MILLIONS ARRIVE BUT THOUSANDS LEAVE
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