Brumbies beg fans to turn up to boost woeful crowds
Cape Town - Brumbies
chief executive Michael Thomson and chairperson Phil Thomson have written to stakeholders and members to encourage them to return to
the Canberra Stadium stands, warning the club is in danger of ceasing to
exist if crowd figures continue an alarming trend.
READ: Super Rugby is dead - RIP
This after the 2001 and 2004 Super Rugby champions registered their second lowest ever crowd against the Rebels in their most recent home match - just 5 283.
Canberra Stadium has a capacity of 25 000.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald website, following that match, the average attendance dropped to 8 464, meaning their average attendance is now below the previous lowest average of 8 971 per game in 1997.
The Brumbies are in real danger of recording their worst average crowd
figures in the club's 22-year history if there isn't a spike in interest
at their last two home games of the regular season.
The Brumbies' woes are just another reminder, despite what SANZAAR and SA Rugby will have you believe regarding supposed increases in TV viewership and stadium figures, that Super Rugby is not dying, but dead.
In an email sent to members, the pair explained the need gate-takings play in funding grassroots initiatives.
“We know you want rugby to thrive in this region and, in part, to
achieve this, we need a successful side playing in front of big crowds,”
the email reads.
“The funds attendance at games enables us to invest back into our programmes… and without your support and those funds the Brumbies may no longer exist.”
The Brumbies avoided the Super Rugby axe last year after Rugby Australia
deemed the club an important part of the game's future given it was an
original Super 12 franchise and Australia's most successful team.
The team will donate $5 000 to three separate charities - OzHarvest, Lifeline Canberra and Give me five for kids - if they can
reach their targeted crowd of 15 000 for their next match against the
bottom-placed Sunwolves on June 3.
Following that, the Brumbies only have one remaining home match - against the Hurricanes on June 30.
The Brumbies are fourth in the Australian Conference and 14th in the Overall standings, despite pre-season
commitments to play more attacking rugby, and are second worst in tries
scored and worst in points scored.
In addition, the Brumbies rank in the bottom five in line breaks, tackle busts and offloading.