Home Ground situation needs to change



  • Hi all,

    I think the club needs to have a really good think about our home ground situation. This might sound reactionary after another home loss, but I think we have a problem at our club related to home game atmosphere which threatens the very existence of the club, and perhaps rugby league more broadly.

    At our last three matches at Bankwest, Canberra and Roosters fan have had the more vocal support for their clubs. Souths fans didn’t have much presence in their match, because barely anyone was there. But what is the point of a home ground if doesn’t feel like a home ground? Even at the start of matches, when there was still some hope, there was much greater spirit from the opposition fans. I think this is a signal to the club that the home ground situation has become a problem. We’ve been moved about so often that there’s no longer a stable support base or routine or familiarity with game day. There’s virtually no point in going out to games anymore (beyond our blind loyalty).

    I think the club has two options:

    1. Divide games between Leichhardt and Campbelltown (retaining the Tamworth game)
      Or
    2. Make Bankwest our home ground (also retaining the Tamworth game)

    I like Bankwest stadium, it’s a much better option than ANZ stadium and it’s a good geographical spot for our club in between our two regions. However, I strongly favour returning to our traditional grounds because I believe this is where the roots of our club are and playing matches at Leichhardt and Campbelltown is the reason the club exists. The primary function of home matches are to expand the fan base of the club and to strengthen the bond fans have with the club. Doing so improves the financial position of the club and builds the quality of the junior catchment (by drawing more kids to the game). It should also be a profitable venture and it needs to be appealing to corporates as well, as so much of our game depends on their money, so I get why we play away from our home grounds. But I don’t think it’s working to the interests of the club long term.

    The reasons I think we should move back to traditional venues:

    1. Home crowd numbers are dropping and with no prospect of consistent crowds above 20 000 it means that smaller grounds will have a better atmosphere for the foreseeable future.
    2. Juniors from both regions can’t easily get to Bankwest. Not making it easy for kids to get to games means we’re not as likely to retain the fanbase. Match day should be about kids running around on the field in mini matches and getting onto the field after it. These experiences make lifelong fans. Nobody walks away from our current home matches feeling inspired.
    3. This is perhaps a repeat of the previous point but Leichhardt and Campbelltown are two stadiums THAT ARE IN OUR REGIONS and are good. Why are we moving away from them? How have the Sharks and the Sea Eagles managed to stay at their home grounds and we can’t?
    4. These are our home grounds and they feel like our home grounds.

    What is the point of our club existing if we can’t play at our home grounds? I get moving if we have too many fans and need to find a bigger stadium, but that isn’t our situation.

    I think the club has a problem with Campbelltown and the south west of Sydney because we’ve never been able to draw crowds there. And I don’t really like going out there, nor do many fans from the Balmain side, but it’s the home base for our club and taking games away has alienated the fans more out there. I think the club needs to spend a good many years repairing the damage of their neglect. This region doesn’t just matter to us, it’s the most important region to rugby league and, as custodians of that area, we need to do better. And I think we need to get financial assistance from the NRL to do it.

    The Balmain junior competitions has also been incredibly fruitful for us, and for rugby league, and so our reticence to play games at Leichhardt is very hard to figure out given how much positive media Leichhardt gets, how much affection it has from our fans and its historical significance to rugby league.

    The second option of moving all games to Bankwest will take a strong commitment and will require years of development to make it work. The club will have to work out a way of making fans feel more like it is our home ground, because just playing more matches there isn’t going to work (and ANZ still doesn’t feel like a home ground after 15 years of playing there). I assume it would be the most desirable option for the corporates and is the best option for us in terms of generating profit from matches. But I think if crowd figures don’t improve then this stadium, like ANZ before it, is just going to continue to kill of our fan base. I’m not opposed to Bankwest, but I think even if it was eventually turned into a venue that felt like a home ground you still are not establishing strong connections to the communities around Leichhardt and Campbelltown and it’s never going to be an easy trip for juniors.

