General NRL Blueprint For The Future

Where should the next NRL team come from?

  • Sydney

  • Perth

  • Brisbane

  • Adelaide

  • NZ

  • PNG


Results are only viewable after voting.
Plus to be perfectly honest I'd like to see it get much harder for kids to make it into the NRL - it has become far too easy. If a player isn't committed enough to move away from home, they shouldn't be in the sport. The sport shouldn't change the rules to make it easier for players - that breeds a poor attitude. I want to see kids bust their ass for 2-4 seasons playing age-grade footy or NSW/Qld Cup level before getting a call-up. With NRL clubs spending up big on the first half of their first grade rosters, too many kids have been given a chance to play first grade because it makes financial sense for the clubs rather than that kid earning his spot. Too much talent has headed overseas or to other codes as a result of the current system. These proposed changes will make for a stronger NRL and I'm all for that.
 
When did it become easy to make it in the NRL? As far as I can tell the number of kids that make it every season is still minimal. Yet the comment is made too much talent heads off shore or to other codes, why would that happen if making it is so easy? To say a player doesn't deserve to make it because they would prefer to stay close to family is also odd. Anthony Milford springs to mind as a player that left home to chase his dream for it to turn to shit and then want to go home for family reasons. To me he wasted a couple of seasons being miserable at Canberra to return home and have a break out year. I also doubt any team chooses to play someone simply because they're cheap, after all success brings sponsorship and fans, not picking players to simply make up the numbers.
 
When did it become easy to make it in the NRL? As far as I can tell the number of kids that make it every season is still minimal. Yet the comment is made too much talent heads off shore or to other codes, why would that happen if making it is so easy? To say a player doesn't deserve to make it because they would prefer to stay close to family is also odd. Anthony Milford springs to mind as a player that left home to chase his dream for it to turn to shit and then want to go home for family reasons. To me he wasted a couple of seasons being miserable at Canberra to return home and have a break out year. I also doubt any team chooses to play someone simply because they're cheap, after all success brings sponsorship and fans, not picking players to simply make up the numbers.
It is too easy to make first grade because clubs spend the bulk of their cap on their top line-up and fill out the back end of their roster with kids on minimum salary to balance out the cap. You say success bring sponsorship fans etc - I agree and by loading up on the elite talent and minumum-salary rookies is better than paying mid-range players. When injuries and bad form strikes the top players, the coaches have no alternative to select the kids even though in many cases they haven't earned their selection through hard work and consistent form. They are simply the best of what is left.
There are many established NRL players that have found it hard to earn their true value on the open market because clubs are so desperate to load up on elite talent and fill out their rosters with rookies. The solid first-grader, who has given three plus seasons of first grade without becoming elite, actually becomes a liability in terms of managing the cap. Players that warrant more than a rookie deal but not elite $$ are often left with a decision of accepting less money to stay or to move to the UK or rugby union to earn what they're actually worth. No longer is it just over-the-hill players heading to Super League.
Your example of Milford doesn't wash with me. He left Brisbane and his family to get an opportunity that wouldn't have been available at the Broncos at that time. He chased the rookie deal $$ Canberra were offering. He then made his first grade debut earlier than he would had he stayed in Qld and impressed with his brief tenure there. The Broncos identified talent when they saw it on an opposition roster, offered him a decent deal (not as much as the Raiders) and he returned home because it worked best for him. How is that bad for anyone? The Raiders had a good player for a short time and while it didn't work with Milford, they stand to keep some of those types of players longer term - think Papali'i, Edrick Lee etc. The Broncos didn't waste a spot on a kid learning his craft or were able to secure other players in the mean time and then were able to get him as a free agent on less money than their rivals once he'd made it. Milford got paid first grade $$ for two seasons that he wouldn't have got in Brisbane, he got a first grade opportunity that he wouldn't have had in Brisbane and then was able to sign for good $$ as a free agent two years later when he was fully ready. Everyone wins as I see it.
American sport has shown that salary capped leagues work best with a rookie draft system. Yes, the $$ in the US are huge as are the player numbers and fan/broadcast numbers but the idea works all the same to scale.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OMG
There will still be pathways and comps for kids under the age of 19/20 - they just won't be teams run and paid for by the NRL clubs. A draft will probably see an increase in the amount of interest in junior comps.
you're quite right and this is an interesting proposal. Yet these young kids aiming to be professional sportsmen will no longer be required to get an education of sorts to fall back on if they don't make it to the big time, that seems a shame to me because unlike the US sports our boys are not filtered through university sports programmes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gREVUS and surfin
Agreed - I hope that point is considered by all parties moving forward. Maybe that should become a prerequisite for getting into the draft - a player must have or be studying or have met certain schooling requirements.That is one thing that can be lost in this proposal.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OMG
Agreed - I hope that point is considered by all parties moving forward. Maybe that should become a prerequisite for getting into the draft - a player must have or be studying or have met certain schooling requirements. That is one thing that can be lost in this proposal.
On a side note - one of my nephews played college basketball in the States for a small college in Arkansas and he said most of the players in the football team should never even graduated High School let alone attended a college. He only lasted a couple of years - even Arkansas was "too big" compared to Homer, Alaska where he'd been at High School. "Too many drunk red necks driving pick ups with guns in the gun rack of their trucks" for him.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OMG
As Gould would say, no no no no no no no. A draft IMO is a terrible idea. There's been some short minded opinions cast in the media over here that it works well in the States.

