Western Bulldogs and their partnership with Ballarat a success | Page 60 | BigFooty

Western Bulldogs and their partnership with Ballarat a success

Discussion in 'Western Bulldogs' started by samass03, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. mambavino

    mambavino Club Legend

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    I'll buy my membership and reserved seat no matter what the club does, but the problem is not everyone is as rusted on as the members of this forum. The club just needs to be more cognizant of how these new ventures affect their existing members or we will lose some in the quest to gain some elsewhere. Based on the local turnouts in Ballarat so far, the net effect might not be in the positive if we continue the way we are.
     
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  2. TiAn_

    TiAn_ Premiership Player

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    No need to lose your cool.

    You obviously read the part where I referred to my premiership gold memberships. I've had two for the last 4-5 years.

    There is no set price in perpetuity for each reserved seat per game. The prices change (increase) each year. In 2018 you paid the figure the club set for the number of games the membership provided a seat for. Either the item presents value to you and you purchase it, or it doesn't and you put your money elsewhere.

    To accept your argument, one would have to operate under the misapprehension that each reserved seat is worth a specific set amount per game in perpetuity. A reserved seat this year costs substantially more than they have in the past. Does that mean it is now horrendously overvalued and no one is purchasing it? Plainly no.

    The value of a reserved seat is an annual proposition. For the next few years a Home reserved seat membership will get you a reserved seat at 9 games and entry to 11 games in Melbourne, plus entry to 2 Ballarat games for a small fee. Every single member will know that when it comes time to renew. No one is being duped by propaganda.

    Have the Tasmania games adversely affected the reserved seating numbers for North or the Hawks? If so, you may have an argument. I doubt you've looked at that though and suspect you're just shooting from the hip again.
     
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  3. TiAn_

    TiAn_ Premiership Player

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    I take the club cutting the ticket price for members from $23 to $5 in the space of 4 months as a pretty strong indicator they don't want to marginalise existing members.

    I've chosen to take a pragmatic approach and accepted that we'll be selling games somewhere for at least the next 3-5 years, and if they're being sold somewhere in our geographical region it's better than the alternatives.

    Hopefully we don't have to sell any H&A games in the near future, but with pokies on the way out I doubt it happens any time soon.
     
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  4. fpcookie

    fpcookie Premiership Player

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    ^ agree, I'd rather get rid of pokies than Ballarat.

    Good to see AFL actually taking on board the criticism with the scheduling. Hopefully it's two early Sunday games next year.
     
  5. Roogal

    Roogal All Australian

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    Let's face it - Sunday was disappointling all round. The Bulldogs played aweful and were outplayed under the conditions with their last two quarters unbarable to watch. There's no point banging on about the weather, because 1. It's Winter and yes it rains and gets cold in Winter. 2. It is Ballarat in late July ... what do you expect? That said, I knew that the late Sunday scheduling would not work at all from an attendance perspective. Particularly if you were trying to maximise numbers from South Australia, because most are not going to travel back to SA late on a Sunday night! Let's face it crowds are also low at Etihad on late Sunday schedules so I can't imagine why they thought it would be any better in Ballarat?

    Okay, so that was the glass half empty.

    Now let's look at the glass half full: Sunday's game served to highlight the many shortcomings of Mars Stadium and it has flagged in bright NEON lights to the Ballarat Council what needs to be done with future upgrades as a matter of priority. Those who have followed my posts would remember that I did state this time last year that the ground had its limitations and that a great deal of work had to be done before it would be a truly suitable AFL venue.

    I wrote a letter to the Mayor earlier this year stating that poor lighting and lack of cover for spectators in July could adversely impact the image of the city and the Stadium's reputation among the football going public if football commentators were openly criticising it during a broadcast. That happened on Sunday night and into Monday so now the Council and hopefully the State Government will get the message.

