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#22875
Now we are past the halfway point in the close season we should get some more discussions going!

One thing on my mind lately is the dreadful attendances at certain games and why is this the case?

I was back in Scarborough recently and chatting to someone closely involved with the club. I commented that it was good that Scarborough had got two England Under-19 games this year. He said: "Yes, but the problem is these matches don't make the club any money as the crowds are so poor."

I wonder why this is the case that people shun games such as England Lions, Under-19s, plus non-Championship county games such as county v a country "A" team. Often the attendances seem to be so poor they barely make three figures.

Yet when you look at other sports this is not the case. The junior ice hockey World Championships are currently taking place in the US, and even the very lowest-key games get four figure crowds - the Belarus-Denmark relegation playoff got 1,245 in - and that was I think the lowest crowd of the tournament.

Likewise when England Under-21s play football matches they get many thousands in. Yet in cricket, while England matches can sell out within weeks of going on sale, an England Lions game will be lucky to draw in 500 on a nice summer's day.

Also I am sure if even a quite ordinary club football side were to line up a friendly against, say, Holland Under-21s, it would draw in a very respectable crowd. But if a county are playing New Zealand "A", only a few diehards show up.

Why?
#22877
Arachibutyrophobic wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:32 am
'cos we're all at work. I need to take annual leave so I need to pick and choose.
Not everyone is at work. And many of these games can be wholly or partly on weekends. It seems to me more that there is very limited interest in the first place.

Then, also, there is club cricket. This is played almost exclusively at weekends and while figures are hard to come by, it seems that by and large attendances have collapsed at many clubs that used to be able to draw in a regular few hundred.
#22880
The decision by the ECB to remove live cricket from 'free to view' television more than a decade ago (from 2005?) has had a disastrous impact on the public profile of cricket, in my opinion. As a teacher in secondary schools at the time, and for nearly a decade afterwards, I saw interest in the game declining, and I think this has been echoed in society as a whole. With fewer people interested in the game, fewer go to watch games as well.
#22881
PaulTavs wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:04 pm
Vetchetarian wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:54 pm
Why? Indifference, I suspect.
Yes - so why are there such high levels of indifference in cricket and not in football, where 300 will watch England Lions, yet in football 10,000 will turn out to watch England Under-21s?
A football match is over in 90 minutes, whereas a cricket match, well, that takes a lot longer. That's why T20 is so popular, and now there's the possibllity of T10 on the horizon.
People have too many other things to occupy their time and minds.
What sort of attendances do County games attract ?
#22882
gmdf wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:43 pm
The decision by the ECB to remove live cricket from 'free to view' television more than a decade ago (from 2005?) has had a disastrous impact on the public profile of cricket, in my opinion. As a teacher in secondary schools at the time, and for nearly a decade afterwards, I saw interest in the game declining, and I think this has been echoed in society as a whole. With fewer people interested in the game, fewer go to watch games as well.
The public profile of the domestic game, aside from T20, is certainly low, yes.
#22884
Vetchetarian wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:33 pm
A football match is over in 90 minutes, whereas a cricket match, well, that takes a lot longer. That's why T20 is so popular, and now there's the possibllity of T10 on the horizon.
People have too many other things to occupy their time and minds.
What sort of attendances do County games attract ?
As far as I know, attendances at longer-form county games can vary greatly depending on club, venue, time of year, competition, etc.

On one hand, festival games such as at Scarborough can attract as many as 5,000 in one day. On the other, I once went to a match at Derby, on a lovely summer's day, and the crowd was barely three figures. And it's not as if Derby is a small town.

What you say about football is entirely correct. But cricket seems to have a dreadfully complicated ecosystem when it comes to spectating that doesn't do itself any favours. Not in all cases, of course, but some supporters of counties shun T20 and even 50 over, then you have thousands who just watch T20 and wouldn't even entertain going to a 4-day game, county fans who aren't much bothered about England, and many England fans who wouldn't dream of attending a domestic game - they simply buy their England tickets for the summer and that's it. How many England football fans don't have a domestic club they support regularly? I suspect absolutely none.

From my experience of football - and attendances bear it out - football clubs all have a very solid core of supporters who turn up to watch more or less everything - they'd turn out for a friendly vs. British Gas FC just as much as a prestige cup tie. Club usually comes before country, but they support the national side as a matter of course. So everything is much more straightforward.
#22885
PaulTavs wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:56 am
Vetchetarian wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:33 pm
A football match is over in 90 minutes, whereas a cricket match, well, that takes a lot longer. That's why T20 is so popular, and now there's the possibllity of T10 on the horizon.
People have too many other things to occupy their time and minds.
What sort of attendances do County games attract ?
As far as I know, attendances at longer-form county games can vary greatly depending on club, venue, time of year, competition, etc.

