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Irish Rugby "Supporters", Their Stadium and a Downward Spiral...

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englandglory4ever
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pete (buachaill on eirne)
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How do you rate experiences you have had at the new Lansdowne road

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Total Votes : 19
 
 

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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:41 pm

I have some pretty harsh opinions on this matter and how tickets are delegated (rather to who tickets are delegated) and I don't really want to take up the OP with them (if they come up later they do if they dont they don't) but this is a good article by Quiny.

Since the old Lansdowne got demolished the atmosphere has been poor (in Croke park too at times -Argientina game, Scotland game)

So.....

Are the wrong people getting the tickets?
Do you find the stadium is dead?
Why is the atmosphere not as good as it used to be?
Why are people not in their seats?
Why do we hear the Fields of Athenry so much less than we used to?
Should we have two seperate 'anthems'?
Why the American Football style 'entertainment'?
Have the IRFU balls-ed up something else?

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sport/2013/0213/1224329981475.html

The comments at the bottom of the article are quite good too and worth a read

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Post by GunsGerms Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:54 pm

people arent in their seats because it has become a very slow stadium to get in and out of. Also the consession stands are very slow and obstruct access. The net result is its a lot slower to get to your seat. Guarentee you if the England match was in Croker the majority would be in their seats when the game starts.

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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:01 pm

Not disagreeing guns but that is a bad thing and something that could/should be fixed

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Post by GunsGerms Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:06 pm

pete (buachaill on eirne) wrote:Not disagreeing guns but that is a bad thing and something that could/should be fixed

Pete, Im fairly sure from the tone of Quinlans article he was having a go at the fans. All Im saying is that my first impression of the Aviva first time I was there was that everything was a lot slower than Croker and even the old Landsdowne. Consession areas in my opinion are too small and cause traffic jams and the stadium is very slow in and out. Thats not the fans fault really. This would be pretty hard to fix IMO.

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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:26 pm

I think people should make the attempt to get their early (I have been late occassionally).

My main issue is how our new stadium has so man coprorate seats and how tickets go to people looking for a day out as opposed to real rugby supporters.

Ravenhill, thomond and the RDS are all more intimidating venues for away teams

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Post by GunsGerms Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:31 pm

pete (buachaill on eirne) wrote:I think people should make the attempt to get their early (I have been late occassionally).

My main issue is how our new stadium has so man coprorate seats and how tickets go to people looking for a day out as opposed to real rugby supporters.

Ravenhill, thomond and the RDS are all more intimidating venues for away teams

I think the main issue is that there arent enough seats fullstop. It is far below the average capacity for a 6 nations venue.

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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:36 pm

Also true

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Post by thebluesmancometh Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:39 pm

Not sure what the issue is, traditional rugby fans are not the key demographic for national stadiums these days, it's more the younger to middleaged, middle class cash cows who can afford to pay inflated prices and pay a small fortune for merchandise.

The IRFU want to charge as much as possible for a ticket, and earn as much as possible on international days, they have clearly earmarked late 20' early 30's professionals looking for somewhere to have a day out, thats why we have the American style entertainment, it's to attract people who wouldn't focus on the rugby. They are selling an afternoons experience not a rugby match.

This can partly be attributed to the very succesfull American models, and the Wembley double headers in recent years have highlighted how it can work in rugby, attracting in many more fans from outside the sport.

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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:42 pm

It is very sad IMO Bluesman, I understand the need I guess but they are gaining short term security by killing off some of their values

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Post by thebluesmancometh Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:50 pm

Pete

Imagine if the IRFU take away the club game to add insult to injury? That would all but kill the game in Ireland as it is doing in Wales!

Team Wales is doing ok at present, but the foundations are being neglected massively, and it's only a matter of time before the bottom falls out!

Ireland obviously don't have the same issues, but the national stadium has a number of problems...

It is pretty small (due to residents?) and it will be more important than ever that the IRFU sell it out to anyone who is willing. Also ticket price will have to stay high or raise in comparison to other national stadiums if the IRFU want to earn the same.