    I have said throughout this season that the lighting would be a major issue for the July game and at least now the Ballarat Council have gotten the message that it is a major fix item for the stadium. The Ballarat Mayor conceded yesterday on both TV and in the local paper that increased permanent lighting capacity at the ground had to be a priority for any future development. I get the impression that the Council will do something about that perhaps before a single brick gets laid for any future stands and may be prepared to absorb some of that cost. If the lighting is upgraded for propper night football, future scheduling of games on a Saturday would no longer be an issue because it frees people to travel home later on the Saturday or early Sunday for the interstate travellers (because frankly driving hame to either Melbourne or Adelaide late on a Sunday sucks!). I observed at the game on Sunday that most of those present were huddled under the sheltered areas of the ground and people avoided the open standing areas with perhaps less than a few hundred braving the rain and wind. That screams in capital letters that building another stand to accommodate at least 5000 under cover is a matter of priority. You can't do much about the weather (particularly Ballarat's), but it is imperative to get more areas of the facility under cover for the sake of the spectators who pay good money to watch the game and in order to allow acces for more members of the club. Yes other issues including parking accessibility and PT access remain in the background, so yes there is much to be done, but at least the issues are now very much in the forefront of the decision makers minds.

    These issues are not massive, and there are things that can be done to improve the conditions for members and spectators before any future building and upgrades occur. Yes no doubt the AFL will take a good long hard look at scheduling and timing during the season for future games. The WBFC have to look at how they package the Ballarat games to their members next season, the current packaging (I hate to say it) is a rip-off for Melbourne supporters, they deserve to be treated fairer.

    Anyway folks, that's all that I shall say on the matter. We look forward to better days ahead.
     
  6. lachy

    lachy Club Legend

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    I lose my cool a bit as I am not sure why each time you need to add a snide personal remark, have been able to have a rational discussion with DelRe though we don't agree, however yes I have looked at the impact of Tasmania on both Hawthorn and North and both North and Hawthorn have a significantly lower reserved seat to membership than we have, so if that is shooting from the hip, ok then. Also, Hawthorn negotiated as part of their agreement all their replacement games were at the MCG and do have seating packages available. tough I may agree with MD on this topic I am not MD.

    People on automatic renewal should have some expectation that if what they are paying for, a reserved seat, is for 10 games when they enter the plan it is then reduced to 9, there should be some financial compensation for that.

    As for the memberships you have, that is good but this is not about you or me. I have paid for a social club membership for 30 plus years and for 4 people since we moved to Docklands and don't even know where the social club is. Have also had premiership gold for 14 years and can only get to 4 to 6 home games a year. We are not the people this strategy will negatively impact on, it is those for whom that reserved seat is a big investment often taken out with a group of supporters who are friends and family.

    In another post you replied to a poster who asked why was their not the stink from supporters when we moved a home game to Darwin, Cairns, Canberra etc. Your reply was Whingers were going to whine. Did you ever think most members actually understand that financially we do have to sell a home game and as long as it is only one, we make a significant amount from it and they can tie in a holiday with it, their actually ok with it?

    You have also stated in this thread that the BFL should adjust their fixture to accommodate us playing games in Ballarat. Do you know the BFL has no interest in helping the AFL and in fact most local leagues are in open conflict with AFL Victoria so will do nothing to assist?

    The club lept into this deal as they believed they could generate the dollars Geelong make by having a boutique stadium with a low capacity which would be perpetually sold out, therefore being able to charge massive premium prices. They tried to sell it on the basis of being part of our heartland and member convenience. Fact is non of that is true and all it has done is put off many more members that it has got on board and now has alot of work to do to at least not have this venture cause us to go significantly backwards.

