IT may have been a disappointing end to the season for Warrington Wolves after such a promising start – but who can ever forget the incredible home coming scenes after the Wembley under dogs had their day!
Being away on a family holiday I had to watch live footage of the home coming parade along with over 15,000 other viewers on our live facebook feed as Warringtononians around the world rejoiced in their tens of thousands.
Which begs the question, why so few fans at Wembley for a glamour tie against arch rivals St Helens at Wembley, followed by an extremely poor crowd of under 6,000 for the do-or-die play off eliminator against Castleford Tigers?
With the home coming parade a free to attend event, which attracted the biggest turn out of Wolves fans for a long time, one has to presume cost played a big part in the attendance figures, although with some Wembley tickets available for circa £25, that is hard to believe – although when you add transportation and out of pocket expenses that will soon rocket to hundreds of pounds for the average faimily. Certainly it would be a lot less expensive to stay at home and watch it on the TV.
Again with the play-off game, I attended in the VEEP lounge as a family of four adults and it set me back £140 – Ok for a treat but certainly not a regular outlay when you add the cost of drinks and refreshments to this, although we did get a free coffee and programme.
But it is still difficult to understand why so few people and loyal fans would not turn out to see their Wembley heroes?
With so many other attractions these days and so much live sport on TV it certainly is getting harder and harder to attract supporters to a live event.
It has now been several years since the Wolves extended their ground and increased their capacity and in all that time there have only been a couple of “sell out” crowds. With a capacity of just 15,000 in a town of over 200,000 people, one wonders why the full house signs are not up more often?
The way the Rugby League have tinkered with the game over the past decade has not helped, with different formats leaving fans not understanding the complex play-off system.
While winning ther league title should be the ultimate prize, it remains a third class citizen next to Wembley and the Grand Final.
Surely it now time for the Rugby League to ensure winning the League title has at least equal importance to Wembley and the Grand Final, making fans hungry for the treble!