By todays marketting research standards the IRFU are doing well, and similar to every other NT, but what everyone isn't taking into account is that by using rigid numbers (ie demographics with most surplus expenditure) they are neglecting what has been and would be a very loyal customer base (traditional fans) and we all seem to be focusing on the step we're taking and not how that will effect steps beyond that.

Wales already suffer when the smaller nations come to town, the day outers aren't interested, and the traditional fans have been put off by bad experiences with ticketing issues/cost/6N fans/experiences etc. I think this will get worse in the next few years and we'll see half a dozen teams creating a mass frenzy and ovber priced tickets, and any other team playing in front of half empty stadiums!

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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:52 pm

Well said, great point on how the traditional fan gets ignored almost

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Post by thebluesmancometh Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:54 pm

Problem is pete the traditional fan is only worth as much as the ticket cost on paper, and infact I'd say is worth a touch less than other demographics who can spend more on merchandise etc whereas the fan probably already has the merchandise he wants!

Everything in the game today is done on spreadsheets and flow charts, with little foresight to think ahead.

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Post by Guest Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:57 pm

Not been to the Aviva so i can't really comment but on tv it does look drab and soul less.


Last edited by viewtothegym on Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:57 pm

Again I have to agree with all of that, however the result lies in quiet stadiums.

I went to a number of games in the New Aviva stadium.

S.Africa 2010
Samoa 2010
France 2011
Argentina 2012

and a fair few Leinster games as well (much cheaper and better craic)

I don't mind how it is a tricky place to get in and out of. Doesnt bother me. I have never found ques or traffic jams that big an issue.

but sweet baby jesus the place is as quiet as the grave

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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:01 pm

viewtothegym wrote:Not been to the Aviva so i can't really comment but on tv it does look drab and soul less.

Does it look that way at Leinster matches?

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Post by thebluesmancometh Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:05 pm

I havn't been to the new Aviva yet either, it was in construction when I left Dublin so can't comment on the noise.

With the stadium being a bit smaller in capacity to others have the executive suites been adjusted or are they a priority and the regular seating the one to take the hit. Maybe as there is a much higher ratio of business to regular seats the noise is lower?

Also is it quite open? I have noticed that Murray field (although when full very noisy) seems a bit dull because it is sooo open. When I was there I was very impressed with those around me, great fun but the stadium loses atmosphere as your all in the open.

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Post by thebluesmancometh Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:06 pm

pete

The last Leinster Munster game looked good, and the first after opening looked amazing, better than Irish games anyway.

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Post by MrsP Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:07 pm

I've been to the stadium twice.

First for an Ireland v France game. We were sitting down near the "Connacht" end. The atmosphere was not great. Some fans around us were being very "provincial" in their support which was disappointing.

I'm not a drinker so can't comment much on that aspect.

Getting in and out was a pain as we were at the opposite corner fom where we needed to be to get the DART and, even though we waited till the place was nearly empty, they would not allow us to go around to that corner inside the ground.

Then we were back with all the kids for Ulster's semi final last season. The atmosphere was amazing and we found the facilities great. We were on the first shelf in the corner nearest the Dart station so access was very easy.

I fear some of the lack of atmosphere at Ireland games is caused by the same thing that causes most of the nonsense on the Ireland threads in here.

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Post by Guest Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:10 pm

pete (buachaill on eirne) wrote:
viewtothegym wrote:Not been to the Aviva so i can't really comment but on tv it does look drab and soul less.

Does it look that way at Leinster matches?
No it looks like a carnival. OK

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Post by Notch Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:14 pm

I really enjoyed the first game I went to, Leinster/Ulster U20s vs Munster/Connacht U20s. It was the official opening of the stadium. An open game was played in bright sunlight in a carnival atmosphere and I came away with a positive view of the stadium.