Yes, it works well in the states because of a few factors that make it very different to here.

1) They're working on a population of 320 million for the US. For baseball, you can add in Mexico and the Carribean nations who contribute to baseball significantly, the NHL there's a load of Canadians and Eastern Europeans...
2) Players in the Americas are drafted to college, which we should think of like universities. They go there as essentially professional athletes. Now, what the college system does is it works out the boys from the men in so many ways, including the ability to live away from home at a young age. We don't have the same scholastic system in Australasia where for a high school football game you can get 60-100,000 to a game. There's absolutely no similarities whatsoever. The guys go to the US go the colleges and a lot of them get big media reputations, further to that, they can build a legacy even without going to the pros. Further, the important part here is they are gaining their education. Over here in Australia, I am a CSU alumni, however, CSU doesn't feel anymore prestigious than say UNSW or Macquarie or wherever. Over there, getting into an Ivy League school, or a University of Kentucky, they are distinctly different in both prestige and style.
3) Outstanding young talents are attracted to these colleges for their programs. The money pumped into the training facilities and the level of coaching is phenomenal. It will never be this way in the NRL.
4) Part of what makes our club, and I would suggest the Dragons, Broncos, Cowboys, Knights work is their ability to connect with their community. Lets be honest. If Shaun Johnson ended up at Gold Coast, and instead we got say Adam Reynolds, no matter how good Reynolds is he is never going to stop New Zealanders being disappointed their local boy isn't playing for their team.

Part 3 can be negated. If its a sport where you earn in the same vein as the NBA, EPL etc. NRL doesn't, and doesn't have the audience that those sports can attract to be able to pump it back into player salaries.

What earth will a draft achieve aside from stopping a lot of kids, and I dare say particularly young New Zealand boys, who don't want to leave home at a young age, be forced into rugby union. We've had an opportunity of late to grab some union boys, why we are giving away the farm through a draft I'd not have a clue. If you're looking at the US system with ga-ga eyes thinking it helps disperse talent create evenness, you're dreaming. The NRL is the most even comp going around IMO. Ever since 2000, only the Warriors and Sharks have yet to taste the holy grail. Lets look at the NBA, since 2000 only Boston, Miami, LA Lakers, San Antonio, Golden State, Detroit, Dallas have won. There's a load of teams that haven't won for 30 + years. The 76ers who have used the draft abhorrently, Knicks, Bullets, Hawks, Sonics/Thunder, Bucks, Kings, Nets, Cavs, Magic, Suns, Jazz, Pacers, Hornets, Nuggets, Clippers, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Pelicans and Raptors have not won the title in 30 years. Some of them like the Bucks, Knicks, Bullets, Nuggets, Hornets have downright deplorable. Having a draft certainly does not make a fairer comp, so I really don't know how adding a draft will add any value whatsoever to the NRL. Infact, I'd say its the biggest myth of an idea circulating league circles. Just because the US does it, just because the AFL does it, doesn't make it right. What makes things right is using your own natural advantages well.

But here's one cool thing - if you want to watch teams tank, high profile players reduce minutes or get a mysterious injury, do nothing more than introduce a draft. Happens year in year out. Teams chase a high profile pick and they're happy to flunk to get it. Even with the lottery style of a draft, teams tank relentlessly. Gee, that'd be fun to watch.
 
