Analysis GWS crowd numbers- how do we compare to the Sydney market?

Danny88

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Hi all,
One of the favourite lines of GSW bashers is to criticise crowd numbers. I thought it would be good to do a crowd analysis of the Sydney market.

In 2018 we had an average of 11,913 attend our 11 home games (131, 047 total). This figure is down on last year's average of 13,335 which is a concern but it should be noted we had an extra home game in 2017. Personally the drop off is a worry of mine. The membership number keeps going up but it seems a lot of these are 3 game members etc. and that is not being reflected in the crowd numbers.

If we compare this to the Swans who in 2018 averaged 34,492 across their 12 games it is clear their established fan base are active in attending matches.

Looking at other sydney codes such as the NRL we can see that it is a valid comparison.
Canterbury bulldogs (19,480 members in 2018) had an average crowd of 14,182
Sydney's biggest team South Sydney had 29,117 members in 2018 and an average crowd of 18,531
Smaller clubs like Manly (12,420 members in 2018) had an average crowd of 11,232

If we look at this it is clear we have a larger membership base than several of the sydney NRL clubs but cannot engage the supporter base on the same level. I wonder if it is in fact the 3 game memberships inflating the figure or whether or not there is a flaw in our target market. I have mentioned before that our average spend at Spotless is about $7.50 (around one beer) suggesting the family focus is working as many families would bring their own food etc which would keep the spend numbers down. What we are missing is the umber of members in that 20-30 age who go to the footy with their mates. Obviously this will change over time but i not willing to wait the 10 years it is gonna take for these current kids to get to that age.
 

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dlanod

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The Bulldogs and Souths had seven local derbies each, Manly had five, we had one.

I don't think that invalidates anything you're saying given the reality, not something we can change, but it's worth capturing as a caveat.

Not sure why we dropped off - we'd have to dig into the numbers more, but from the games I went to I wondered if it was fewer away fans. We seemed to bring similar numbers but if it's not an easy beat it might make the travel less desirable.
 

Isaac Cumming No 1

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Hi all,
One of the favourite lines of GSW bashers is to criticise crowd numbers. I thought it would be good to do a crowd analysis of the Sydney market.

In 2018 we had an average of 11,913 attend our 11 home games (131, 047 total). This figure is down on last year's average of 13,335 which is a concern but it should be noted we had an extra home game in 2017. Personally the drop off is a worry of mine. The membership number keeps going up but it seems a lot of these are 3 game members etc. and that is not being reflected in the crowd numbers.

If we compare this to the Swans who in 2018 averaged 34,492 across their 12 games it is clear their established fan base are active in attending matches.

Looking at other sydney codes such as the NRL we can see that it is a valid comparison.
Canterbury bulldogs (19,480 members in 2018) had an average crowd of 14,182
Sydney's biggest team South Sydney had 29,117 members in 2018 and an average crowd of 18,531
Smaller clubs like Manly (12,420 members in 2018) had an average crowd of 11,232

If we look at this it is clear we have a larger membership base than several of the sydney NRL clubs but cannot engage the supporter base on the same level. I wonder if it is in fact the 3 game memberships inflating the figure or whether or not there is a flaw in our target market. I have mentioned before that our average spend at Spotless is about $7.50 (around one beer) suggesting the family focus is working as many families would bring their own food etc which would keep the spend numbers down. What we are missing is the umber of members in that 20-30 age who go to the footy with their mates. Obviously this will change over time but i not willing to wait the 10 years it is gonna take for these current kids to get to that age.
I think it's pretty clear our member numbers are more positive than our supporter numbers justify.

3 home games in Canberra means a lot of limited access memberships. Add those to Sydney 3 game memberships which include a lot of people that aren't that committed to the club.

I really couldn't care less about NRL comparisons. If NRL ceased to exist it's no skin off my nose. For those that do no problem, I dont care enough to set fire to leagues clubs.

As for revenue, we need growth but it's not a crisis. Mostly the financial strength of the big clubs gives them security and a sort of independence from the AFL. Insurance against interference anyway. I dont think there'll be much pressure for a long time yet though. We wont be measured against short term parameters.

The Swans have been around a long tine and were in a much worse position than us in the nineties. Plugger and inertia really was all that kept them going. They've been very good for a long time now though, and they're reaping the rewards.

I've always believed a footy club needs 30k supporters who bleed the clubs colours to have a heart. In our situation that means about 50k members. So we're half way there. It's a work in progress and I dont think anyone including the club thinks it's satisfactory. It might work with less in other sports but big crowds and rusted on supporters are traditional in Aussie rules.