On one hand, festival games such as at Scarborough can attract as many as 5,000 in one day. On the other, I once went to a match at Derby, on a lovely summer's day, and the crowd was barely three figures. And it's not as if Derby is a small town.

What you say about football is entirely correct. But cricket seems to have a dreadfully complicated ecosystem when it comes to spectating that doesn't do itself any favours. Not in all cases, of course, but some supporters of counties shun T20 and even 50 over, then you have thousands who just watch T20 and wouldn't even entertain going to a 4-day game, county fans who aren't much bothered about England, and many England fans who wouldn't dream of attending a domestic game - they simply buy their England tickets for the summer and that's it. How many England football fans don't have a domestic club they support regularly? I suspect absolutely none.

From my experience of football - and attendances bear it out - football clubs all have a very solid core of supporters who turn up to watch more or less everything - they'd turn out for a friendly vs. British Gas FC just as much as a prestige cup tie. Club usually comes before country, but they support the national side as a matter of course. So everything is much more straightforward.
With the structures of football and cricket being so different, perhaps it's not even worth trying to compare their relative merits.
Football has historically attracted huge crowds. Being the working man's game helped, of course.
I can remember Boxing Day crowds in excess of 25,000 at Swansea's now defunct Vetch Field. There being no public transport available, and very few people had cars, most of the crowd walked to the ground to see their beloved Swans'.
I knew people who lived up the Swansea Valley, and they set out at dawn to get to the match. My 3 mile trek paled into insignificance alongside that. People wouldn't do that to see a cricket match, unless it was The Aussies, or West Indies.
Cricket has rarely been able to attract such devotion as is exhibited by the football fan. I doubt it ever will.
#22886
Vetchetarian wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:11 pm
I knew people who lived up the Swansea Valley, and they set out at dawn to get to the match. My 3 mile trek paled into insignificance alongside that. People wouldn't do that to see a cricket match, unless it was The Aussies, or West Indies.
Cricket has rarely been able to attract such devotion as is exhibited by the football fan. I doubt it ever will.
I think there is a lot of truth in this and maybe that devotion gets to the heart of my question.

Here is an example:

http://www.blythspartans.com/jeff-young ... hievement/

I remember in the 1990s there was a group of Scarborough fans who went to every single match - we're talking home and away here - and all clubs have such a core of fans.

I do believe though that Glamorgan have an admirable group of away followers who go to a lot of away matches, and some maybe even go to all of them, but this is much less common in county cricket than football.
#22887
PaulTavs wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:10 pm
Vetchetarian wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:11 pm
I knew people who lived up the Swansea Valley, and they set out at dawn to get to the match. My 3 mile trek paled into insignificance alongside that. People wouldn't do that to see a cricket match, unless it was The Aussies, or West Indies.
Cricket has rarely been able to attract such devotion as is exhibited by the football fan. I doubt it ever will.
I think there is a lot of truth in this and maybe that devotion gets to the heart of my question.

Here is an example:

http://www.blythspartans.com/jeff-young ... hievement/

I remember in the 1990s there was a group of Scarborough fans who went to every single match - we're talking home and away here - and all clubs have such a core of fans.

I do believe though that Glamorgan have an admirable group of away followers who go to a lot of away matches, and some maybe even go to all of them, but this is much less common in county cricket than football.
Fascinating article about the Blyth Spartans enthusiast. Did his obsession become a hobby, or the hobby an obsession ?
Glamorgan do seem to have a travelling faithful. When you consider the commitment in terms of days away from home, etc., they must surely be predominantly retirees, or very rich businessmen/women, who can take the time off, without the necessity of submitting Doctor's papers. :)
#22888
Of course, as pointed out here, football does not demand so much time in terms of the match - thus with reasonably flexible hours/time off, one can travel 2-3 hours to an away evening game, and get back in the early hours.

Cricket is a big time demand, even if you have the time. When I stay in London, going to 3 days at The Oval basically consumes my waking hours - out of the house at 9.15am, and not back until 7.30pm, and I am ready for bed by 10!

Plus as Vetchetarian points out, there isn't perhaps the same culture of devotion to games that exists in football, where supporters just don't miss a game, even a friendly. It isn't that county cricket followers support their club less, but there isn't a supporter culture of being expected to attend all three days of Glamorgan v Cardiff MCCU.
#22894
I let my membership of Glam lapse many seasons ago for many reasons mainly:-
4 day games played early or late season, and mainly mon-fri
too many FL games,
poor catering for members at Cardiff, ( I think this has now improved),
Glam not playing touring teams any more,
4 day home games played in North Wales,
And reduced membership for students and u17s while OAPs expected to pay full price!
So once again this season another MT seat at Cardiff.
#22903
otis wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:38 pm
I let my membership of Glam lapse many seasons ago for many reasons mainly:-

poor catering for members at Cardiff, ( I think this has now improved),
If the catering isn't great for members, I dread to think what's on (or not on) offer for those who pay for admission on the day!

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