    - For this to happen our engagement in Ballarat needs to significantly improve and not at the expense of our own backyard
    - Stage 2 and 3 of the stadium must be completed to bring the stadium up to AFL standard and allow for comfort for our current members
    - In conjunction with both council and state government get a direct line to the stadium. A small crowd could not even get home on Sunday easily unless they drove (Though the land was better at North Ballarat, the reality is City oval is right in the city, close to the train and all facilities in the city and would have been a significantly better venue. The difference between the MCG and Waverley in Melbourne)
    - In conjunction with the AFL scedule the games at 1.40 on a Sunday or at the right time of the year get the lights up too standard for Saturday night
    - Ensure there a reasonable seating package options at replacement games or in Ballarat, as part of the membership package
    - With the city of Ballarat tie it in with local festivities. Just attracting locals will not work, we need to make the event something our current base is excited to go to

    Will this work, not sure, but at least there is a chance. Will there still be people totally apposed? Of course there will. But the club leadership should not just be using sound bite marketing speak with something as fundamental as the actual purpose of our club and should genuinely be trying to excite its current base as well as grow

    I know some will say winning will help, which of course is true but there are other threads for that and there will be times like now we are not winning.
     
  7. lachy

    lachy Club Legend

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    Great Post Roogal.

    The reality is get the stadium to AFL standard BEFORE playing 2 AFL games a year there. You addressed most of the issues with what you raised with the council. The other one is there is a train stop basically across from the ground. Upgrade it for match day, Show day and other specials in the facilities being built or they could become expensive white elephants
     
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  8. TiAn_

    TiAn_ Premiership Player

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    I've approached your arguments on face value. I don't know you from a bar of soap and the business credentials you touted earlier on don't carry any weight for me. The beauty of an anonymous forum is it is a meritocracy of arguments. Either your argument stacks up or it doesn't.

    Every MCG club has a lower reserved seat member:general access member ratio than us.

    Has North ever had a better RSM:GM ratio than us? Did it drop after taking games to Tassie? Does that take into account the extra Tasmanian reserved seat memberships they've picked up?

    The real question was whether playing in Tasmania has had an adverse impact on North's or Hawthorn's membership/revenue, which is what you're suggesting. I don't see an answer that in your post.

    Why would anyone be due compensation for electing to continue with a membership? Either they want the membership or they don't. They make that decision each year. Even then, members in 2018 gain entry to two extra games at a discount. That sounds like a form of compensation to me.

    Again, this doesn't make sense. The membership price hasn't gone up any more than it usually has annually. Either these people can afford the reserved seat membership or they can't. Ballarat is irrelevant to that equation.

    Whether they are unhappy that they won't have a reserved seat for two games instead of one isn't a financial question. You're conflating two separate issues.

    Do you actually think that most members were taking trips to Cairns or Darwin to watch us play? Or even a significant portion? Are these the same members for which a reserved seat is a big investment?

    How many of the 8,500 that watched us in Cairns last year were reserved seat members that travelled up for the game? Did they all refuse to go to Ballarat on Sunday? What basis have you got for making any of these assertions?

    I haven't been to a H&A game interstate since I was a teenager, but I have been to Ballarat twice.

    No I haven't. I merely said that the AFL fixture comes out months earlier, leaving plenty of time for the BFNL to fixture around it if they want to. Whether they want to or not is a matter for them. One would hope the club could make inroads with the league.

    There are some outrageous assumptions in there which I'm not going to respond to.

    I agree with all of this, but I also don't think it's an argument against playing H&A games there now, next year or the year after.

    I mentioned above that I saw first-hand that the CEO of the club is taking membership feedback on this issue seriously, and implemented a significant cut to ticket prices off the back of that. The CEO contacting members directly is the antithesis of a distant club using sound-bite marketing speak.
     
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  9. Sedat!

    Sedat! Norm Smith Medallist

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    Good discussion on this thread and excellent points on both sides.

    If you are going to do something new such as relocating 2 games a season in a new venue, you need to get buy-in from your existing members first and foremost. You also need to plan for a small and gradual build of the plan and get ingrained habits and continuity of scheduling of these 2 games. You also need to embrace the new market and engage with local consumers and businesses to grow a long-term additional market of support that is incremental to your existing supporter base. None of this happens in 2 years and it certainly won't happen without proper planning and scheduling that complements the new market and also the existing market as much as possible.

