Stormers lure top crowds

    2013-08-02 12:16
    Cape Town - Despite a decrease in numbers, the Stormers were once again the best supported Super Rugby franchise this season.

    According to Die Burger's website, the Stormers attracted an average of 33 545 fans to Newlands this season - more than any other Super Rugby team.

    The figure is lower than the 38 123 average they had in 2012 but the figure is slightly skewed as they only attracted 10 451 in their home game - in the pouring rain - against the Kings compared to the 38 363 who watched the Lions play at Newlands last year.

    The Bulls' figures were a bit of a shock considering they were the best performing South African team this season, finishing second on the overall log. Their average dropped from 31 783 per game last year to 29 134 in 2013.

    The Sharks' figures (down from 23 616 to 19 491) can be attributed to their weak season in which they finished eighth overall.

    Despite the Cheetahs having their best season ever by reaching the playoffs, their figures didn't improve much (19 986 per game in 2013 compared to 17 364 in 2012).

    Top bosses of the various unions had differing views on why attendance figures were lower this season.

    "There is an increase in people watching Super Rugby on TV. They see a number of games per day and simply don't attend the match at the stadium," said Cheetahs CEO Harold Verster.

    Rob Wagner, WP Rugby CEO, said the Super Rugby system needs change.

    "There are a few factors that are problematic - the format of the competition and its duration, and the fact that you don't play against all teams - and the break for the June Tests.

    "The possibility exists that you won't play against the Crusaders or Reds, which will have a huge impact."

    New Sharks CEO John Smit said people want to experience something extra on match day.

    "It's simply become easier to watch rugby on TV, and apart from good rugby you have to add extras to make the experience of visiting a stadium the most enjoyable for fans," said Smit.

    Blue Bulls CEO Barend van Graan said their fans just aren't as interested in watching overseas teams than the local derbies.

    Average home attendance for Super Rugby teams:


    Stormers - 38 123
    Reds - 32 699
    Bulls - 31 783
    Sharks - 23 616
    Waratahs - 20 646
    Cheetahs - 17 364
    Crusaders - 16 480
    Blues - 15 930
    Lions - 15 914
    Highlanders - 15 866
    Chiefs - 14 795
    Rebels - 14 051
    Hurricanes - 13 979
    Brumbies - 13 936
    Force - 13 409


    Stormers - 33 545
    Reds - 31 837
    Kings - 31 783
    Bulls - 29 134
    Blues - 20 354
    Cheetahs - 19 986
    Sharks - 19 491
    Waratahs - 17 036
    Crusaders - 14 908
    Brumbies - 14 290
    Chiefs - 14 081
    Highlanders - 13 334
    Force - 12 240
    Rebels - 11 947
    Hurricanes - 10 934

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