As Gould would say, no no no no no no no. A draft IMO is a terrible idea. There's been some short minded opinions cast in the media over here that it works well in the States.

Yes, it works well in the states because of a few factors that make it very different to here.

1) They're working on a population of 320 million for the US. For baseball, you can add in Mexico and the Carribean nations who contribute to baseball significantly, the NHL there's a load of Canadians and Eastern Europeans...
2) Players in the Americas are drafted to college, which we should think of like universities. They go there as essentially professional athletes. Now, what the college system does is it works out the boys from the men in so many ways, including the ability to live away from home at a young age. We don't have the same scholastic system in Australasia where for a high school football game you can get 60-100,000 to a game. There's absolutely no similarities whatsoever. The guys go to the US go the colleges and a lot of them get big media reputations, further to that, they can build a legacy even without going to the pros. Further, the important part here is they are gaining their education. Over here in Australia, I am a CSU alumni, however, CSU doesn't feel anymore prestigious than say UNSW or Macquarie or wherever. Over there, getting into an Ivy League school, or a University of Kentucky, they are distinctly different in both prestige and style.
3) Outstanding young talents are attracted to these colleges for their programs. The money pumped into the training facilities and the level of coaching is phenomenal. It will never be this way in the NRL.
4) Part of what makes our club, and I would suggest the Dragons, Broncos, Cowboys, Knights work is their ability to connect with their community. Lets be honest. If Shaun Johnson ended up at Gold Coast, and instead we got say Adam Reynolds, no matter how good Reynolds is he is never going to stop New Zealanders being disappointed their local boy isn't playing for their team.

Part 3 can be negated. If its a sport where you earn in the same vein as the NBA, EPL etc. NRL doesn't, and doesn't have the audience that those sports can attract to be able to pump it back into player salaries.

What earth will a draft achieve aside from stopping a lot of kids, and I dare say particularly young New Zealand boys, who don't want to leave home at a young age, be forced into rugby union. We've had an opportunity of late to grab some union boys, why we are giving away the farm through a draft I'd not have a clue. If you're looking at the US system with ga-ga eyes thinking it helps disperse talent create evenness, you're dreaming. The NRL is the most even comp going around IMO. Ever since 2000, only the Warriors and Sharks have yet to taste the holy grail. Lets look at the NBA, since 2000 only Boston, Miami, LA Lakers, San Antonio, Golden State, Detroit, Dallas have won. There's a load of teams that haven't won for 30 + years. The 76ers who have used the draft abhorrently, Knicks, Bullets, Hawks, Sonics/Thunder, Bucks, Kings, Nets, Cavs, Magic, Suns, Jazz, Pacers, Hornets, Nuggets, Clippers, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Pelicans and Raptors have not won the title in 30 years. Some of them like the Bucks, Knicks, Bullets, Nuggets, Hornets have downright deplorable. Having a draft certainly does not make a fairer comp, so I really don't know how adding a draft will add any value whatsoever to the NRL. Infact, I'd say its the biggest myth of an idea circulating league circles. Just because the US does it, just because the AFL does it, doesn't make it right. What makes things right is using your own natural advantages well.

But here's one cool thing - if you want to watch teams tank, high profile players reduce minutes or get a mysterious injury, do nothing more than introduce a draft. Happens year in year out. Teams chase a high profile pick and they're happy to flunk to get it. Even with the lottery style of a draft, teams tank relentlessly. Gee, that'd be fun to watch.


Completely agree with everything you say, the pool of players is simply too small for a draft to work, and the cash available to make them go to some of the clubs is too small.
 
