What you hate most about live sport

Herald on Sunday - - SPORT -

Why leave home when the sport­ing ex­pe­ri­ence at ma­jor events is so un­der­whelm­ing?

Even the All Blacks in the Rugby Cham­pi­onship are strug­gling to put bums on seats in smaller venues.

Mar­kets like the US and UK are buck­ing the trend of de­clin­ing crowds — that helps when you have decades of fan trib­al­ism and can spend bil­lions on are­nas and en­ter­tain­ment.

The best we have in New Zealand is a pre-match band, ir­rel­e­vant cheer­lead­ers and a naff half­time ob­sta­cle chal­lenge put on by a game day spon­sor.

A new re­search pa­per out of Syd­ney asked fans what they hate most about live sport.

They said: Food — fans are over greasy, over-priced food. They don’t want pies, chips and hot dogs any more.

2 En­ter­tain­ment — fans want more bang for their buck.

3 Screens and score­boards — there aren’t enough, they’re too hard to see.

4 Trans­port to and from sta­di­ums.

5 Sta­dium man­age­ment — how se­cu­rity treat pun­ters on game day.

These find­ings are in keep­ing with the hours of talk­back I’ve taken on this is­sue over the years. Pay­ing through the nose for food you wouldn’t buy any­where else is far and away the big­gest rea­son fans are say­ing no to live sport.

I know sta­di­ums are look­ing at the is­sue but as long as you have one cen­tral caterer, I fear things aren’t go­ing to change in a hurry.

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