    I am actually dreading next weeks game against the Eels. I feel they’ll get more support and they’ll win the game and this will be embarrassing for us as a club and potentially cripple our season. I don’t remember feeling less excited about a home match. The club will quote highest ever membership numbers and its profitable year last year, but the atmosphere at home games tells a different story.

    The club has a problem and it needs to act.



  • @watersider option 2 with one game each at LO and CS



  • I’ll wait to see how the revamped Stadium Australia turns out. I have a feeling that will be the one. BankWest, while it sets the standard for modern stadiums, just has the Parramatta home ground feel about it.



  • @mike said in Home Ground situation needs to change:

    I’ll wait to see how the revamped Stadium Australia turns out. I have a feeling that will be the one. BankWest, while it sets the standard for modern stadiums, just has the Parramatta home ground feel about it.

    They are not doing enough to fix it!



  • I like option 1 lets get back to our roots.



  • @kafta said in Home Ground situation needs to change:

    I like option 1 lets get back to our roots.

    And in 5 years when they are no longer suitable for an elite sporting comp?



  • @mike when we were going well we got good crowds at Stadium Australia imagine if it was a decent configuration for league crowds would be great. Olympic Park is more central, transport right to the ground and has better parking in the area.

    I like Bankwest as a stadium but it’s not as convenient to get to no matter how you get to the ground.

    I don’t see Leichhardt being able to hold more than a couple of games a year. I love the ground and grew up watching footy there but it doesn’t have many days left. Campbelltown is a good small stadium but we really haven’t connected with the community out there.



  • Our traditional home grounds aren’t as profitable



  • We definitely need to ditch the current format and have one home ground, many will hate it, but the players will like it better than playing all over the country side, and in the long run it will be a huge positive.



  • When will people understand - LO and CS do not produce a financial profit. Therefore longevity at these grounds is not viable.
    Don’t know the answer - Wankbest feels wrong and will be worse next week when the slimey supporters outnumber us 2 to 1



  • G’day again @851 : you are close to being spot on 851. We do need just the one home ground in Sydney, then one only home game in Tamworth each year to help Our Wests Tigers supporters in and around the area and continue to grow and support the game in that regional area, on condition that every Sydney team does the same.
    I had a look at the planning for the expansion of the Greater Sydney area recently, and the area which includes Campbelltown will be called Western Sydney Parkland. The amount of work on the roads in that area and the land subdivisions is already amazing. The area and population are currently ‘Booming’ 851. With a bit of work and dedication to the area from Our Wests Tigers, We couldn’t fail by making Our home ground an upgraded Campbelltown Stadium. IMO this is the Only way Our wests Tigers can sucessfully build and achieve Our own identity, a new and vibrant and sucessful identity for the Wests Tigers.
    I don’t believe Bankwest Stadium will ever be accepted as Our home ground. It’s in the middle of Parramatta for goodness sake and right next to Parra Leagues Club. Why on earth would Our Wests Tigers supporters want to go into Parra Leagues for a meal before the game or a coffee after the game? as the $$$ we spend there is an outright donation to the coffers of the Eels to help with there financial stability when the $$$ need to stay with the Wests Tigers to support and grow Our financial stability. It’s a no brainer.
    I am unashamedly a Wests Magpies supporter and I am a current member of the Wests Magpies Football Club as well as WestsTigers and was a member of Wests Leagues Club when I lived in Sydney.
    We currently have a ludicrous situation where it’s my understanding that Wests Ashfield/Wests Magpies now own the Tigers brand and a lovely new much needed Centre of Excellence is planned to be built at Concord. The people in and around Campbelltown will NEVER accept a team that looks like Balmain Tigers and centered around Ashfield/Concord and gets a token game or two each season. Old farts like me will follow the Wests Tigers until we fall off the perch due to the name Wests in the title, even though we are commonly called the Tigers, and Our jerseys are more representative of the Tigers than the Magpies, keeping in mind We do have what I feel, is just a token Magpie on Our jersey shoulders.
    Now, rusted on Magpies are probably going to call me out as a traitor, but I personally don’t mind the Tigers emblem and colours and I feel it would be a backward step to not be the Wests ‘Tigers’. IMO the ‘Tiger’ and the ‘Tiger’ colours are much more marketable than the ‘Magpie’. For instance how catchy is ‘this is our jungle’… ‘come into our jungle at your own peril’ and our song ‘eye of the Tiger’. I’m sure Our marketing gurus could have a field day with these, just as a starting point. Too many youngsters have grown up with the ‘Tigers’ to change it now.
    Phew!! I gotta go and have a coffee before the match of the day at 1 pm being the Mighty Wests Magpies ✌ v the cuddly teddies. See Yuh 851 and have a great day ☺
    But once again the Wests Tigers MUST be based in Campbelltown.