Last edited:
Look at the Warriors - the club that has enjoyed the most success in the NYC through its short history - how has the NYC success translated to NRL success?? It hasn't. In fact it has resulted in the Warriors becoming less and less competitive as they hand first grade contracts to players that simply don't deserve them. You are worried kids won't want to play the sport if they have to move away from home? Good - they aren't committed enough to earn the right to play IMO. Like I said before and in my recent opinion piece - it has become far too easy to make it to first grade. I'm not saying first grade is easy once you get there - but the path to get there is a cake-walk compared to most pro sports. I don't want to make it easier for kids - it needs to be harder so that they don't take things for granted.
The US comparisons work to a point but it is all to scale. There are only half the number of clubs in the NRL that there are in US pro sports, there are (NBA aside) significantly smaller rosters in the NRL than the other sports.
You are worried about the education US players get at college and I admit there is no easy solution to this. What I will say is that the US sports had to start somewhere and, in time, maybe the junior comps that kids will play in on the way to the NRL will become more focused on getting their players an education at the same time. I'm not smart enough to know how to fix that right this moment but at the end of the day the NRL's job is to make their competition the best it can possibly be. Player education cannot be a priority at the expense of a sustainable competition.
I don't buy this stuff about Johnson getting drafted by the Gold Coast and the Warriors picking up Reynolds in the draft. Warriors fans loved Steve Price like he was some kind of God while he was here. I don't remember there being major revolts because Sonny Bill Williams played at the Bulldogs. If the Warriors had put a lot of time and resource into Johnson and then he left for the Titans I would understand but this isn't going to be the case. Heck how many Kiwis have made it big in Australia in recent years? Foran, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Bromwich, Taumalolo, Whare, Benji, JWH etc etc. There will always be Kiwis at the Warriors - they will sign as free agents and probably give the Warriors a home town discount, the Warriors will still target Kiwis in the draft etc.What a draft might do is show a kid like Reynolds that he could make it here. He might like it, might meet a local girl etc and decide Auckland aint a bad place after all. Yea some will do their minimum two years of a rookie contract and then leave but some will stay. If you look at recent seasons - some Aussie stars staying is better than no-one wanting to come here at all or the club having to pay ridiculous overs to get them.
You use the NBA as an example of only a select few teams winning - that has nothing to do with the draft not working. The draft DOES disperse the talent there - think LeBron in crappy old Cleveland, Bosh to Toronto, Anthony Davis in New Orleans, Blake Griffin and John Wall to the Clippers and Wizards when both teams were crap. Those players helped turn crappy teams into competitive ones. Sure, they might not have won the title but they reinvigorated the franchises. Most of the US sports use a cap where those franchises that spend more pay a luxury tax which gets redistributed to the smaller teams. If the NRL stuck to a strict salary cap you will continue to see the even competition.
There has been a worrying trend in recent seasons where the top NRL clubs are staying strong - Roosters, Broncos, Bulldogs, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs, Storm, Cowboys etc. You went back to 2000 with your example and you are spot on. 2000-2010 was a great era for the NRL where all teams were competitive at least one season in three, even if they were poorly run because the cap worked at the level it was set at. As the cap has gone up in recent seasons to cater for elite players - what we are seeing is the super clubs staying super and the inferior clubs struggling to stay in touch. If Hayne comes back to the NRL he will end up at a big name club no matter what. There is 0 chance he goes to the Titans, Sharks or Raiders. The cap is not evenly distributing the talent like it did 10 years ago. If something isn't done soon, some of those smaller clubs will fall completely off the pace.
Introducing a rookie draft ensures all teams can acquire elite talent. It ensures that rookies now have a much harder path to make it to the NRL, it will give more kids a chance to be noticed instead of just those that get NYC contracts at a very young age. Education is a bit of a concern but I'm sure something can be done over the course of the next few years to correct that. You worry about teams tanking to get draft picks - the NRL has already solved that by putting maximum lengths on rookie contracts. There would be no point in NRL clubs doing what the 76ers have been doing for the last few years because as soon as one rookie is up to speed at NRL level he would become a free agent. The most you would see is a team that is out of contention midway through a season, tank through the second half in order to get a stud rookie. Depending on how they assign draft order and what % chance there is of a wooden spoon club getting the first overall pick will determine the merit in tanking but I could handle one team being shit for the second half of a season so they can become contenders when the next season starts in March.
It is very easy to pick flaws in change but we won't know for sure until it is tried. What I do know is that there is a worrying trend with current system where clubs are overspending on an NYC comp that is not working for most of them, that sees too many rookies get to first grade too soon and bigger clubs getting stronger while smaller clubs are getting weaker. Another five years of the status quo and we'll have less than 16 clubs left.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Dunedin warrior

matiunz

This year yet?
Contributor
The NRL is the most even comp going around IMO. Ever since 2000, only the Warriors and Sharks have yet to taste the holy grail.

As well as the Raiders,The Titans and the Eels.

