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That's My Voice - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Wed, 20 Jun 2007 08:12:00 GMT
In the past two weeks several lower grade games have been cancelled and re-scheduled due to the wet weather in NSW which has been behaving like an annoying relative that just won’t go away. It’s time Rugby League starts putting together a greater contingency plan and the Yanks may very well have developed the answer to combating mother nature, writes JOSH KING.

Two weeks ago while woofing down my weatbix one morning, the tv remote control fell down the side of the couch, inadvertently changing the channel. Displacing an old episode of blankety blanks, suddenly I was introduced to a program on ESPN called Arena football where two teams with a 20-man roster each played gridiron indoors.

The difference between the NFL and the indoor game developed by former National Football League executive Jim Foster included a reduced field size and rule changes which helped make the game faster and higher scoring.

Imagine playing Rugby League on a field 85 feet in width which was 50-yards long with an 8-yard in-goal area..

With the financial support of sponsors, local leagues clubs and fan memberships, one of these type of alternative arena’s could be established throughout NSW to ensure that thousands of Jim Beam Cup fans may not have their weekends completely wrecked ever again because of water soaked fields being closed by caring local councils.

Over the last three weeks, we’ve seen the average attendance at an NRL game subtract considerably. We’ve seen two games where the attendance fell below 5,000 with the total attendance hitting a record low in round 13 with a per game average of 8,790 being written into the history books.

If Global Warming has something to do with the chronic weather that has put so many people off getting to the footy and there is no end in sight to the cold, windy, wet conditions that are costing clubs necessary gate takings, then it’s obvious what must happen.

NRL clubs in Sydney must start lobbying to play more games at a venue where there is a retractable roof similar to the one used at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne.

Just one question. Where is there a venue in Sydney with a retractable roof that holds suitable playing conditions for a game of Rugby League? Am I the only one scratching my head? Surely this idea has to be on the cards.

If Aussie Stadium for example were to undertake such a project, they could then sign exclusive rights to host Sydney based NRL teams whose home venues proved to be inadequate during wet weather.

Not only that but they’d also hold a competitive advantage over Telstra Stadium who in recent years have won over South Sydney and the Wests Tigers.

Chances are that in five-years time, another NRL team could make Aussie Stadium it’s home while other sporting codes would also back a venue which ensures the days of poor crowd attendance in appalling weather are over. Most NRL fans do not like singing in the rain and recent crowd figures indicate this.

Let the rooftop race begin! - Read More, Here