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Pro12 Finals

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Post by 123456789 Sun 31 May 2015, 6:35 pm

First topic message reminder :

This year signalled a shift towards a neutral, predetermined venue for the "Grand Final". Belfast was a fantastic choice for this and was a wonderful venue however there are some calls to move the final to a larger stadium to create an atmosphere similar to that at Twickenham yesterday and therefore making it a bigger occasion. There are a number of issues with this, namely that it would mean the final would have to be held in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin or Cardiff every year but for argument's sake how do we look to fill out these larger venues?

Firstly it's worth remembering that (if we discount the Italians) we have a combined population of 10 million which is a sixth of the English, and this population is spread far less densely and with far more expensive and difficult transport links so it is logistically difficult. Also Twickenham is the home of rugby for english fans and therefore represents something close to a pilgrimage for English fans regardless of club allegiances, this is something you wouldn't get for a fan of the Dragons if the final was in Scotland or Ireland between clubs from Scotland or Ireland especially when you factor cost of transport and the fact that diehard rugby fans would have probably travelled long distances just a couple of months before for the Six Nations. Nevertheless giving the final to the top team is also difficult as it's hard to create a big occasion befitting of the league in just one week, so what it the solution?

The first step in my opinion would be to appeal to and, in many ways, reward the diehard fans. By that I mean give heavily subsidised tickets to the season ticket holders regardless of club and maybe organise travel from major population bases so Dublin, Belfast, Edinbugh, Glasgow and Dublin. That way you get a crowd with large numbers of real rugby fans who enjoy each others company. Of course you want to make sure the finalists have large numbers of fans there so it's a bit more partisan so maybe holding back 20,000 tickets until the play-offs and then give 2,500 tickets each to the semi-finalists and then after the semis give 5,000 each to the finalists to be sold at their own price and also divide up any remaining tickets. Anything they lose from cheap tickets they'll gain in the long run through a bigger spectacle and more sponsorship as a result.

Second step would be to make it more relevant to fans of every club so either a sevens tournament of sorts in the morning between the teams or perhaps more effectively some form of exhibition or charity game. Either between two "best of the rest" Pro12 XVs, or Pro12 XV against the Barbarians or two teams chosen by outgoing Pro12 legends in a kind of testimonial match.

Finally I'd try to make more of a spectacle of the event, you can say what you like about the SRU but they do put on a good show before matches. Say it was in Glasgow then there are a lot of local comedians and musicians who make a big deal about their allegiance to the city guys like Kevin Bridges and Amy Macdonald so get them involved have fireworks and really build up an atmosphere for the final.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 01 Jun 2015, 4:41 pm

TJ wrote:Tynecastle pitch is too small.  Not sure about easter road.  Ibrox worked well in the commonwealth games.

I do not think Ibrox would be allowed, the capacity is too big.

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Post by TJ Mon 01 Jun 2015, 4:45 pm

I have to say I don't get the "too big" arguement

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 01 Jun 2015, 4:47 pm

TJ wrote:I have to say I don't get the "too big" arguement

Neither do I, but here we are. Whistle

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Post by Pot Hale Mon 01 Jun 2015, 5:04 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Here's a question, LD. If they'd left the final allocation as it was to whoever finished first, and let's say that Ospreys had finished top of the league and won their semi-final, where would they have proposed holding the final under last year's criteria?

Thats the thing though isnt it ? They would not have been able to hold the final under last years criteria, the only stadiums that fit the criteria are the Showground in Leinster, Thommond Park in Cork and the Kingspan in Ulster. There are probably a few football grounds around Glasgow and Edinburgh that could hold it, but you would have to go down the road of striking deals and making sure the dates for the final does not conflict with anything to do with the football played in those stadiums.

Hopefully the criteria can be changed for next season as otherwise the final will be held in Ireland again.

Except you're avoiding the question.   You were a strong proponent of the criteria not being changed. That the Pro12 final location should be proposed by the finalist team that finished highest in the league.  So if Ospreys had reached the final and got home status, what would their suggestion be?

