The St George Illawarra Dragons have today announced their 'Home Game Venue' structure for the 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership season.
For the 2018 season the Dragons will play five home games at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah, five home games at WIN Stadium, Wollongong in addition to the traditional ANZAC Day match against the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium, Sydney.
The Dragons are reviewing a number of market opportunities for their 12th home game, and expect to confirm the location for this over the coming weeks ahead of the NRL draw being released.
Other than the Roosters match on ANZAC Day as is the tradition, the determination of opponents and games to be played at each venue will be made once the NRL draw is released in October, and subsequent venue availability is confirmed.
In determining the home game venue structure for season 2018 the Dragons Board of Directors considered a number of factors, namely:
- Expiration of current venue hire agreements and new agreements moving forward
- Proposed investment by the NSW State Government into major Sydney stadia, and associated construction timelines
- Review of the 'Right Game Right Venue' strategy for the period 2014 to 2017
- Club Venue Strategy
"The 2018 schedule will see the Dragons play 10 of our 12 home games at our traditional venues at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah and WIN Stadium, Wollongong, as well as hosting the annual ANZAC Day game at Allianz Stadium – one of the biggest events on the NRL calendar," Dragons CEO Peter Doust said.
"The Dragons support the proposed investment by the NSW State Government into Sydney's major venues to create a world class stadia network.
"However with continued uncertainty around construction priorities and timelines, we wanted to ensure that our Members, Partners and fans have certainty over our home venue structure for the 2018 season.
“To balance the cost base of playing additional games at traditional venues, the Dragons will be looking to take one home game to another market in 2018 and we have been exploring opportunities across Australia and internationally, that support our brand and business development objectives," added Doust.
"We are close to finalising an arrangement and will announce as soon as possible."
At the completion of the 2017 season, and in consideration of the home venue strategy for 2018, the Board and Management undertook a comprehensive review of the four-year (2014-2017) ‘Right Game Right Venue’ strategy.
This review identified many positive aspects such as:
· New market opportunities with associated membership growth
· Additional games for Members and Partners as part of reciprocal arrangements
· Additional capacity for attendances beyond the capacity of our suburban venues, and;
· A multi-million-dollar improvement to the Dragons' P&L.
However, there were also some undelivered commitments that formed part of this agreement that undermined the opportunity to maximise the strategic initiative such as the delivery of appropriate match scheduling.
Once re-development works are completed at the major Sydney stadia – which will deliver world class facilities for our Members and Partners – the Dragons will again re-visit and consider this initiative.
The 2018 Red V Membership program will go on sale next week. To register your interest, please click here.
'Right Game Right Venue' Home Game Attendances (2014 to 2017)
UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah
17 home games
Average attendance: 11,042
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
16 home games
Average attendance: 11,712
Sydney Cricket Ground
Four home games
Average attendance: 18,180
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Eight home games
Average attendance: 18,611
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Three home games
Average attendance: 27,817
Average Dragons attendance (48 home games): 14,170
Average Dragons attendance Sydney major venues: 20,338
Average Dragons attendance Kogarah and Wollongong: 11,367