Here we go, it is now a waiting game until we find out who will be the 17th team in the NRL. I for one can wait as I don’t see this as the correct option and the only way they can change my mind dependant on what the do with the 18th team.
Now yes they haven’t announced the 17th team yet and I’m already talking the 18th side but that is only because with the broadcast and sponsorship deals in place they won’t want to wait and be idle for to long with regards to the teams having to endure bye weeks constantly.
One of the major issues I have with the new team being a Brisbane based team is the way that it will effectively rule out a majority of teams from having Friday night prime time games on FTA. Now yes one of the teams isn’t actually in Brisbane with that team being the Redcliffe Dolphins who are located 35 km north of Bris’Vegas, the 2 other bids in the Brisbane Jets and the Brisbane Firehawks also plan on utilising the Cauldron that is Suncorp Stadium the home of the Broncos.
It would be beneficial in my mind to bring in the Dolphins as not only are they slightly more north but still in south east Queensland they already have their own stadium so you wouldn’t have the issue of over use of the ground. While you may think I being pedantic with my talk of over use given it is highly unlikely that if the new team is one of the actual Brisbane based sides the NRL would schedule both teams at home on the same weekend we just need to look at how the final games of the Magic Round are impacted by the west and tear on the field.
As stated previously they will very likely hurt the majority of teams no matter what team they admit to the game and have the main prime time game from Brisbane every Thursday or Friday night. The biggest issue I see arising out of that decision should should it come to fruition is how it will effect the potential sponsorship deals other teams will have given they can not offer the same sort of advertising potential as the south east Queensland teams.
Understandably there will be some of you that are reading this saying that the teams won’t suffer that badly, but if you look at how many Thursday and Friday night games the Broncos have had the last 2 years despite not being anywhere near the top 8 is for me bordering on favouritism. By looking at the numbers for the last two years during the home and away games the Broncos have had 15 out of 20 in 2020 and in the season just gone they had 14 out of 24 so in the last 2 seasons they have had 29 out of 44 which is 65.91% of their games in prime time.
So looking at those figures for the Broncos for both of the last 2 seasons both of which they ended up finishing in the bottom 3 of the ladder can anyone see that being changed? I can’t as you always hear about the ratings and the money that brings in from up in Queensland and the NRL will never stop because of how good the payments in
brown paper bags sorry I mean the legitimate and in no way potentially against the law payments from the broadcasters and sponsors are in those areas.
By bringing in that south east Queensland side as far as I’m concerned the game isn’t expanding. If you are truly looking to expand the game look at bringing in a team in Perth or Adelaide to major metropolitan cities that have hosted games in the past few years and not just State Of Origin games but regular season games the pulled in crowds.
I fully understand that in the past that expansion sides has been attempted in Perth and Adelaide that unfortunately failed at the time. But I honestly feel like now is the right time to re-explore those opportunities as there now seems to be a lot of expats from the eastern seaboard that could even then have the new local team and the team they have always supported as their teams.
And by attempting to break into those markets and using the time zone to an advantage you can then make the most of a twilight kickoff on a Saturday or Sunday and make even more of an event out of the weekends fixtures and could possibly open the door for extra games on FTA. However I doubt that the game will look at these as viable options but I think we can add to a region where we already have a team and it could agin expand into new area.
The area I’m talking about looking at has been in front of our faces the whole time, that area is New Zealand. As far as I’m concerned that is another area for expansion that could help grow the game and could potentially lead to even more growth in the international game in the Islands.
That would occur by giving them an extra pathway to the elite level of rugby league that they would have previously not have the opportunity to obtain. We could even potentially see down the track a North Island vs South Island State of Origin concept for the game in New Zealand.
Of course what part of New Zealand would the team be from? I believe since we have the Warriors who are based in Auckland on the North Island we should look at putting a new team on the South Island and possibly base them in Christchurch. Now while Christchurch is well known for the Crusaders in the Super Rugby this could be the chance for the NRL, ARLC and New Zealand Rugby League to join forces to make the potential expansion a success.
Much like if you moved into the western parts states of Australia and taking advantage of time zones for broadcast deals and sponsorships. Given our friends across the ditch are 2 hours ahead of us that can then allow the teams from New Zealand to play what would be AEST Friday night 6pm game in prime time in New Zealand and potentially open up the door to having even more games on a Saturday or Sunday.
Now not everyone is going to agree with the points I have made in this post because someone will miss out. However much that would suck to miss out I feel when expanding the game we need to focus less on areas that already have teams around the area’s but we need to break in to new area’s if we want to see the game grow instead of the pockets and Val accounts of the ones that are in charge.