The RDS and/or Thomond Park could have been proposed in Ireland - not Ravenhill or the Sportsground.
Rugby Park could have been nominated by either Glasgow or Edinburgh. So where would Ospreys have proposed to the Pro12 if they had home status for the final?


Last edited by Pot Hale on Mon 01 Jun 2015, 5:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by wayne Mon 01 Jun 2015, 5:07 pm


Except you're guessing since no complete list of criteria has been published.  You're only relying on what was said by Ospreys fans on a website.
Pot Hale, it was not said by Ospreys fans on a website, it was a Q and A session between a committee member of the Ospreys Supporters Club (OSC) and a representative of the Guinness League, the OSC person is Grant, I seem to have forgotten the GL members name.
When the 4 Regions fans representatives met with the WRU and RRW last year, ALL minutes had to be agreed between both parties before anything was disclosed, it took a lot longer for the minutes of WRU meetings with the fans representatives to be agreed, one took over 2 weeks to be disclosed.
I would have thought the same procedure would have been followed, and there was more than 1 conversation involved, because there were follow up questions asked.


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Post by Pot Hale Mon 01 Jun 2015, 5:16 pm

wayne wrote:
Except you're guessing since no complete list of criteria has been published.  You're only relying on what was said by Ospreys fans on a website.
Pot Hale, it was not said by Ospreys fans on a website, it was a Q and A session between a committee member of the Ospreys Supporters Club (OSC) and a representative of the Guinness League, the OSC person is Grant, I seem to have forgotten the GL members name.
When the 4 Regions fans representatives met with the WRU and RRW last year, ALL minutes had to be agreed between both parties before anything was disclosed, it took a lot longer for the minutes of WRU meetings with the fans representatives to be agreed, one took over 2 weeks to be disclosed.
I would have thought the same procedure would have been followed, and there was more than 1 conversation involved, because there were follow up questions asked.  


A committee member of the Ospreys Supporters Club sounds like an Ospreys fan to me? Who wrote up the minutes of the Q&A session with the Pro12 guy and where were they published?
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Post by SecretFly Mon 01 Jun 2015, 5:19 pm

123 what a great Uplifting po..............................................


....oh.


That didn't last long. Yet another attempt at painting a smiley face on Pro12 rubbed out by the 15th post.

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Post by 123456789 Mon 01 Jun 2015, 5:25 pm

TJ wrote:Tynecastle pitch is too small.  Not sure about easter road.  Ibrox worked well in the commonwealth games.

Easter Road's pitch was widened a few years back according to wikipedia I'd assume it is wide enough. Although that begs the question as to why Edinburgh have never moved/ played there. I suppose it could be because they haven't shown signs of selling out a 20,000 seater stadium anytime soon so why pack for a largely empty stadium when you've already got one.

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Post by Pot Hale Mon 01 Jun 2015, 5:34 pm

SecretFly wrote:123 what a great Uplifting po..............................................


....oh.


That didn't last long.  Yet another attempt at painting a smiley face on Pro12 rubbed out by the 15th post.

Does that include the OP or the ones after - cos I'm counting carefully like....
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Post by RDW Mon 01 Jun 2015, 5:35 pm

The Easter Road pitch is terrible. Barely survives a football season.

Plus, it's in Leith...

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Post by Notch Mon 01 Jun 2015, 5:36 pm

TJ wrote:I have to say I don't get the "too big" arguement

Well, the argument is that when promoting an event which will rely on fans willingness to travel, and buy tickets before they know for sure their team is going to be in the Final, and fans of the host city buying tickets en masse before they know, it's best to walk before you can run.

That was for this year. We talked about this with wayne and LD on another thread and wayne posted a Q&A which confirmed that they will consider larger venues if they feel the time is right commercially, which supports my argument that the criteria are not necessarily carved in stone. They will change depending on how the event goes. All the restrictions that have been talked about- were specified for this years event. The entire tender process was rushed this year due to the lateness of the Euro deal. Why should we assume there will be no changes or adaptations in future years to a process which is completely experimental?