Whilst the game wasn't competitive at all, it was open and entertaining and in the short time since it was played four of the guys on display have been involved with the full Ireland team on some level- Paddy Jackson, Craig Gilroy, Luke Marshall and Iain Henderson.

The facilities seemed adequate, queues weren't too bad and there was a good buzz in the ground as people turned up to have a look at the new stadium. Tickets were cheap, only about 10 euro. There were some issues with congestion leaving the ground.

However that was 20,000 short of capacity. When I've been to games with capacity crowds there have been SERIOUS issues with congestion around the stadium and the facilities have seemed inadequate.

Sadly, that meaningless U20s game which ended in a whitewash and was attended by far less people than a full test match in many ways had a much better atmosphere. I was struck by how the stadium was condusive to a good atmosphere when I first visited. That was echoed when Ulster reached the semi-final of the European Cup. Once again, the atmosphere was much better than a test match even though the ground wasn't sold out.

I'm hoping I (and Ulster) can re-visit the stadium for the Heineken Cup final in May. However, based on what I saw of how the event was handled at Twickenham last year and my experience of congestion and lack of facilities Ireland test matches I fear the stadium is not fit for purpose. For a start its much smaller, and secondly in terms of crowd control its far behind comparable grounds I've visited like Murrayfield and Twickenham. The atmosphere WILL be electric. Lack of atmosphere at Ireland test matches is down to the crowd, not the stadium acoustics. But every time we hit half-time and every fan decides to use the toilets we're on a wing and a prayer.
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Post by Notch Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:22 pm

On the anthems issue, Pete, we actually had three anthems on Sunday.

I got my tickets from the Ulster Rugby Supporters Club and was surrounded by mainly Ulster fans. I never sing God Save The Queen, like many others from Northern Ireland wouldn't for various reasons (mine are my own), but it was interesting how many other Ireland fans sitting around me chose to sing GSTQ. It's a nominally English anthem in a Six Nations context but it is the anthem of the UK, of which Northern Ireland is a member. Interesting because Scotland is to but the reception the Scots give that anthem at Murrayfield is very different- believe me! Smile

I'm not mentioning any of this as a negative. I was very proud actually, to be sitting in the national anthem and have some Ireland fans sing God Save The Queen, some sing Amhran na bhfiann and then finally all join in together for as rousing a chorus of Ireland's Call as you're gonna get, basically. When we can do that without any issues and then all just watch the rugby together well- it's as damn close to civilized adult conduct as we've ever had on this island.

On reflection, as an Ireland fan, it's probably what I'm most proud of tbh. If I could say the same about the stadium this debate wouldn't need to happen. But it does, unfortunately.

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Post by The Great Aukster Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:13 pm

The atmosphere is inversely proportional to the success of the provincial sides. As they have become more successful, their fans feel more of their particular provincal players should be in the National side. So they receive the other provinces players with a lukewarm reception, or even a jeer.

The lack of unity in the stands is why the atmosphere is so poor at Ireland games - and conversely so good when a province is the headline act.

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Post by Notch Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:25 pm

True. When Ireland were useless and we had no provinces, everyone said the atmosphere at tests was much better.

Feel like being at games I can set a positive un-partisan example. But its a lot of money to set an unheeded example.

On the other hand, feel guilty about becoming increasingly provincial in my own thinking. Need to examine my own biases.
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Post by Intotouch Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:33 pm

I've had rubbish experiences close to the pitch, where a lot of the complimentary tickets go, and brilliant ones up high where the public pay to go.

I think they allow everyone to buy tickets the same way. Then more true fans would make the lower stands.


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Post by thebluesmancometh Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:56 pm

I think we have to be carefull using terms like 'true fans' though. Rugby supporters get pidgeonholed pretty easily, and terms like this aren't helpfull.

Rugby is an odd sport, majority of fans believe in high levels of respect, morality, and etiquette, but from the outside these look like snobbery, also when someone doesn't act in the ideals we believe in we class them as unsportsman like.

Fine lines IMHO...

