The Courier-Mail



FIRST came the television deal. Next for the NRL is to work out how to halt the decline of match attendance­s.

Broncos chief executive Paul White has stressed to Stadiums Queensland and the State Government that they must invest in the latest Wi-Fi technology to make games at Suncorp Stadium more attractive.

NRL CEO Dave Smith admitted on Monday the game “is in competitio­n with itself” because of its suitabilit­y to television coverage, as evidenced by the Nine Network’s $925 million deal from 2018.

NRL premiershi­p crowds are down 5.7 per cent in 2015 compared with last year’s total home-and-away attendance­s.

“Until we get our stadiums strategy right, with the right capacities with the right facilities – and the right gameday strategy – it’s very difficult,” Smith said.

While the Broncos’ 32,395 home average is 11,358 higher than that of the next club, Canterbury, it is off a 21st century peak of 35,032 in 2010 at Suncorp Stadium.

No stadium in Queensland offers the free Wi-Fi to spectators that major stadiums in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide do.

White said all stakeholde­rs in Australia had to address match-day experience­s for spectators and not “use as excuses” for declining crowds the attraction of live telecasts.

“We want to constantly improve our fan experience,” White told The Courier-Mail.

“If we are the only stadium that doesn’t have Wi-Fi


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