Last Thursday night, a near sell out crowd bought tickets to see the Adelaide Crows take on North Melbourne at the Adelaide Oval. Thursday night is a blockbuster time slot that should be getting sold out and promoted as a big game. Ticks all round here.
The final crowd figure was posted at 37,890. A sell out crowd means that about 53,500 people had tickets to go to the game. So where was the 15,000 odd people who didn’t turn up?
— Adelaide Crows (@Adelaide_FC) June 23, 2016
Previous crowd figures for Thursday night matches featuring Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval are 50,023 against Hawthorn in 2015 and 50,051 against Collingwood in 2014.
Some people would argue that Thursday night footy doesn’t suit country members, but the previous two crowd figures in the same time slot dispute this.
Hosting a Thursday night game in the middle of winter is not ideal. The game against Collingwood in 2014 was held in May and this is probably a better time to hold it. During the school holidays would also be ideal. After all, Thursday it is a school night and by the time you get home, it can be very late.
Again though, this argument doesn’t fully hold up. The Thursday night fixture against Hawthorn in 2015 was held on June 18 outside school holidays and in the middle of winter. 50,000 people still turned up.
So what happened in 2016? Where were all the people?!
— Thomo (@liamthompson1) June 23, 2016
The weather forecast this year was for heavy rain, wind and to be cold. But given it is the middle of winter, surely this doesn’t come as a huge surprise. A fair proportion of Adelaide Oval is under cover.
The game was live on free to air TV. This removes an incentive. Soon there will be very little footy live on free to air, so this won’t be an ongoing issue. It will either be Foxtel or attending.
So with all that in mind, I still form the opinion that if you didn’t turn up on Thursday night, you need to label yourself a fair-weather supporter and perhaps a tad soft.
As it turns out, there wasn’t a drop of rain, the game was pretty decent and if you wore a beanie and a jacket, it was quite comfortable viewing conditions.
The Bureau of Metrology has a lot to answer for too. Their forecast for the end of the world didn’t help things. Come on guys, let’s be realistic with the weather forecast please. It is 2016, we may not be able to get goal line technology right, but surely we can predict the weather with a bit more accuracy.
Someone even cheekily suggested that the Adelaide Football Club are owed $50,000 for the wrong forecast! Makes about as much sense as Port receiving that amount for a late train though doesn’t it?
So we need some middle ground here. A compromise if you will. Fans need to man up when it comes to weather. A bit of rain didn’t hurt anyone. You’ve already paid for the ticket after all.
If you do want the blockbuster games, attendance must occur in droves. It doesn’t take much for the AFL to take them away.
The AFL also need to come to the party. If they see Thursday night footy as a big part of the footy fixture, it needs to be held earlier in the season where the weather is likely to be a bit kinder.
Perhaps Crows fans spoke with their feet last week, but that is a dangerous ploy to play with blockbuster games. Leave the protests to Sunday twilight games please. It’s been a long road to get the big games. They need to be here to stay.
THURSDAY NIGHT CROWD FIGURES AT ADELAIDE OVAL FOR ADELAIDE CROWS HOME GAMES
v Collingwood May 15 2014 – 50,051
v Hawthorn Jun 18 2015 – 50,023
v North Melbourne June 23 2015 – 37,890