  • @MAGPIES1963 Where to start with this post? We are owned 75% by Wests Ashfield, the reason for that is partly that Wests Campbelltown withdrew from the merger! The club at Campbelltown and the Campbelltown supporters of the club have no one to blame but themselves for that decision.

    Our jersey does not look like Balmain? We haven’t had an orange home or away jersey in years?



  • @MAGPIES1963 said in Home Ground situation needs to change:

    G’day again @851 : you are close to being spot on 851. We do need just the one home ground in Sydney, then one only home game in Tamworth each year to help Our Wests Tigers supporters in and around the area and continue to grow and support the game in that regional area, on condition that every Sydney team does the same.
    I had a look at the planning for the expansion of the Greater Sydney area recently, and the area which includes Campbelltown will be called Western Sydney Parkland. The amount of work on the roads in that area and the land subdivisions is already amazing. The area and population are currently ‘Booming’ 851. With a bit of work and dedication to the area from Our Wests Tigers, We couldn’t fail by making Our home ground an upgraded Campbelltown Stadium. IMO this is the Only way Our wests Tigers can sucessfully build and achieve Our own identity, a new and vibrant and sucessful identity for the Wests Tigers.
    I don’t believe Bankwest Stadium will ever be accepted as Our home ground. It’s in the middle of Parramatta for goodness sake and right next to Parra Leagues Club. Why on earth would Our Wests Tigers supporters want to go into Parra Leagues for a meal before the game or a coffee after the game? as the $$$ we spend there is an outright donation to the coffers of the Eels to help with there financial stability when the $$$ need to stay with the Wests Tigers to support and grow Our financial stability. It’s a no brainer.
    I am unashamedly a Wests Magpies supporter and I am a current member of the Wests Magpies Football Club as well as WestsTigers and was a member of Wests Leagues Club when I lived in Sydney.
    We currently have a ludicrous situation where it’s my understanding that Wests Ashfield/Wests Magpies now own the Tigers brand and a lovely new much needed Centre of Excellence is planned to be built at Concord. The people in and around Campbelltown will NEVER accept a team that looks like Balmain Tigers and centered around Ashfield/Concord and gets a token game or two each season. Old farts like me will follow the Wests Tigers until we fall off the perch due to the name Wests in the title, even though we are commonly called the Tigers, and Our jerseys are more representative of the Tigers than the Magpies, keeping in mind We do have what I feel, is just a token Magpie on Our jersey shoulders.
    Now, rusted on Magpies are probably going to call me out as a traitor, but I personally don’t mind the Tigers emblem and colours and I feel it would be a backward step to not be the Wests ‘Tigers’. IMO the ‘Tiger’ and the ‘Tiger’ colours are much more marketable than the ‘Magpie’. For instance how catchy is ‘this is our jungle’… ‘come into our jungle at your own peril’ and our song ‘eye of the Tiger’. I’m sure Our marketing gurus could have a field day with these, just as a starting point. Too many youngsters have grown up with the ‘Tigers’ to change it now.
    Phew!! I gotta go and have a coffee before the match of the day at 1 pm being the Mighty Wests Magpies ✌ v the cuddly teddies. See Yuh 851 and have a great day ☺
    But once again the Wests Tigers MUST be based in Campbelltown.

