I can see the arguments for both. Keeping the coffers healthy is important and taking games to the country areas is a noble idea that all NRL clubs should embrace. However, there’s no doubting the benefits of playing in front of a true home crowd. Our most obvious home grounds are Leichhardt and Campbelltown and our best home ground results in recent years have been at Leichhardt. Unfortunately, in the last couple of years, we haven’t won many games at either venue and as somebody pointed out, the reason we are taking games away from these venues is because we haven’t been getting the crowds and, therefore the money. ANZ stadium guarantees us cash as well, which further diminishes our chances of playing at our true home grounds.
I think the key here is to win games. If we are successful people will turn up and, even though, we are trying to widen our appeal by promoting our label elsewhere, we should aim to keep all except two home games in Sydney, with the two provincial ones being in true western NSW locations such as Bathurst. Hopefully, our improved results this year will be reflected in a higher proportion of traditional home venues next season.
There is no simple solution. By the way, what’s happening with the Centre of Excellence, at Concord, or whatever it’s called? That may be a good resolution for the traditional Tigers and Magpies supporters as it seems to sit more or less in the middle of the two districts. Doesn’t help the Campbelltown people though….