Test Rugby England to play at AAMI Park and SFS

Discussion in 'Rugby Union' started by Bomberboyokay, Jun 20, 2015.

Put it out there
  1. Bomberboyokay

    Bomberboyokay Brownlow Medallist

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    Heady days of the 2003 World Cup are long gone. Scuttlebutt is after paying its ongoing expenses the ARU is effectively broke. 2013 British and Irish Lions tour was a big boon to the coffers... and it's not happening again until 2025. The Socceroos have usurped the Wallabies spot as "the national football team" the last 10 years, but it's simplistic to blame it just on that. I'm not an expert, what do you think has lead Australian rugby to this situation?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015

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  2. chibimatty

    chibimatty Club Legend

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    Lots of little things piled together I guess. There's a helluva lot of factors, both external and internal, which have got themselves into this position. I think a book could be written on the reasons for the doldrums the game finds itself in now.
     
  3. Maester

    Maester Team Captain

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    I think this is a great decision and expect the England series will be a big success. Having the games at AAMI and Allianz will create such a better atmosphere and that not only creates a better experience for the people at the game, but also everyone watching on TV.

    As for the decline in Australian rugby I think the main issue is that the ARU basically operates on a business model that requires the Wallabies to be regularly winning Bledisloe Cups and world cups. It's a bit of an all eggs in one basket strategy and the Wallabies just haven't been performing well enough the last 10 years. It's a pretty poor strategy I think from an administrative and sports marketing perspective. I think the introduction of the NRC and the sale of the Rebels to private investors is a step in the right direction. The new TV deal will provide a financial boost as well. Much of the growth is coming from international markets which is encouraging for the future international expansion and I'd like to see the ARU (and SANZAR) put a lot more emphasis on strengthening and promoting the Super Rugby competition. It's so different from any other sporting league and I think that's great. But the execution is lacking.
     
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  4. S120

    S120 Norm Smith Medallist

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    I agree with pretty much all of this.

    The ARU hit rock bottom a few years ago (at least in this current cycle IMO). They're showing some good signs of making some really positive structural change. The new broadcast deal for Super Rugby will be huge for their coffers, the NRC is already showing signs of being sustainable long term and providing good development to players to step up to Super Rugby and even further (see Samu Kerevi) and I think the Wallabies have not only a very good coach to take them forward (Cheika I genuinely think will be the best Wallabies coach we've had since Macqueen) but the playing group I think will be on an upswing for the next few years. A lot of talented youth is filtering its way through Super Rugby and about to hit National level.

    I think the decision to reclaim the SFS and move to AAMI in Melbourne is also a very astute decision for where rugby is as a sport. The sport just isn't able to compete with NRL and AFL in terms of being a top tier earner or crowd-attraction. We can get huge crowds for Bledisloes and RWC's but sorry, we're just not there and we never will be with respect to getting what NRL and AFL does in terms of money through broadcast deals. The sport doing its best to be realistic and give its fans the best experience possible is the best way to go, even if it isn't reaching for the stars anymore. Playing big test matches (England is a big opponent) at the stadiums at which the experiences will be the best for the fans and make the tickets a more valuable commodity is a great decision to me. When the Wallabies played at the SFS a few years ago (against Wales) for the first time in ages, the scrap and desperation for tickets was enormous. There was so much excitement and buzz to be back able to go see the Wallabies on an afternoon at the SFS. It was just great.

    All of that leads me to say that I think Bill Pulver is doing a very commendable job. Big wig sports administrators often are hated by their sport, but I honestly think he's made some very good decisions for the benefit of the long term health of our sport.

    Perhaps it's a completely rose-coloured take on it, but I really feel like some good things are being done.
     
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  5. Maester

    Maester Team Captain

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    Yep, and it's not great watching rugby at ANZ Stadium or Docklands etc. They're okay when they're 100% full, but even then the stands are so far away from the action. I agree that the goal should be to create as good a fan experience as possible rather than create an average experience for as many people as possible. The SFS sold out for both Wales and France. For England it will do so easily and it'll be a great occasion. Same with the Melbourne test.

    Pulver gets a lot of hate, particularly from the head in sand Sydney club land types. But since he's begun as CEO there's been the introduction of the Junior Gold Cup, the NRC and the sale of the Rebels. All good achievements. The new broadcasting deal should be the cherry on top.

    There's also been increased emphasis on sevens which I think is a big growth area for rugby in general. Particularly at the grassroots level and particularly for girls/women. Olympics inclusion will prove to be a big deal. The decision to move our sevens leg to Sydney is great too. Finally it'll have a chance to become a big event like it is in Hong Kong, Dubai, London and Las Vegas. Looking forward to attending that.
     
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  6. robbieando

    robbieando Moderator

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    I agree that the ARU are doing the right thing in moving their Test matches with the in-bound Northern nations to smaller venues. No reason why NIB, SFS and AAMI Park can't play host to regular Test matches with Canberra Stadium, Hunter Stadium in Newcastle and even Cooper Stadium in Adelaide getting a look in every few years. That leaves the rotation of the Rugby Championship matches to the likes of Lang Park, Adelaide Oval, MCG, Perth's new Stadium and decide whether to stay at ANZ Stadium long term for the Big Sydney Tests (or move back out to Moore Park with the upgrades mooted there). Plan it right and there is money and exposure to be had.
     
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  7. S120

    S120 Norm Smith Medallist

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    Yep, yep and yep.

    The NRC, JGC and growth in Sevens are huge boons for the sport that should see strong benefits in the future. Plus the increased focus on women's rugby and women's sevens, they're not just paying lip services to that.

    And yeh I can't wait for Sydney Sevens. That was another very good decision. Gold Coast and Adelaide had run their races to try and spread the word. Sydney Sevens will be a genuinely big event that could make a good deal of money.
     
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  8. Bomberboyokay

    Bomberboyokay Brownlow Medallist

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  9. robbieando

    robbieando Moderator

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    Talk about shooting one in its own foot.

    Those prices are crazy even allowing for the fact it's being played at AAMI Park
     
  10. chibimatty

    chibimatty Club Legend

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    The ONLY thing I can think of, is that there might be a Lions-style supporters tour coming down for this one from England, pushing up the prices. But I think I'm drawing a long bow with that one.
     
  11. robbieando

    robbieando Moderator

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    There would be England fans coming down, but in the hundreds not tens of thousands of a Lions Tour. They are banking on the expat community and the afterglow of the World Cup to support the prices.
     

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