On the plus side the atmosphere at Spotless is improving, and in my observation now rivals Manuka for involvement. Even neutrals have commented our crowds are less sterile and subdued, and they were a bit in previous years.

While I'd be happier for Spotless to be full every game for the club's sake, and the atmosphere. I quite enjoy the lack of queues and plenty of elbow room at Spotless.

Edit: Forecast bad weather reduced the crowds at Manuka for the first two games last year. Spotless a couple of times as well. Games like the Bombers on a Sarurday night were disappointing but our form was poor then as well. Honestly I think fair weather supporters are the cream only and much less important than the core.

We need to grow that core. Drawing 15.7k to a H/A game against the Eagles in 2017, and then 14.4k to the SF is very revealing.
 
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#5
I’m pretty certain our 2017 home slate included more games against teams that have large volumes of travelling fans, whereas the 2018 fixture had more small drawing clubs at home.

I’d guess that as far as GWS attendees goes it was probably flat year-on-year, and that numbers bounce around with the quality of the opposition (neutrals) and the inclination to travel of the opponent (opponent supporters). It’s hard to get meaningful statistics on that breakdown though.
 

Danny88

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If we can get the average attendance back above 12,500, I'm pretty happy.
Yes, but I suppose the target market is still families. In fact it’s almost exclusively that. There is still a big afl fan base in Sydney and they are not going to games. Granted, most adults prob already had a team when we came along but maybe a change in marketing focus would assist in growing numbers?
 

Ichabod Noodle

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#8
I’d guess that as far as GWS attendees goes it was probably flat year-on-year, and that numbers bounce around with the quality of the opposition (neutrals) and the inclination to travel of the opponent (opponent supporters). It’s hard to get meaningful statistics on that breakdown though.
I think we’re in a bit of a transition phase with our crowds.

In the beginning a 10k crowd would be 50/60% traveling fans 10/15% neutrals and 30/40% in orange and charcoal.

There were a lot of traveling fans because it was all new and they were pretty much guaranteed to see a thumping- makes them feel good. Also a lot of curious neutrals who came for a bit of a sticky beak. At a game against, say Carlton, you’d see people wandering the concourse in a mix of crows, dogs, hawks etc. jumpers, in numbers big enough to matter.

As we’ve gone on, the neutrals have dropped away. That same game against Carlton you will now really only see orange or blue. The neutrals came, saw, and went away again. You might see an occasional other jumper, but they’re pretty rare these days.

Similarly, the traveling fans have dried up a bit. If you’re wanting to go for a weekend away and see your team win comfortably, you’ll go to the Gold Coast or the new stadium in Perth for the dockers. Why shell out several hundred dollars to see your team get beat at Spotless.

Those numbers in Orange and Charcoal have not been flat, but in fact, have been growing steadily. A crowd of 10k is now around the 60/70% mark home support.

So overall the crowds haven’t improved as much as some people would like, but the numbers in the crowd have radically shifted towards us. I vaguely recall remarking at the time, that the game against Richmond last year was the first time we outnumbered the tigers fans at the ground, and Collingwood in late 2017 was the same.

We’re still building and oppo fans will travel, just not in as huge numbers as they did when we were shiny and new and easy. That’s why it looks like crowds have plateaued a bit - because overall they have - but when you look at the sub-categories of who’s coming, we as a club are on the increase.
 

Isaac Cumming No 1

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I think we’re in a bit of a transition phase with our crowds.

In the beginning a 10k crowd would be 50/60% traveling fans 10/15% neutrals and 30/40% in orange and charcoal.

There were a lot of traveling fans because it was all new and they were pretty much guaranteed to see a thumping- makes them feel good. Also a lot of curious neutrals who came for a bit of a sticky beak. At a game against, say Carlton, you’d see people wandering the concourse in a mix of crows, dogs, hawks etc. jumpers, in numbers big enough to matter.

As we’ve gone on, the neutrals have dropped away. That same game against Carlton you will now really only see orange or blue. The neutrals came, saw, and went away again. You might see an occasional other jumper, but they’re pretty rare these days.

Similarly, the traveling fans have dried up a bit. If you’re wanting to go for a weekend away and see your team win comfortably, you’ll go to the Gold Coast or the new stadium in Perth for the dockers. Why shell out several hundred dollars to see your team get beat at Spotless.

