With attendances averaging nearly 9,400 for the previous 5 year period, two extra sides would affect the figure adversely. How would that pan out? The 2010-14 average was about 8,700, with 2012 the high at 9,600 and 2014 the low at 8,200. A ceiling had been reached but what were some mitigating factors?
Two extra sides were a negative as mentioned. London was unable to settle in one location and long suffering supporters dwindled. The Crusaders move to Wrexham, North Wales gave the game impetus in that area but the reasonable crowds were still below the average. The well supported Bradford Bulls got into financial straits and the attendees to games fell away.
In other news, the Crusaders decided to pull out of Super League for the 2012 season. The Widnes Vikings were granted a licence in their place, which did lift gate numbers slightly on the Crusaders. Bradford and London were relegated at the end of 2014.
So while the licencing system did much good, the lack of variety through change could have affected attendance numbers as well. For 2015, the number of teams would be reduced to 12 and playoffs held for promotion / relegation. What difference would that make? We will see in the final article in the series, which can be seen by clicking here. To see part one and progress through the series in sequence: simply click here.
|SL Attendances 2010-14|