The biggest issue IMO is the blight that is 3rd party deals, there needs to be a system that means each team has equal resources to pay players.

Just look at the clubs that have usually been there or there abouts in the storm, sea eagles, Broncos, Roosters and more recently the Cowboys and Rabbitohs each have "questionable" salary caps/3rd party deals at times and yet despite their rosters always seem to be in the running when a high profile player becomes available (this does seem to be addressed lately with the Burgess scenario though).

The draft could be a good way to weed out the pros from the wannabes but until each team has the same money to pay them with it could prove no difference.
 
Look at the Warriors - the club that has enjoyed the most success in the NYC through its short history - how has the NYC success translated to NRL success?? It hasn't. In fact it has resulted in the Warriors becoming less and less competitive as they hand first grade contracts to players that simply don't deserve them. You are worried kids won't want to play the sport if they have to move away from home? Good - they aren't committed enough to earn the right to play IMO. Like I said before and in my recent opinion piece - it has become far too easy to make it to first grade. I'm not saying first grade is easy once you get there - but the path to get there is a cake-walk compared to most pro sports. I don't want to make it easier for kids - it needs to be harder so that they don't take things for granted.
The US comparisons work to a point but it is all to scale. There are only half the number of clubs in the NRL that there are in US pro sports, there are (NBA aside) significantly smaller rosters in the NRL than the other sports.
You are worried about the education US players get at college and I admit there is no easy solution to this. What I will say is that the US sports had to start somewhere and, in time, maybe the junior comps that kids will play in on the way to the NRL will become more focused on getting their players an education at the same time. I'm not smart enough to know how to fix that right this moment but at the end of the day the NRL's job is to make their competition the best it can possibly be. Player education cannot be a priority at the expense of a sustainable competition.
I don't buy this stuff about Johnson getting drafted by the Gold Coast and the Warriors picking up Reynolds in the draft. Warriors fans loved Steve Price like he was some kind of God while he was here. I don't remember there being major revolts because Sonny Bill Williams played at the Bulldogs. If the Warriors had put a lot of time and resource into Johnson and then he left for the Titans I would understand but this isn't going to be the case. Heck how many Kiwis have made it big in Australia in recent years? Foran, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Bromwich, Taumalolo, Whare, Benji, JWH etc etc. There will always be Kiwis at the Warriors - they will sign as free agents and probably give the Warriors a home town discount, the Warriors will still target Kiwis in the draft etc.What a draft might do is show a kid like Reynolds that he could make it here. He might like it, might meet a local girl etc and decide Auckland aint a bad place after all. Yea some will do their minimum two years of a rookie contract and then leave but some will stay. If you look at recent seasons - some Aussie stars staying is better than no-one wanting to come here at all or the club having to pay ridiculous overs to get them.
You use the NBA as an example of only a select few teams winning - that has nothing to do with the draft not working. The draft DOES disperse the talent there - think LeBron in crappy old Cleveland, Bosh to Toronto, Anthony Davis in New Orleans, Blake Griffin and John Wall to the Clippers and Wizards when both teams were crap. Those players helped turn crappy teams into competitive ones. Sure, they might not have won the title but they reinvigorated the franchises. Most of the US sports use a cap where those franchises that spend more pay a luxury tax which gets redistributed to the smaller teams. If the NRL stuck to a strict salary cap you will continue to see the even competition.
There has been a worrying trend in recent seasons where the top NRL clubs are staying strong - Roosters, Broncos, Bulldogs, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs, Storm, Cowboys etc. You went back to 2000 with your example and you are spot on. 2000-2010 was a great era for the NRL where all teams were competitive at least one season in three, even if they were poorly run because the cap worked at the level it was set at. As the cap has gone up in recent seasons to cater for elite players - what we are seeing is the super clubs staying super and the inferior clubs struggling to stay in touch. If Hayne comes back to the NRL he will end up at a big name club no matter what. There is 0 chance he goes to the Titans, Sharks or Raiders. The cap is not evenly distributing the talent like it did 10 years ago. If something isn't done soon, some of those smaller clubs will fall completely off the pace.
Introducing a rookie draft ensures all teams can acquire elite talent. It ensures that rookies now have a much harder path to make it to the NRL, it will give more kids a chance to be noticed instead of just those that get NYC contracts at a very young age. Education is a bit of a concern but I'm sure something can be done over the course of the next few years to correct that. You worry about teams tanking to get draft picks - the NRL has already solved that by putting maximum lengths on rookie contracts. There would be no point in NRL clubs doing what the 76ers have been doing for the last few years because as soon as one rookie is up to speed at NRL level he would become a free agent. The most you would see is a team that is out of contention midway through a season, tank through the second half in order to get a stud rookie. Depending on how they assign draft order and what % chance there is of a wooden spoon club getting the first overall pick will determine the merit in tanking but I could handle one team being shit for the second half of a season so they can become contenders when the next season starts in March.
It is very easy to pick flaws in change but we won't know for sure until it is tried. What I do know is that there is a worrying trend with current system where clubs are overspending on an NYC comp that is not working for most of them, that sees too many rookies get to first grade too soon and bigger clubs getting stronger while smaller clubs are getting weaker. Another five years of the status quo and we'll have less than 16 clubs left.