    So for the first few years, we need to do the following:

    1. Allow walk-up scanning into general admission for any Dogs home members - forget the price gouging of existing members
    2. Reduce the cost of reserving a seat for Dogs reserved seat members, who are losing their Etihad seat for the privilege of watching a game at Mars Stadium
    3. Schedule ALL games there at 1.10pm Sunday moving forward. Saturday is no good for local sport and Sunday 3.20pm is a disaster that any moron could have seen (except the senior AFL exec on $750k a year who is responsible for the fixture).
    4. Schedule one match in April and one in early May - no guarantees but the weather is usually great in Ballarat this time of year
    5. No lights for night games - Ballarat is not a Winter night game venue, end of story
    6. Lobby the State Govt to build a train station near the corner of Howitt St and Creswick Rd, called 'Showground' station. There is ample crown land in the area, and the benefits of ease of public transport to the ground (less than 400m away) and also for the growing population of Ballarat in general will be substantial
    7. Preserve the unique community feel of Ballarat games and not try to make them a mini Geelong or Etihad

    Definitely there should be potential expansion of the ground capacity in terms of additional seating room, but this is a phase 2 - let's walk before we run.

    Also we need to be accountable to growth targets for both memberships and sponsorship revenue that is Ballarat specific and update these on an annual basis. Let's see the direct financial benefit of the relationship and be accountable to that.

    It's an exercise well worth doing but we need to do it properly, strategically and inclusively.
     
  10. cecil

    cecil Club Legend

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    I'd add to that:
    8. Work better with transport authorities to provide decent Melb-Ballarat links. Seems this has been a decent issue so far?
    9. A bigger rollout of buses from Whitten Oval to Ballarat. How good would 20 bus loads of people turning up at the ground be? Basically an army of supporters ala the GWS prelim. Charge $20/person to subsidise it. I think a lot of people would be keen on that. Leaves at 11am, back by 6pm.
     
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  11. VogonProsthetnic

    VogonProsthetnic Premiership Player

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    Can I add-

    10. If they are going to dump us from Good Fridays- look at the possibility of having an Easter Sunday or Anzac Day long weekend match there. A lot of people come up here for the Stawell gift ( a fantastic event btw for those who haven’t been) or the Grampians. Again all those highly paid AFL geniuses don’t seem to understand family holiday or local weather patterns probably because they never travel beyond the airport for their hols.
     

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  12. TiAn_

    TiAn_ Premiership Player

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    The suggestions in the last few posts should be passed on to the club. Quality stuff.
     
  13. Roogal

    Roogal All Australian

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    100% agree, they've got to spend the money there now and stop politicizing it. A train platform (literally across the road) with Myki tap-on/tap-off points is dead easy and dead cheap to build and should be included in Stage 2. On your point on the Showgrounds, they won't be there in five years. The Council and Ballarat Agricultural Society have already announced the new BAC Showgrounds site to be built just to the North of the Western Freeway on Creswick Road.
     
  14. lachy

    lachy Club Legend

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    What are the plans with the area where the showgrounds are now?
     
  15. Roogal

    Roogal All Australian

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    I like your thinking there ... WOW! Honestly, pass that on to your club. Ballarat would relish a country ANZAC Day game complimenting the big one at the G. They have a local Army Reserve Battalion 8/7 RVR to provide the pomp and ceremony. Great idea!
     
  16. Roogal

    Roogal All Australian

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    Part commercial and the remainder dedicated as an extention of the sports precinct including a propper bus drop point.
     