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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:57 pm

I find that looking back at games in 07 and earlier there was a better buzz

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Post by thebluesmancometh Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:00 pm

Old Landsdowne I thought was awesome, the stadium condition was a regular joke within fans, I remember being there in 06/07...

I mentioned I had to use the toilets and one fan nearby told me to stamp hard enough and I'd drop right in.

Thought that was funny!

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Post by Sin é Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:37 pm

I think the so-called 'true rugby fan' is the problem. They don't understand what international rugby is about. They are the ones who want to be 'entertained'. The best days I've had are with people who haven't a clue what is going on - all they knew was that their team was playing and they were supporting them.

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Post by MrsP Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:00 pm

thebluesmancometh wrote:Old Landsdowne I thought was awesome, the stadium condition was a regular joke within fans, I remember being there in 06/07...

I mentioned I had to use the toilets and one fan nearby told me to stamp hard enough and I'd drop right in.

Thought that was funny!

You just couldn't help yourself, could you Blues????

warning



Very Happy

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Post by thebluesmancometh Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:08 pm

hahahaha Wasn't intentional.... censored

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Post by ME-109 Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:06 am

Full of ladyboy D4 heads who were too nerdy to play rugby down the Rock or the Nure and who are now accountants and professionals getting corporate tickets so they can go to a game they have no affinity with just to get one over on their jock mates from school who have ingested too much creatine and are a lump of brainless langers with no prospects cause Daddy's business is gone down the tubes...

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Post by Bathman_in_London Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:58 am

I have never been to the Aviva, but having watched various games on tv, it has always come across as quiet. In comparison, I was at the HC final last year and the atmosphere was great, even as a neutral.

'Day-outers' aren't going to go away, just a couple of weeks ago I was asked by someone I dont know that well if I could get them some tickets for England vs France as he wanted to take 2 clients. Now I don't buy into this idea that if you wear a suit to work you somehow automatically know less about rugby, but there are people who see twickenham (and I'm sure this is the same elsewhere too) as part of the corporate networking scene. Lords, Wimbledon, Henley, Ascot etc.

I don't see what can be done though, as an example, the club in somerset who my old man used to be vp of sells its allocation of tickets back usually as frankly the club needs the money. Whereas in the 'old days' a group would head up for a weekend in London.

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Post by englandglory4ever Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:46 pm

I've never been there but as someone once said I'm sure it will be nice when its finished.

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Post by SubsBench Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:41 pm

I was in the Aviva for Ireland v Wales last year. I really liked the stadium itself, it looked good (apart from the small stand). However despite the good, exciting game I felt the atmosphere was very flat. I assumed the Irish fans would be all fired up and loud and they just weren't. One fan, sitting about a block and a half to two blocks away from me, started singing The Fields of Athenry. He gave up after a while, nobody else joined in. No idea why there was no atmosphere there.

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Post by EnglishReign Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:38 am

It looked/sounded electric during Ire v Eng in 2011 but last week it seemed more subdued. Performance/weather didn't help.

It looks an amazing stadium, the atmosphere just isn't "retained" like under the roof at the MS, for example.

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Post by BlueMuff Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:43 am

The one thing that is different is the lack of a terracing area where fans are packed in, have a bit of banter and roar on the team. Thomond has it, Ravenhill has it and RDS to a lesser degree but it makes a different.


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Post by Notch Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:46 am

Average star rating so far;

Mean is 2.6 out of 5
Median is 2
1 and 2 are modes.

Thats not so good.
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Post by Notch Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:50 am

BlueMuff wrote:The one thing that is different is the lack of a terracing area where fans are packed in, have a bit of banter and roar on the team. Thomond has it, Ravenhill has it and RDS to a lesser degree but it makes a different.


Fully agree. I hate sitting down at sports events. It just feels so passive. Especially when you're sitting down, dry as a bone, way back from the pitch. Even when I've been sitting at Ravenhill, I hate that. There's so little atmosphere at the stand in Ravenhill for your average game compared to the Prom and especially the Terrace.