The Steve Price view is horribly wrong and really not relevant. Price was an established international world class player. That has nothing to do with a draft. At all. Price was viewed as a saviour. He wouldn't have been at age 19 sight unseen.

Your point is wrong on clubs staying stronger. The Chooks a few years ago had a terrible year. The Broncos missed the playoffs which was unheard of the Cowboys have down as much as us frankly. Storm are where they are because they systematically cheated and then somehow retained their core.

The only problem with the cap is TPAs due to the inequity of local commercial markets.

You could handle a team tanking? Wow I've heard it all. League fans are tribal by nature. They like to think of their players as theirs. So many fans proudly talk up who they produced. Doesn't happen in the US. In the US you have massive multi million multi year sponsorship deals and enormous gate takings and their branded merchandising is awesome. That allows sustainable economies (to a degree, but then some teams still fold), the NRL will never have the same economic free will. Crowds would plummet. Listen to the Warriors executive, they are straight up on their break even attendance figures. Imagine if you hit that at 30% because you are tanking. Firstly, it becomes terrible television product which reduces TV deals monies, secondly gate takings and merchandise plummet.

It is easily the worst idea that somehow sustains oxygen. It will be the death of clubs like Canberra I have absolutely no doubt. I also would fear for the Warriors.
 

matiunz

This year yet?
Contributor
The whole draft situation smells a bit of the NRLs obsession with competing/playing catch up with the AFL, if the AFL didn't have a draft I wonder if the NRL would still be pushing the idea?

One of my concerns with the draft from a Warriors POV is how many players would we draft would "pull a Maloney " and piss off to one of the glamour clubs after using us as an audition?

I'm a little pessimistic about growth while attitudes and policies are still so strongly Sydney centric for example we still have the "expansion" drums beating for "Bring back the Bears" , Sydney conferences and some fans solutions to the Tigers dramas is to bring back the magpies as their own entity-says it all really....
 
I believe a transfer window will be of more use right now than a draft with all the players wanting out of contracts to sign with other teams
 
The whole draft situation smells a bit of the NRLs obsession with competing/playing catch up with the AFL, if the AFL didn't have a draft I wonder if the NRL would still be pushing the idea?

One of my concerns with the draft from a Warriors POV is how many players would we draft would "pull a Maloney " and piss off to one of the glamour clubs after using us as an audition?

I'm a little pessimistic about growth while attitudes and policies are still so strongly Sydney centric for example we still have the "expansion" drums beating for "Bring back the Bears" , Sydney conferences and some fans solutions to the Tigers dramas is to bring back the magpies as their own entity-says it all really....

From a Warriors perspective, one fear is an Eric Lindros refusing to go to the Quebec Nordiques situation. That essentially sealed their fate and they moved to Denver as the Avalanche
 
The problem I have is continually comparing what works in the States as proof it would work in our market, the difference in the populations alone means they cant be compared. The States have a population of around 320 00 000, of which 49% claim to be fans of the NFL. New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands have less than a combined population of 30 000 000 and the NRLs fan base certainly isn't 49% of that. The numbers mean the earnings, player pool or audience can never come close to the example used. Hell in the States you can win $30 k for winning a BBQ cooking comp that has a prize pool of over $73000 US or $40000 US prize pool for eating hotdogs, only population allows those types of figures.
One other interesting point in the story below is how few would be willing to pay more than $200 to go to a Super Bowl, even if their team was playing.