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  17. Roogal

    Roogal All Australian

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    This is what a forum like this is all about, it's not about hand wringing or moaning but it shows that there is a lot of lateral thinking. You guys are coming up with some amazing ideas, we ought to capture them and forward them as one to the WBFC and to the AFL.
    1. Allow walk-up scanning into general admission for any Dogs home members - forget the price gouging of existing members ... might be tricky until the ground is expanded beyond its present limits.
    2. Reduce the cost of reserving a seat for Dogs reserved seat members, who are losing their Etihad seat for the privilege of watching a game at Mars Stadium ... 100% agree, it's a home game ... first come, first seve for booking your place as a member at the ground until it gets expanded.
    3. Schedule ALL games there at 1.10pm Sunday moving forward. Saturday is no good for local sport and Sunday 3.20pm is a disaster that any moron could have seen (except the senior AFL exec on $750k a year who is responsible for the fixture)... personally ... fuxk the BFNL, they have not supported this idea from the outset, they get no say for my mind.
    4. Schedule one match in April and one in early May (or the last game if the H&A season) - no guarantees but the weather is usually great in Ballarat this time of year
    5. No lights for night games - Ballarat is not a Winter night game venue, end of story ... nah Saturday night would work early in the season, besides they are also looking at AFLW games there too
    6. Lobby the State Govt to build a train station near the corner of Howitt St and Creswick Rd, called 'Showground' station. There is ample crown land in the area, and the benefits of ease of public transport to the ground (less than 400m away) and also for the growing population of Ballarat in general will be substantial ... 100% concur
    7. Preserve the unique community feel of Ballarat games and not try to make them a mini Geelong or Etihad. ... ditto
    I also think that the ANZAC Day and Good Friday ideas are fantastic. The idea of gathering at Whitten Oval over a bacon and egg brunch or what the Army calls a 'gunfire breakfast' on ANZAC Day perhaps before getting on either busses or catching a chartered train at West Footscray Station to Ballarat in time for lunch (Perhaps a meet and greet with the Ballarat supporter group) and a fleet of Ballarat coordinated busses to ferry people to the Stadium have great merit. An ANZAC experience for those lucky enough to do Ballarat as part of the bus trip would be special if it could include a trip with a local tour guide to the Arch of Victory, the National POW memorial, and to the Pompey Elliott and Albert Coates memorials.

    If you guys don't do it, I'm going to run with these ideas and send them of to everybody of inflence in Ballarat. You will all get full credit :thumbsu:.

    Great work!
     
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  18. Dogs 13

    Dogs 13 Premiership Player

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    And what did we do wrong (and possibly North if they lose it) ? Good Friday 2016 almost 43k crowd for a day that many conservative football followers and people in the community didn't want to become a reality.
     
  19. BallaratBulldog

    BallaratBulldog Premium Platinum

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    Apparently the dogs didnt turn up to do some of the event work for GF.
     
  20. Dogs 13

    Dogs 13 Premiership Player

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    And that's the away team's responsibility how.
     
  21. BallaratBulldog

    BallaratBulldog Premium Platinum

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    If you want a marque match, both sides need to make it work as a partnership. In other fixtures, you don't see or hear one team promoting for ANZAC or even Maddies match, they both do.
     
  22. Dogs 13

    Dogs 13 Premiership Player

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    Doesn't matter anyway, they'll just take it off the smaller teams.
     
  23. Roogal

    Roogal All Australian

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    That's okay, the North GF game this year was a total crapfest. A shoddy game of football and crowd numbers were down. Perhaps we ought to be playing you lot once a year in Ballarat :)
     
  24. Dogs Rule

    Dogs Rule Norm Smith Medallist

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    I would have no issues at all in kicking off the season at 1.10pm on Saturday at Ballarat in late March (before local footy starts their season I think) Play there again a month later in late April on Sunday at 1.10pm.

    Game Saturday, game Sunday and everyone should be happy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  25. dogwatch

    dogwatch Premium Platinum

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    One argument against that is that across the board clubs have more drawing power early in the year when all fans have hope. I haven't checked the records but I'd expect that to be reflected in attendances. If the club has a shit year (like this year) the best attendances and the biggest opportunities to sell membership will be at the early home games. If two of those games are at Ballarat it puts a slight dent in those opportunities.

    That could be one reason to go with one early game and one late one, say Rd 22.
     
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