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Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Stats Don't Lie (Much) 

The crowd averages for the Super Rugby season thus far...

New Zealand: 12,732 (down 12%)
Australia: 19,312 (down 3%)
South Africa: 32,175 (up 24%)

So South Africa, who isn't hosting the RWC and has a bunch of teams who are mainly either shit, or underperforming are attracting crowds that NZ couldn't even wild sex wet dream about.

A few notes on the figures. The NZ figure doesn't include the Crusaders crowd from London for obvious reasons. Factors that have also influenced NZ crowds are clearly the Crusaders being unable to play at AMI Stadium (did AMI insure the stadium?). This would have been offset to some extent by Eden Park now being fully open whereas last year half of it was a construction site.

I have the crowd numbers for 61 out of 65 games so they pretty accurate. I am missing the crowds for two of the three Cheetahs games. Namely the last two which were their smallest, the Lions are missing two of their five as well, and they too will be too embarrassed to tell anybody how pathetically small their support now is. It was a ghost town in their ground last time out. And the Chiefs are missing the crowd for the Blues game which I saw on TV had sweet fuck all at it which is odd since it's supposed to be a derby game.

Stats (brackets is the total number up or down to date)
Stormers: 36447 (-5935)
Bulls: 35211 (+920)
Sharks: 30840 (+5173)
Lions: 28521 (+17382) *more like 20,000.
Reds: 26734 (+3907)
Waratahs: 23472 (-733)
Cheetahs: 23012 (+8671) * missing smaller crowds, probably 18,000.
Blues: 18321 (+504)
Rebels: 18086
Crusaders: 15419 (-6217) *includes London crowd
Force: 15405 (-1615)
Brumbies: 14524 (-733)
Hurricanes: 11494 (-3461)
Highlanders: 10847 (+5004)
Chiefs: 10,142 (-1486)

The obvious questions are why do the South African crowds grow significantly when they already have the biggest crowds? and why do our crowds continue to suck dogs balls?

Yes there is a financial 'crisis' but that is a global one and it has had little effect on Aussie and SA. Also the NRL crowds are as high as ever so far this year and in the past two years. The AFL average attendance last year was the highest ever.

That is a bullshit excuse, and I have heard people use it. The fact is people have lost interest plain and simple. The roots lie in the rest and rotation of the ABs in 2008. In 2007 the average crowd in NZ was 20172. In 2008 it was 15805. In the world of professional sport that is a COLLOSAL drop. It means 1 out of every 4 people thought "fuck this" and stopped going. And they've never gone since.

Other factors I think in the continued stagnation/drop are the number of people who now have Sky, especially MY Sky, who will now question why they would pay $85 a month to watch sport on TV and then go and blow anything from $40 to $100 plus if you have a family on getting ripped by parking, tickets, and food for ONE game that you could be watching from the comfort of home. Also if people are struggling to make ends meet then how come Sky subscriptions are going up, not being cancelled?

The ticket prices in South Africa are tiny compared to here. Yes it is a poorer country, and yes it is more heavily populated, but not by the white folk who go to the games. Tickets there are in the range of $5 for a crappy seat (in modern stadiums) to about $20 for the best seats in the house. People don't go the Cheetahs or Lions games (aside from season openers) because they are shithouse, but by god do they go to Stormers, Bulls and Sharks games. Despite the fact that they lie 3rd, 6th and 8th on the ladder.

In case the NZRU hasn't noticed, NZers a) aren't really fucking wealthy and b) spend their money on a shit load of other things these days.

You are in competition for their $$$'s which means that you either put on a better show (which you don't) or else you lower the prices (which you don't). Fortunately for them the Highlanders are going well this year which has meant that their is noticeably more support down south, but it's hard to see that squad carrying that on for much beyond this year.

The other concerning fact is that NZ has the strongest performing teams in the competition and yet it still doesn't translate into improved attendances overall.

NZ teams: 25 wins, 3 draws, 17 losses (147 comp points)
Aussie teams: 21 wins, 1 draw, 22 losses (127 comp points)
SA teams: 19 wins, 26 losses --- (118 comp points)

If the ABs crap out in this years WC and we get that stream of our Super Rugby players continuing overseas, and the NZ teams drop down in performance to the Aussie and SA sides then god help us in 2012 and beyond.

So no pressure aye?

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Rugby Crowds in the Most Important Year in NZ Rugby History 

I'm not actually going to comment on them right now, just a promise that I might get drunk later this evening and put up the crowd stats from the Super Rugby comp thus far in 2012. The might part doesn't apply to me getting drunk. That's definately happening as my school hols wind down. It's just a matter of remembering to post the stats. Remind me if I don't. I guess it will add further weight to the idea that NZ is NOT 4 million AB supporters and that adding to the research suggesting only one million people outside the 8 major rugby nations watched the last WC final, is the fact that only one million NZers even watched NZ bow out of the last WC on a Sunday morning on free to air TV.

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Yo, yo, wassup 

Been getting my arse handed to me in the NRL tipping stakes for the first few weeks but have now got my freak on. Tipped 6 from 8 three weeks running.

Blues are going pretty good but don't have the tight game plan needed to win the comp. Their attack is as dangerous as a samurai sword in the hands of a 4 year old with a temper. If they get a home semi (which I doubt they will as they have a hard draw from now on) then they can make the final, but if they are on the road, sure they'll be a tricky side to play but an in form team playing good rugby at home will take care of them.

The only NZ team that can win the comp is the Saders as usual.

If they don't then the Reds will.

So I'm calling it early.

Reds or Saders to win the comp. Blues are the outsiders. The South African teams are dangerous but not on the road so much and it's unlikely the Sharks or Stormers will get a home final. Heck they probably won't even get a home semi.

Aussie to win the RWC.

You heard it here first, or seventh, or nineteenth.

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