    That’s wishful thinking I’m afraid. It’s just not going to happen. BankWest or the revamped Stadium Australia will be the one home ground.



  • @mike said in Home Ground situation needs to change:

    @MAGPIES1963 said in Home Ground situation needs to change:

    G’day again @851 : you are close to being spot on 851. We do need just the one home ground in Sydney, then one only home game in Tamworth each year to help Our Wests Tigers supporters in and around the area and continue to grow and support the game in that regional area, on condition that every Sydney team does the same.
    I had a look at the planning for the expansion of the Greater Sydney area recently, and the area which includes Campbelltown will be called Western Sydney Parkland. The amount of work on the roads in that area and the land subdivisions is already amazing. The area and population are currently ‘Booming’ 851. With a bit of work and dedication to the area from Our Wests Tigers, We couldn’t fail by making Our home ground an upgraded Campbelltown Stadium. IMO this is the Only way Our wests Tigers can sucessfully build and achieve Our own identity, a new and vibrant and sucessful identity for the Wests Tigers.
    I don’t believe Bankwest Stadium will ever be accepted as Our home ground. It’s in the middle of Parramatta for goodness sake and right next to Parra Leagues Club. Why on earth would Our Wests Tigers supporters want to go into Parra Leagues for a meal before the game or a coffee after the game? as the $$$ we spend there is an outright donation to the coffers of the Eels to help with there financial stability when the $$$ need to stay with the Wests Tigers to support and grow Our financial stability. It’s a no brainer.
    I am unashamedly a Wests Magpies supporter and I am a current member of the Wests Magpies Football Club as well as WestsTigers and was a member of Wests Leagues Club when I lived in Sydney.
    We currently have a ludicrous situation where it’s my understanding that Wests Ashfield/Wests Magpies now own the Tigers brand and a lovely new much needed Centre of Excellence is planned to be built at Concord. The people in and around Campbelltown will NEVER accept a team that looks like Balmain Tigers and centered around Ashfield/Concord and gets a token game or two each season. Old farts like me will follow the Wests Tigers until we fall off the perch due to the name Wests in the title, even though we are commonly called the Tigers, and Our jerseys are more representative of the Tigers than the Magpies, keeping in mind We do have what I feel, is just a token Magpie on Our jersey shoulders.
    Now, rusted on Magpies are probably going to call me out as a traitor, but I personally don’t mind the Tigers emblem and colours and I feel it would be a backward step to not be the Wests ‘Tigers’. IMO the ‘Tiger’ and the ‘Tiger’ colours are much more marketable than the ‘Magpie’. For instance how catchy is ‘this is our jungle’… ‘come into our jungle at your own peril’ and our song ‘eye of the Tiger’. I’m sure Our marketing gurus could have a field day with these, just as a starting point. Too many youngsters have grown up with the ‘Tigers’ to change it now.
    Phew!! I gotta go and have a coffee before the match of the day at 1 pm being the Mighty Wests Magpies ✌ v the cuddly teddies. See Yuh 851 and have a great day ☺
    But once again the Wests Tigers MUST be based in Campbelltown.

    That’s wishful thinking I’m afraid. It’s just not going to happen. BankWest or the revamped Stadium Australia will be the one home ground.

    If we choose one ground that is.



  • @Tiger_Steve BankWest stadium feels wrong because you want it to be … after attending 3 games there so far IMO it represents nothing of Parramatta but the area that it is in ! in actual fact the Parramatta CBD offers the ultimate choices of a full game day experience with easy access to the Stadium … Leichhardt / Campbelltown or ANZ do not come close to offering that . I just do not see why anybody would want to go back to ANZ after the remodelling it will still be an empty 80k stadium with 15k max club round games . I do understand and agree with One game at Leichhardt oval as it is more an event day than anything else … Campbelltown forget it was tried and failed .
    Everybody knows my view on this … the club needs to bite the bullet and decide whether they want to be one of the major players in the Sydney basin or be a bit player with 5 home grounds !


Log in to reply
 

Recent Topics