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@tkyc

They can paint this picture anyway they like (and the LED stumps are part of the colour palette this year), but when push comes to shove, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then you have some anatidae on Fox Sports every night this summer.

Oracle

The two games you're talking about last year weren't derbies. Stars played the Thunder, and Sixers played from memory the Heat.

The 23k crowd at Etihad I would say is about par. Simply, Stars fans didn't show up. Would have been 40k at the G.

In the end, they shouldn't feel the need to spin about crowd figures. It's a TV game. Just like test cricket

m0nty

I have it on with the sound down. I'm not missing much. I'm intrigued with what appears to be tiny crop circles inscribed near the bowler's marks. Perhaps it spells something in the original Klingon when viewed from space.

The thing that most annoys me is that this shyte is all in HD, and half of the footy is not.

Rusty

"stars fans didn't show up"? Has anyone met a 'Stars fan'? What do they look like?

Oracle

Generally they're members who'll go to the MCG if the cricket's on (me)

Rusty

Oh ok, I'm a Stars fan then. This comes as a bit of a shock to be honest.

Oracle

Go the Stars!

The Don has risen

some-one is gving something a bash

Tony

Yes, sorry, I got carried away with the derbiness. First up last year the Sydney Fixers played the Brisbane Humid and the next night the Sydney Chunder played the Melbourne Starz.

Tony

Correction made. Thanks, Oracle.

Tony

PS: I'm a member who doesn't go to the MCG if the cricket's on.

Russ

Rather think that if the powers that be were actually expecting significantly larger crowds they need a reality check. For the record, it was 12,117 in Perth and 14,057 in Brisbane. An average of 16,300 for the round. Based on last season those numbers will probably go up in January, once Christmas and the tests are done and dusted. This season has twice as many derbies as last, so they are added value, rather than a reduction.

By international standards (and Australian standards) any average in the vicinity of 20k is a decent crowd for a sport. It looks small because the stadiums are built up for AFL, but the AFL is a freak-show of a league given the size of the crowds against population base.

Tone

The Bundesliga is hardly ever mentioned in dispatches when attendances are up for debate, and yet it has a remarkably healthy attendance average - 45,179.

Tone

I think my "display name" - Tone, Tony, Tony Tea, Sweet Tone, etc - is randomly taking the piss.

Russ

Bundesliga is the quiet achiever. The average attendance has grown by about 12k in the last decade - rebuilding stadiums for the world cup helped - and if you check the Forbes team ratings they have both a surprisingly large number of the biggest clubs and the soundest profit sheets. Will be interesting to see if a decade of investment in the fan-base and academies instead of just buying players leads to consistently better European performance in the next decade.

David Barry

The Bundesliga is fairly well known for its clubs only charging something like 10 euros for most tickets, so that almost anyone can get to a few games a season.

Oracle

Yep - December generally is bad for crowds, whether it's two weeks or three weeks before Xmas there's no real difference. As Russ says, they'll pick it up in January

The Board would be concerned about Brisbane. An OK crowd yesterday (would have been better if it were a 2pm start given it was a Sunday),but the crowds for the test match were catastrophic. There are two reasons - Brisbanites don't like sport, and the Gabba, for a stadium that was only built ten years ago, is a shithole. Poor man's Great Southern Stand.

Given the cricket backwater emerging in Brisbane, it's time the new independent board threw open a bidding system for the test matches. With day-night tests on the way, it would be better having a 2nd test in Melbourne as a day-night fixture, in November, in lieu of an empty Gabba.

David Barry

A big part of the terrible Test crowd at the Gabba was that it rained all day Saturday, and Sunday started with the tourists 2/250 or something.

Russ

That and how many people should we realistically expect to turn up to the Gabba for a test match? Their population catchment is about 2 million. The ground fits 45,000 or so. And they don't get the holiday festive crowd the MCG will get, because people have weekend and weekday commitments (not least anyone who plays). Melourne gets generally, 60, 45, 30, 15 or 150 thousand for the match. Brisbane ought to get 75k: got 25, 5, 15, 5 or something like that. Add 20k on the Saturday and they are ballpark where they ought to be.

The state associations (who until next year were banking the ground revenue) could significantly increase crowds at test cricket if they dropped prices and sold heavily discounted packages - including BBL/Test packages. I suspect they make a lot more from tiered pricing though, making it so the lowest price ticket has a relatively poor view but still costs $40, then working up from there. If they dropped prices a lot more people would buy the cheap tickets, and they'd lose out on the premium options. In a better world, with CA in control of ground revenue and realising that with tv money dwarfs the ground take, they may as well make tickets cheap, and bring people in just for atmosphere. Compared to footy, cricket is bloody expensive; that is one of the nice things about the BBL.

Oracle

On the other hand, half of Melbourne is away between Xmas and New Year.

What we're saying is at best Brisbane pulls in an ordinary crowd, and if there are intervening circumstances the numbers go off a cliff.

The numbers don't indicate it should host the first test of the summer. In my view Melbourne should host two tests (to bring total tests to 6/7); the first test of the summer and Boxing Day.