Poll: 49 percent are pro football fans

Jan 25, 2014
  • Associated Press
  • 729Shares
  • Email
  • print
  • comment
NEW YORK -- About half of Americans say they are fans of pro football, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll, and nearly a third of those fans say they would not consider attending a Super Bowl -- even though few have any idea how much it costs.

The NFL is still the most popular sports league in the United States, drawing the highest TV ratings by far. Its revenues climbed above $9 billion last year and the Super Bowl between Seattle and Denver in New Jersey will be the most watched television program of the year.

The AP-GfK poll was released Saturday.

Last year, 56 percent of people polled said they were NFL fans, and that number dropped slightly to 49 percent this year. Even among those who said they were NFL fans, 31 percent said they had no interest in attending a Super Bowl, even if they could afford it.

Fans have complained about high ticket prices, with very few available to the general public at face value, and most fans having to go through resellers to get into the game.

Fans had a wide-range of guesses as to what a face value Super Bowl ticket costs, though 41 percent chose an amount between $251 and $500. The median estimate was $500. The median estimate from fans on what it would cost to buy a Super Bowl ticket on the secondary market rose to $1,000.

Ticket prices for the Super Bowl range from $500 to $2,600, though only 1,000 tickets are available for $500. Forbes reported Saturday that the average price for a ticket to next week's game from a ticket broker or secondary seller such as TiqIQ was $2,505, according to SeatGeek, which tracks prices. Prices change daily.

Nearly half of fans (48 percent) would be willing to pay $250 or less for a Super Bowl ticket if their team was playing in the game and 8 percent said they wouldn't be willing to pay anything to attend the game, even if their team was playing. Overall, the median price fans say they'd pay to attend the Super Bowl to see their team play is $200.

One percent of fans say they'd pay $10,000 to see their team play, the highest response received in the poll.

Fans were about evenly split on expansion of the playoffs. Twenty-six percent favor allowing more teams into the playoffs, an idea being considered by the NFL. Twenty-eight percent oppose it and 45 percent are neither in favor nor opposed.

A broad majority of adults (83 percent) say the Washington Redskins should not change their nickname. Among football fans, 87 percent say keep the name.

Since the last AP-GfK poll on the topic in April 2013, several prominent figures, notably President Barack Obama, have said it's time for the team to change. But public opinion is still about the same.

College graduates are more likely to say Washington should change its name now than they were in April. Back then, 14 percent of college graduates said it was time for a change, now 23 percent say it should change. Men are also now slightly more apt to say the team should change, 16 percent say so in the new poll, compared with 9 percent in April. Among women, opinions have held steady with 13 percent in favor of a change

The Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots tied for most responses when fans were asked what is their favorite team. Each received seven percent of the responses. The Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers were each the favorite team of 6 percent of the fans polled.

The AP-GfK Poll was conducted Jan. 17-21 using KnowledgePanel, GfK's probability-based online panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. It involved online interviews with 1,060 adults, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points for the full sample.

Respondents were first selected randomly using phone or mail survey methods, and were later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn't otherwise have access to the Internet were provided with the ability to access the Internet at no cost to them.
 

matiunz

This year yet?
Contributor
How about bringing back the Bears, Wests, Rams, Reds etc as well as adding Wellington, Christchurch etc and having promotion and relegation?

Promotion/Relegation sounds good in theory but usually it results in widening the gap between the top teams and the average teams.

No player wants to play in a second division team and once a team gets relegated they lose their decent players pretty quick. When signing for a club the more stable 1st division clubs will get the cream of the crop as the players chances of remaining in the 1st division increases. It would be difficult to retain sponsors-the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Using the old ITM cup as a comparison the "big 5" aka super rugby bases generally kept their best players and signed better players from the smaller unions(as I'm sure the glamour NRL clubs would do the same)

The result of this then puts the clubs outside of the top 5 or so in 2 camps- the "1st division non contenders but too good for 2nd division"or the "2nd Division teams too good for their division but not good enough for 1st division "(Or using the old ITM cup analogy the Northlands and BOPs and the Hawkes Bays and Manawatus).

The NRL need to strategise where they want/need teams (ie Perth, Qland NZ 2, PNG/pacific) and put structures in place to make it happen wether it be through age levels/nsw cup teams to develop into NRL teams through expansion and/or rationalisation of Sydney.