Crio’s Question: Is the AFL immune to the crowds crisis?

by Chris Riordan

The trend, it must be said, is alarming.

9,000 at Blue Diamond Day.

15,000 at MCG for an ODI.

18,000 at major A-League semi at Etihad.

God knows how few attended the golf at Moonah Links, Basketball at The Cage or trots at Melton.

Yet we still get 75,000 to Boxing Day, 90,000 to Socceroos v Greece, 20+ for trots’ farewell to the Valley, throngs to “Tiger’s” Open, Ultimate Fighting  and random T20s.

A glut of live TV Sports seems to have created a culture of “Events” attendance, with “theatregoers” the target audience, attracted by razzamatazz, seemingly always pyrotechnics and loud music.

But 30,000 showed up to Colloland for a NAB Cup Round 1 game.

Is the AFL immune to the crowds crisis?


  1. Damian Watson says

    It is a worrying sign that the supposed “Sporting Capital of the World’ cannot achieve decent attendances to some of our bigest events.

    Although there are plenty of substantial reasons why only 15 000 turned up to the cricket at the MCG the other night:
    – a dead rubber
    – opinions of many indicate that ODI cricket is dead in the water
    – West Indies aren’t the admirable side they used to be
    – It was a Friday and those who were finishing work or school found that the Aussies already romped the Windies for 324.

  2. I think it would be more of a worrying sign if we were struggling to get crowds to the Boxing Day test. As Gigs wrote a few weeks ago, ODI is past it.

    Want fast, aggressive popcorn cricket that is over quickly? Twenty20 is for you. Want an age-old, classic battle which involves skills barely required in T20, such as patience, diligence and endurance, not to mention the multitude of extra strategic implications for a captain? Test cricket. Is an in-between game really necessary?

    The NBL is in turmoil, the golf, unfortunately, is not much of a spectator sport without a marquee player such as Tiger and I don’t know enough about horse racing to speculate about it.

    You’d think more would have gone to the A-League semifinal though…

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