I'm not sure how it all works under the new structure but with the new independent board what they should be doing is what they do in England and making the state associations bid for marquee tests. In that scenario, the VCA and MCC would run their numbers and surely out bid CQ for the first test. CA gets a guarantee, the associations hold the risk and make the returns. Pure economics.

I agree tickets are too expensive though. I hadn't noticed it as a member but I went to Perth for 2 days last weekend and sure as hell noticed it then. And then you have to pay more for light beer in a plastic cup.

@TKYC

I think I'll turn up when the Denegrades play the Chunder at Skinner Reserve


... Ground capacity suiting the sporting quality.

Tony Tea

Ahhhhh, light beer in a plastic cup - I remember that. "A big cold thirst needs a big warm slop." Speaking of chunder...

Russ

I went on Friday. Turned up late because the place we ate at in the city was slow serving something edible, and we had no intention of eating or drinking the slop on offer at the ground. Watched the game in patches, but mostly talked about various non-cricket related things (with apologies to the patrons seated in the vicinity).

The cricket is inexpensive and entertaining enough, although no more than a series of high-stakes dice rolls. The entertainment is not my thing, but you don't have to watch it. The only grip I have is that there is a slowly diminishing tendency to cheer the opposition with the music and special effects. It didn't matter that much at the derby, but it would be pretty incongruous at a ground with an invested crowd like the WACA.

The food and drink is a disgrace at the cricket (and football). I'd go to a lot more (domestic/test) games if I could get a decent feed and decent coffee - by which I mean, if my partner could get a decent coffee I'd have freedom to go to more games. American observers have lamented that their baseball stadiums have a shopping mall quality about them, but I can see the value. If I was re-designing stadiums, I'd line the outer concourse on every level with shops/restaurants, and the inner concourse between entrances with tables that look over the ground. If you are going to have a venue that big right next to public transport, it may as well be open all day every day.

Tony Tea

Far too Edward de Bono, Russ.

lou

Hey Russ, I went to a domestic T20 at the Oval last year and they had a great selection of food and drink outlets, almost like a mini-food market thing going on at the back of the stands. Decent beer as well. Is that not happening at matches in Aus?

Russ

Lou, all the food is contracted out so they are limited in their options. In theory there is plenty of room around the grounds to set up a night market or similar - which would also cater for people who don't actually go to the cricket - and there are some food vans and shops outside, but bringing that food inside violates the catering contract. Within the ground they just don't have enough space to provide decent food, so it is all chips, hot-dogs, pies and sandwiches (for the non-members/corporates anyway), because that is the only way to serve 100 people per sq.m of kitchen space. Hence my comment above, if we designed grounds with twenty times as much retail space, the food would be much cheaper and better.

Oracle

People make fun of it, but one of the reasons members don't go to Etihad is the food and drink options.

That and walking through sticky piss in the concourse.

Tony Tea

I think I read recently that the food vans outside the Dome will get the arse next year. Stadium contracts, and all that. So rather than expand the options, the stadium management is contacting them to a select few providers. Naturally those few providers will be part of the AFL clique.

The Don has risen

Gentlemen,

my u/14s played a T20 yesterday under some absurd rules.

After being told to hit out or get out we managed 5/26 yep that's right 26 runs in 20 overs.

mind you the opposition only passed us in the 17th over.

Ah T20 what a game!

Big Ramifications

"Lou, all the food is contracted out so they are limited in their options."

I worked for one of those catering companies for a couple of years. They won the Subiaco Oval contract with about a week to go before the AFL season started.

The job interview involved 120+ kiddies getting yelled at and split into groups like at the gates of Birkenau. "Papers, please!" It was such a mad rush to get organised that *everyone* who showed up got a job, virtually no questions asked.

In a George Costanza moment I mentioned "yacht club" and the boss was all "give this man the best job at the ground!"

So I got the role of steward at the "super boxes" but I still didn't know what I was doing until I got there for the first game. Some poor bastards were manning little deep fryers in dingy dimly-lit corners under stairwells or working in one of the bars next to the smell and bustle of the public dunnies.

My job was an Upstairs Downstairs type deal where the boxholders would buzz the stewards for food or p!ss, plus there was a set meal we had to bring up. I got to see half the game, cruising around in the fresh air rubbing shoulders with A-listers like Baby John Burgess, while 95% of the staff got sucky jobs with a concrete wall view. Mad skillz!

FYI food handling was pretty good. The main meal was prepared off site and delivered prior to the game. The cooks did pre-fry the chips 75%. When an order came thru they would chuck 'em back in for a few seconds.

Oracle

The Don - sounds like it was a pretty green wicket.

BR - Subiaco is the worst ground I have been to in Australia.

My brother worked for Spotless at the MCG for a bit and apparently it was a pretty good operation.

Tony Tea

My biggest gripe about catering at Melbourne stadia is that they only sell big softies. When I feel like a sip at half time I want a little bottle, but I can only buy a 500, which means I have to shell several dollars and lug around a lump of drink, which goes flat quick stix.

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