What CQ Expansion brings to the NRL
April 23rd, 2013
I explained the valuable emotion of community pride and the subsequent sense of wellbeing and unity that we all acknowledge will accompany the formation of our own, locally grown team. We will experience that special feeling of belonging to an entity that comes from “us”, and promotes “us” as a group of people and as a region of this great state of Queensland. We will invest emotionally in this new team and take rightful ownership of the culture that explains “us” to the world. Can you imagine the excitement and pride that we will feel as we watch our CQ NRL team run out onto our home and world class stadium for the first time? I know I’ll have those goose bumps working overtime.
While all of these assets and benefits matter very much to the people of CQ, they are not as important to the decision makes, the NRL. Not because they don’t care about us but because they are interested in other issues. More importantly they will adjudicate on expansion and regions for expansion based on a set of criteria which involves “what’s in it for the NRL”. The CQ NRL Bid accepts that this reasoning will prevail so we are continually explaining the real benefits of expansion into CQ from a perspective of benefits for the NRL.
The most obvious benefit of expansion from a sixteen team to an eighteen team competition is the extra game every weekend in the season. This option is referred to as the “ninth game” benefit. The ninth game introduces an extra television product and an extra crowd every weekend. This makes the broadcast rights more valuable because the NRL is the most watched regular sporting event on Australian television. More viewers mean more revenues for the networks. An extra crowd is rewarding for the Sponsors and for gate revenue. The quantity of these viewers and game attendees will be larger and more valuable in a region that is a traditional Rugby League region e.g. CQ. Tick the “money” box and “viability” prerequisite
The most valuable asset that expansion brings to the NRL is the “strategic” importance but this is a little bit more difficult to quantify and even to define. We have used two different categorise to define this “Strategic” advantages that will be forthcoming from expansion of the NRL into CQ specifically.
The first and most obvious strategic advantage is the acknowledgement of CQ as a true heartland of Rugby League and so expanding into this heartland will shore up the game for generations and reinforce Rugby League’s position as the dominate social activity and pastime of the region.
The second advantage, more obscure and little “over the horizon” but nonetheless important is the blocking or impeding of Rugby League’s biggest threat, the AFL, who are very well resourced and committed to code domination. It is acknowledged that CQ can and will support one only national sporting team for the foreseeable future and it makes sense to me that it should be Rugby League. I trust the NRL agree with me.