So with the offseason truly upon us. I thought i’d start a discussion about how the NRL and rugby league in general should look to expand.
Personally I’m unsure of whether perth can sustain an NRL team, crowds there of 15k for one match dont suggest more than 5-8k averages if a team played 12 games there a season. A combined team might work. Adelaide and Perth perhaps? or Perth and Nsydney.
I think Penrith and the Eels will have to merge eventually, Parramatta Panthers sounds nice, or Penrith Eels? Too many teams in sydney and I’d prefer a merger to relocation. Perhaps the same with Cronulla. Merge with central coast or even North Sydney perhaps. I would also like Manly to expand into the North Shore. Wish that merger had worked out, was perfect geographically.
I don’t think NZ needs another team, but they should spread out their games a bit. it would drive up crowds too, only having maybe 8 games in Auckland and 4 ‘exhibition’ games in South Island, wellington, christchurch, new plymouth places like that.
I’d love to see a PNG based team within 10 years. I’ve said before they are crazy about rugby league, only country with it as the national sport, and with a big population of 7 million i could see a NRL team thriving there. You can see that in the PM’s XIII match, packed stadium with people hanging of trees just to get a glimpse of some NRL players. Probably quite a few kinks to work out over there before we can introduce a team but it’d be great for the game and to get another powerhouse alongside England, NZ and Aus.
I’d love to see 3 professional rugby league competitions world wide in the long term, maybe in 20, 30, 40 years haha. But they’d be a European league based around the Super League which has seen consistent growth since inception. Crowds have doubled I think since 1996. And will pass 10k average after the world cup i hope. There’s now a french team in the ESL, i’d love to see more european countries join like Russia. I saw they had a RL match in russia with a 25k crowd, pretty good. Also maybe Italy.
Next would obviously be the NRL which would be an australiasian league including the islands, Oz, NZ, maybe even a chinese or indonesian team (that’s probably a bit farfetched though ).
And finally would be the smallest of the 3, an American league that includes Canada. It would be centred around the existing competitions, a unified one obviously, and would average crowds of 5k or so with 8 maybe 10 teams. Obviously playing 2nd fiddle to the premier sports in the states, NFL, NBA, MLB, even soccer. But to get even a small foothold there would be amazing. You could potentially have 10 million watching the NRL GF every year after expanding into europe, americas and NZ.
A lot of this is farfetched and a million years in the future but it’s nice to think long term :slight_smile:
Thoughts? i’m probably gonna get kicked out for being a crazy after that last bit haha