Those numbers in Orange and Charcoal have not been flat, but in fact, have been growing steadily. A crowd of 10k is now around the 60/70% mark home support.

So overall the crowds haven’t improved as much as some people would like, but the numbers in the crowd have radically shifted towards us. I vaguely recall remarking at the time, that the game against Richmond last year was the first time we outnumbered the tigers fans at the ground, and Collingwood in late 2017 was the same.

We’re still building and oppo fans will travel, just not in as huge numbers as they did when we were shiny and new and easy. That’s why it looks like crowds have plateaued a bit - because overall they have - but when you look at the sub-categories of who’s coming, we as a club are on the increase.
Just wonder how many of those opposition fans are actually travelling? I'm thinking Sydney residents make up a large proportion.
 

dlanod

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Just wonder how many of those opposition fans are actually travelling? I'm thinking Sydney residents make up a large proportion.
I reckon the ones that keep coming would be Sydney based, but when we get half a stand full, e.g. Collingwood, the majority will almost definitely be traveling.
 

General Giant

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There is a ton of Aussie Rules fans in Western Sydney who didn't make the jump when we came in.
If they did we would have a 35k Spotless by now. Begs the question would Tassie fans make the jump.

Our crowds would be classed as good in the NRL or A-League. But our tv ratings aren't the best compared to League.

Would be over the moon and think we are on target if we got to an 18k avg, which would then have the knock-on of having Spotless expanded and we can head to where we need to be to cement us in the competition crowd wise.
 

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combaning

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Yes, but I suppose the target market is still families. In fact it’s almost exclusively that. There is still a big afl fan base in Sydney and they are not going to games. Granted, most adults prob already had a team when we came along but maybe a change in marketing focus would assist in growing numbers?
It's getting these people's children to be our supporters and hence why the afl are taking a 20-30 year approach with the expansion teams.

If we are at 11000 for home ground matches in 2038 then shut the team down.
 

LukeParkerno1

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Probably a number of reasons and there isn't a easy fix. In Sydney, people are getting more and more time poor. This means as clubs putting the games on at the right time is key. Not sure twilight is going to necessarily grow the game. Plenty of days I wanted to go to the game only to find out it was 4:30....I'm still having a punt then (right in the middle of the quaddie). Then we have the parking or shall I say lack of and the parking that is there is exponentially expensive. Again I'm not sure there is a solution there as these aren't owned by the Giants, but possibly trying to get these rates discounted. The last think you want is to fork out up to $40 for parking a game.
 

LukeParkerno1

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Not sure where you're parking? $25 all day parking in the Olympic Park precinct, and there's lots of it in P1 (very convenient).
even at $25 it's too much, go to 4 games, that's $100 down the drain. I had to go to the Marta hospital a bit over the last few years, and pay $10-$20 and that's a hospital where I expect to have to pay.

It all adds up, especially with families. When (if) you have kids believe me even dollar goes a long way.
 

dlanod

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even at $25 it's too much, go to 4 games, that's $100 down the drain. I had to go to the Marta hospital a bit over the last few years, and pay $10-$20 and that's a hospital where I expect to have to pay.

It all adds up, especially with families. When (if) you have kids believe me even dollar goes a long way.
There's also free parking elsewhere in Olympic Park or one or two train stops away if every dollar counts. Sounds like you're looking for an excuse. :)

Having been to most of the stadiums in Sydney, parking is basically non-existent at most. Having the option to drive is coming across as a negative!
 

Ichabod Noodle

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The last think you want is to fork out up to $40 for parking a game.
Jeepers - where are you parking?
Nothing like that expensive.


Also: we have a train station next door with free game day travel
(a slightly more convenient option than some other *cough SCG cough* stadiums I could name.)
 

fridgeman

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#19
The draw and the weather are big factors in the crowd average so the key games this year will be the Bombers and Tigers at spotless to start the season should hopefully see a good turnout of locals and travelling fans 15k each or more should be the target and then apart from the derby the only other high drawing club is the Pies so those 4 games are the key IMO. The Blues are in for another losing year so I don't think many supporters will travel especially after the game this year. Canberra will be weather dependant but the Hawks should get a good crowd and then the Saints and Dockers need a nice day so the crowds turn up.
It will be interesting to see where the membership ends up but I am confident in a year of significant growth again and if the crowds can get up to the 15k mark and membership near 30 k I am sure the club will be happy. A home final will make a difference and I hope the club can at least have one next season as that will make a big difference to the figures
 
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