Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Three questions: comment welcome

1. can Brisbane be competitive this year (competitive = top 4)?

2. if they aren't, how big will the crowd be by year's end?

(note that Brisbane had the 2nd biggest crowd last week and Gold Coast with Culina and Smeltz only had 4,500).

3. Where will they play next year?

and if you answer those, here's another:

4. who will own the franchise next year?


Hamish said...

Ok, I'll have a go.

1. If Frank was still there, and players coming back etcetera, we were definitely still in for the top four.

But with Ange? It all depends doesn't it. I don't think it's impossible but there'll be a few characters tested along the way. If Ange does rebuild something competitive it could be very exciting.

2. The question of 'the crowd problem' has been much discussed, and as far as I can see everyone from the Board to the players and even Marco at the Courier Mail are completely in denial of reality. So I don't see it improving.

Ok, I'll guess... I think it could get to below 5,000. I hope I'm wrong but the promotion for last Saturday was clearly damage control rather than an attempt to increase crowds, and the very low turnout was heavilly supplemented by free tickets for kids and sundry.

Let's remember it was a Saturday evening with no other codes really competing so there was no excuses. Meanwhile the ticket prices were down anyway (a fact that was unusually well publicised), and for once everyone who didn't go actually knew it was on because the Roar had been intensively in the media all week.

There's a point I think, I think you call it the sinking ship point, where support will evaporate very quickly because an implicit part of supporting a team like this is long term expectations and hopes. If people wiff that the team may die, they're hardly going to buy a shirt are they?

So I do think the crowd situation is dire, and I find little hope for optimism with this bungling botch of a Board running the show. New management is essential if the Roar is to survive - there is no way out of that in my view.

3. Ballymore, I hope, or another modest venue where the team and its fan base can build itself proudly and without unrealistic pressures. Suncorp is a dead end. Even if there is a lot of contract to run, I think the Board should investigate ways of minimising the costs of withdrawing from it. The contract is a toxic asset.

4. I don't know of course. If there was a movement of fans to build some sort of supporter's consortium, I would be very interested.

john said...

Thanks Hamish
Great response. Now that the worst case is out there - ie no more Roar - I feel better about it.
Earlier this year the Roar announced they were looking at an alternative to Ballymore. They have said so much, and so little, who know?

orangecrush said...

Crowds: I think the biggest reason for reduced crowd numbers is that by the time we got a game at a 'good' time (Saturday night) the casual fans were out of the habit of going to the game, i.e. too many afternoon games early in the season while the kids were still playing.

But I also believe too much is made of crowd numbers. Ever heard anyone saying cricket is doomed because only 87 people turned up to watch Qld play Tasmania?

The key is getting to FTA TV. Kids don't just buy shirts to wear to the game. I expect that most kids with ManU shirts have never seen a game live. Most Euro leagues (apart from the top 6-8) only average around 10k crowds or less, yet are profitable enough to be able to poach young Australian players (remember Baird to Romania's second division?).

Agree, that if crowds are going to be <15k then we should go to Ballymore. No reason why they shouldn't return to around 10k - with a little game promotion - geez if 10k plus turn up to watch what Adelaide dishes up week in week out ....?

john said...

Thanks Orangecrush - the thing is Adelaide have won something in their history (pre-seasons and table tops).

On cricket - having their business model would be a fine thing - apart from the big games they seem to get much of the ground access cheap - lost of freebies - plus the sponsorship is mega compared to the A-League. Then their is the player contract system - centralised, and if you don't have one you probably don't get much. Much more centralised control and bigger dollars. The A-League needs crowds for gatetake and sponsorship.

orangecrush said...

Agree that increased crowds do influence sponsorship. My point on gate takings is really that every club should be able to survive on reasonable crowds - e.g. 8-10k and that 'national exposure' via FTA TV is probably more imporatnt than getting another 5k to the ground.

Crowds aren't just about winning e.g. Perth - yet to make top 4? Newcastle United (EPL) - no silverware for 40 years? St George (NRL)- nothing since the 70s. I actually go to the game because of the style we play. While obviously being disappointed, I actually enjoyed seeing 28 shots on target against CCM more than I'd enjoy watching a team playing a dour 0-0 draw.

What has happened to the marketing of the players? In season 1 Chad Gibson, McKay, Baird etc were at schools, running camps, etc?

orangecrush said...

Another Brisbane crowd comment:

In early seasons, no one sat at the away end. So most fans enjoyed the atmosphere created by the Den! There were no vacant areas between the Den and the rest of the crowd.

BUT - then they made tickets in the GA area at the away end considerably cheaper and people initially flocked there. This created areas of vacant seats between the Den and the sideline suppoters - destroying the atmosphere and therefore the whole experience.

john said...

Thanks Orangecrush
this year it was Zullo but he has only played 40 mins.

john said...

re the Den there is something in that.

I think basically we have fallen off the generation as kids get too old to want to go with their Dad.

Sydney's crowds today was their lowest ever.