The St George Illawarra Dragons are currently in the second year of a four-year Venue Strategy known as “Right Game Right Venue” which is one of the key elements of the Club’s four-year re- engineered business plan, towards profitability and sustainability by 2017.
Since November 2013 the Club has communicated the details and reasoning behind the decision, in various places, however the Club understands that Monday night's home game against the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium has again sparked interest and concern from some sections of our Membership and supporter base.
It is definitely understood and appreciated by the Dragons that the 'interest and concern' arises as the outcome from such a game undermines confidence in the 'RGRV' strategy.
Primarily, the Club believes the perceived problems have arisen from the 'broadcasters' decisions with the 2015 Schedule for Round 15, if the game had been scheduled other than Monday Night, the outcomes may well have been different.
The fact of the matter is, however, that the ' guarantees' embodied in the RGRV Strategy provided a significant positive financial outcome for the Club. A financial result much better than if the game had of been played at Kogarah or Wollongong and the outcomes of the RGRV Strategy are not purely financial.
The Club acknowledges that Allianz may not have been as convenient a venue as Jubilee Oval or WIN Stadium, however for such a 'high profile ' game would have worked better for everyone if not scheduled on Monday night.
The Club recognises that the concept of playing a home game, at the home venue of another team, may be a difficult to accept, for some, but we reinforce that this decision was made in the best interests of the Club, overall.
We acknowledge that transport to such venues is not optimal but we are working with the relevant authorities on this and are continually working on the fan experience and costs of food and beverage at the venue.
With respect to home ground advantage, this is not of concern for our Coaching Staff or Players, nor was it on ANZAC Day.
Only two Clubs in the NRL make a profit and the costs associated with playing at our traditional suburban venues have and are still escalating and the Right Game Right Venue Strategy actually enables the Club to continue playing games at our suburban venues. Furthermore the 'Strategy' delivered over a million dollars improvement to the Club’s financials, in year one.
The NSW Government has also made it very clear that they will no longer continue to invest in suburban grounds and the NRL’s Strategic Venue Plan is also focused on the larger Stadiums.
Whilst the strategy delivers a financial positive, there are many other benefits associated with the strategy such as:
- The ability to continue to play games at our suburban venues
- The ability to continue to invest in our Junior Development Programs across St George and Illawarra
- The ability to continue to invest in our respected Community Development programs
- Benefits in match scheduling and TV Broadcast, albeit on Monday night ... 'the broadcasters got it wrong'
- Additional marketing support from the NRL and Venues
- Increased inventory and reciprocity entitlements with other teams who play out of the same larger venues e.g. Bulldogs, Rabbitohs
- New market opportunities
- Gate share models
- Increased home crowds
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