Monday, 2 May 2011

Are we there yet?

Excuse me, mate ... you’re in my, ah ... nah, don’t worry.
 I survived my first cardiac-threatening Hurricanes game of the 2011 season, having ditched my season pass a couple of years back due to being treated like a money valve by the Wellington Unions ... and I see nothing has changed. A crowd that would disappoint even Terry Serepisos’ tax lawyer's, mainly comprised of discounted (or free) children & teens texting all night, had to sit through another bizarre, torturous 80 minutes ... praying for the unexpected.

Now, they won, but so what. Crowd numbers are pitiful, our players constantly leave the franchise area, we won't buy in talent unless you are a coach that made Robbie Deans a cup of tea once (actually, that’s harsh on Hammett, I'll give him time), and those cheerleaders are more out of sync with reality than Don Brash ... plus they charge you $30 to park your car at the Cake Tin for a game! What a joke.

Until the NZRU realizes that you will not fill that ground, or any other one in the country, while punters can stay at home and watch it in 1020 HD glory, rugby will slip backwards as a live experience and the financial deficits will grow. And repeat.

I do not think the new format is not working. .. or, I can't work its merits out yet. The supposed swelling of crowds due to more NZ derby matches has not really occurred - this year is going to be a very long rugby year, and people will just not pay to go and see live footy in its current confused state. Time to get real: Either we all slash season passes prices like the Canterbury union did ... or don't show games live in the city they are being played a la Test cricket in OZ or some home English Premiership games. They have to choose between the game or the TV revenue ... though maybe the two things are hooked on each other. I hope to hell that the crowds and visitors magically materialise come September.

Compare this to the frenzied capacity crowds at the South African Super matches ... well, a massive population helps I guess.

Anyway, the IRB has announced the referees and other officials for the World Cup pool games here. Steve Walsh is back in from the cold.

The NZ Herald and economists have poured scorn on the forecast economic benefits for us here. Though, in true form, the blowout in costs may be due to the Government relocating Napier to Gisborne. Check your graphics NZ Herald!!!!

Marty Snedden's riposte is here:

Time to start working on an All Black squad, Ferdy! Only room for 30 players you know.

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