cross the width of a field to score, Gridiron covers that one. Possibly if you made up that Rugby league was invented in Alabama you would at least garner some interest/affiliation.
NHL TV rights in the US (not incl. Canada but we're only talking about US here anyway): $200 million a year.
Major soccer rights:
Liga MX: $110m a year.
MLS: $90m a year.
Champions League: $95m a year.
EPL: $166m a year.
World Cup: $1.2 billion for 2018/2022
The fact that a foreign league in a sport which isn't traditional to the US and with no US teams involved and which airs largely in the mornings has almost as big a TV contract as the NHL says everything you need to know about the NHL.
That was the first EPL contract by NBC I believe, NHL has been going what 100 years? (at least 50 on tv in the US anyway). To not be far off matching an established league with your first tv contract is remarkable. Tried watching a few ice hockey clips today and the biggest issue I had was trying to follow the puck. How does anyone see the puck go in the net? It’s all a blur to my untrained eye.
Looking at audience demographics Basketball has a huge minority following with viewership 61% non white. The game is entrenched in African American culture. Black players on the streets being common, then there’s the craze for shoes.
Interest in baseball is nosediving in the US. The slow gameplay has been put forward as one reason why - possibly similar to test match cricket in this regard - the world is much faster paced nowadays and patience is thin. Playing rounders as a kid I couldn’t imagine running around four bases for four hours. They play an endless amount of games too so the whole thing is a marathon. It belonged in a slower less busier time when people just lounged around, maybe read the paper in between breaks, grab a hot dog etc. They have something called a 7th inning stretch when people get up and literally have a stretch - my brother experienced this when he was taken to see a Dallas team - all that laying around for hours on end requires it.
One thing that helps the NHL get the TV money it does it that, within the US, its fan base is predominately affluent white Americans; I think I read once that, out of the traditional big 4 sports leagues, they had the largest percentage of fans who made at least 100k. Thats a gold mind for advertisers. So even though it is a niche sport, and peaked mainstream wise many years ago it will still get good tv deals.
I'm going to have to disagree 'interest in baseball is nosediving'. People have been saying that for years. Yes, its true national ratings aren't what they once were, but local ratings continue to improve, which just shows baseball has become a regionally supported sport, which makes sense considering the number of games; why am I going to watch ESPN's wednesday night baseball, when the Orioles are playing on MASN at the same time? The 7th inning stretch is just a fun traditions fyi, at least it was until they started forcing pseudo-patriotism down our throats with God Bless America....
Any-who, there is plenty of room for RL in the US. I have my doubts that well see fully fledged independent US/North American league, but theres no reason why we cant have East coast teams supplementing the Super League and occasionally the west coast hosting an NRL match. A 6pm PST kickoff on Saturday would be a 1pm kickoff in Sydney I believe, not sure if sporting culturally a 1 pm kickoff would be welcomed, but in the end these games are about catering to a potential new audience (aka revenue generators). MLB certainly didnt cater to the US fans when they took games to Japan and Australia.
Did read about ice hockey fans being affluent, still, $200 mill a year from television ain’t much for an established North American sport. It’s not as dire a situation as Rugby league in England though as Super League gets £200 mill from Sky Sports over five years: being a working class northern England sport it struggles to get blue chip companies interested thus a broadcaster will pay less for the rights.
When I say interest in baseball is nosediving I’m not talking from personal experience/observation - bar what my brother has told me about the sport living in Texas. Besides playing an early variation of it as a kid I know next to nothing about baseball except for what is being reported about it today. TV viewing audiences are declining, participation numbers are down, and there are a lack of household names currently playing it. It’s not in the public consciousness as it once was.
This has echoes of test cricket; 50% of the baseball audience being over 50 years old. I’m not convinced test cricket will survive. Half empty grounds bar the members area full of old blokes. It’s stuck in the Victorian era, life was slower paced when it was created. Five day marathons seem totally out of place in modern society where everything is instant - the article above refers to this issue with baseball. If the trend continues baseball may end up like its early form Rounders where its played as a recreational activity among youngsters.
I too don’t see Rugby league making inroads in North America in terms of a pro league. Rugby Union has far more resources at hand and their impact has been minimal. The highest form of both - RL and RU world Cups - I don’t think they have ever got much/any attention there. Being collision sports they are good alternatives to those who drop out of Gridiron, but at the same time being collision sports I don’t see them as being enough of a variation of what they see already to pull in a new audience.
Articles about baseball dying have been written for well over a 100 years, its actually a joke among baseball fans how often the sport is dying. In my lifetime alone we've been told that the strike in 94 would kill baseball, it didnt; then it was the steroid era that was suppose to kill baseball, it didnt.
This link will show how 'baseball is dying' articles are a dime a dozen throughout the history of the game. Baseball is doing just fine. Yes, national tv ratings are down, but the regional networks that cover individual teams are having healthy numbers. And that makes sense, my team the Orioles will play more times than not 6-7 games a week, so if I'm going to watch baseball Im not going to watch a nationally televised game, I'm going to watch my team, thats just how most baseball fans are these days; 40 years ago, I assume most teams didnt have all their games televised, so fans were more apt to watch the national game of the week. If baseball had a format like the NBA (82 games) I'd probably watch watch other games, but if you know anything about baseball youll know 162 Orioles games is torture enough.
Thats one reason the NFL is so popular, the individual games in each sport take about the same time to complete, but being a committed NFL fan takes less of a commitment than being a committed baseball fan. And this is something that could help RL carve out a niche in North America, you can watch a fast paced action packed game in less than 2 hours, well over an hour less than an NFL game, and soccer has shown US tv networks that you can make money off showing sport that doesnt have commercial breaks.
Well said and I loved the Huffington Post article. Thank you for bringing that story to our attention.
Is rugby played in winter over in the US?
If so, wouldn't League have some advantage by being an "off-season" alternative to the NFL?
BS. It says something about the fact that soccer is the biggest sport in the world and that there are plenty of ex-pats living in the US. The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world.
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