Truth is, best thing is to be wet and cold because then clapping and cheering becomes as much about keeping warm as the possibly rubbish game in front of you. Smile
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Post by Notch Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:52 am

EnglishReign wrote:It looked/sounded electric during Ire v Eng in 2011 but last week it seemed more subdued. Performance/weather didn't help.

It looks an amazing stadium, the atmosphere just isn't "retained" like under the roof at the MS, for example.

I disagree, I've found the opposite. Obviously any stadium that size has seats which are waaaay back from the pitch but the stands are very close to the pitch, as on top of it as they could be, and the design does trap sound as effectively as it could without a roof. I noticed that at the very first game, which was an invitational U20s game, there was a great buzz and the noise was indeed 'retained' like you said.
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Post by Mickado Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:12 am

Quinny made the point that he was at the game on Sunday, he had some analysis to do at half time for the radio and he had to run out to use the loo, he missed the second half kickoff and on his way back he noticed a load of people drinking pints, chatting, some of them looking at the game on the big screen, some of them not even bothering.

I saw the EXACT same thing. I got up on the half time whistle and tried to make my way out for a smoke, i tried to get though the crowds as quickly as possible but having ran out, taken about 3 drags off it and ran back up the stairs (was in the top deck of the south stand) i still missed about 3 mins of the match, but i saw the exact same thing as Quinlan, people drinking pints in the concourse, chatting away, as i was cherry faced running and sidestepping my way back to my seat. Pain in the hole.

The booing of "swing low" was just embarrassing. We couldn't just sing our own song, we had to try to boo theirs, pathetic.

I've been to NLR a good few times now, I've been at 1 Ireland game with a good atmosphere (v England in 2011) and several poor ones, (v France in 2011, v Argentina in 2010, Wales in 2012). I must say though, the Leinster matches are usually hopping.

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Post by GunsGerms Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:19 am

As much as I dislike it booing swing low is bad form. The song has its roots in Ireland v England matches and therefore should be respected. It was first sung in 1988 when Ireland played England in Twickers. Ireland were winning but then a black guy came on for England and in his honour after he scored three tries the crowd started singing swing low a song associated with Afro Americans as far as I know.

Mikado its like I said before. People were drinking and eating because the consession stands and area in general is so slow and small, it slows everything down.

Quinlan himself was late to get back yet he is having a pop at the fans.

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Post by Mickado Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:24 am

GunsGerms wrote:As much as I dislike it booing swing low is bad form. The song has its roots in Ireland v England matches and therefore should be respected. It was first sung in 1988 when Ireland played England in Twickers. Ireland were winning but then a black guy came on for England and in his honour after he scored three tries the crowd started singing swing low a song associated with Afro Americans as far as I know.

Mikado its like I said before. People were drinking and eating because the consession stands and area in general is so slow and small, it slows everything down.

Quinlan himself was late to get back yet he is having a pop at the fans.

People weren't queuing though, they were standing there, with the match 2 mins into the second half, having a chat. Get your beer and your hotdog, but surely you go back to your seat when you're done. Quinlan, unlike Joe Soap in the stands, had to work during the second half (he was on the radio afaik), and you got to go to the jax at some stage. He didn't say that the queue for the bar/food/toilet was very long, he said that people were flapping their gums with a pint and an occasional glance at the tv to check what that big roar coming from 20ft away was all about.

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Post by GunsGerms Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:28 am

Can you take your pint back to your seat? Cant remember, you can cant you? If so, yeah its bad form alright to fanny around while the game is on. I love the way rugby is a great social event. Best sport I know for that but yes you should be supporting your team while they are on the field.

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Post by Notch Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:39 pm

Mickado- you should have seen the queue for the jax in the Ballsbridge Hotel after the game with fans who just got out. All the men in their rugby jerseys standing there in a massive and all the women just breezing past into theirs with no hassle. Bit of an odd one!

I thought I was going to miss my bus back to Belfast over it.
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