The league understands they have to start small and build up and they went for a very commercially safe choice in Belfast for the first year- along with Glasgow, Ulster have seen the fastest growth in season ticket holders over the past few years. They had never hosted a Final before. They have a new purpose built rugby stadium which was neither too big nor too small. They had a supportive local government that was willing to bear much of the cost of promoting the event. They needed a risk-free option and they took it. But the suggestion that these people are stupid enough to think that the leagues image in Wales and Scotland will survive a criteria that insists on the Final being in Ireland every year- seems ridiculous. You have to assume a level of stupidity there not just from the Irish representatives, but from the Welsh and Scottish Unions too. Imagine this; a criteria which permanently excludes Wales and Scotland from hosting the Final for the next few years is out before the Pro12 committee. Bear in mind Wales and Scotland have twice as many representatives on that committee as Ireland. Logically, how on earth does that get voted through? And if your answer is something like "Roger Lewis is Evul innit?" then, please, spare me.

For this year, I have no doubt all parties went for the safest short-term choice. In the medium term I see no logical reason not to assume the whole process will be subject to ongoing review with representatives of Wales and Scotland demanding a fair distribution of finals.
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Post by TJ Mon 01 Jun 2015, 5:40 pm

123456789 wrote:
TJ wrote:Tynecastle pitch is too small.  Not sure about easter road.  Ibrox worked well in the commonwealth games.

Easter Road's pitch was widened a few years back according to wikipedia I'd assume it is wide enough. Although that begs the question as to why Edinburgh have never moved/ played there. I suppose it could be because they haven't shown signs of selling out a 20,000 seater stadium anytime soon so why pack for a largely empty stadium when you've already got one.

I think but am not sure Easter road is not long enough. BTW 3 seasons ago Edinburgh had 40 000 gates twice in European cup games. Edinburgh also get Murrayfeild for free. easter road would cost

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Post by R!skysports Mon 01 Jun 2015, 5:47 pm

Should we not go down the Eurovision policy of the winners get the final the next year.

Yes, would be nice to wait until you have the semi or finalists before you decided, but unless you 'reserve' stadia in every city (OK not needed in Edinburgh as they spend their time polishing their 1872 trophy when the important matches are on) just in case they get to the final - there is just not enough time to do it properly and safely


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Post by Pot Hale Mon 01 Jun 2015, 6:02 pm

Notch wrote:
TJ wrote:I have to say I don't get the "too big" arguement

Well, the argument is that when promoting an event which will rely on fans willingness to travel, and buy tickets before they know for sure their team is going to be in the Final, and fans of the host city buying tickets en masse before they know, it's best to walk before you can run.

That was for this year. We talked about this with wayne and LD on another thread and wayne posted a Q&A which confirmed that they will consider larger venues if they feel the time is right commercially, which supports my argument that the criteria are not necessarily carved in stone. They will change depending on how the event goes. All the restrictions that have been talked about- were specified for this years event. The entire tender process was rushed this year due to the lateness of the Euro deal. Why should we assume there will be no changes or adaptations in future years to a process which is completely experimental?

The league understands they have to start small and build up and they went for a very commercially safe choice in Belfast for the first year- along with Glasgow, Ulster have seen the fastest growth in season ticket holders over the past few years. They had never hosted a Final before. They have a new purpose built rugby stadium which was neither too big nor too small. They had a supportive local government that was willing to bear much of the cost of promoting the event. They needed a risk-free option and they took it. But the suggestion that these people are stupid enough to think that the leagues image in Wales and Scotland will survive a criteria that insists on the Final being in Ireland every year- seems ridiculous. You have to assume a level of stupidity there not just from the Irish representatives, but from the Welsh and Scottish Unions too. Imagine this; a criteria which permanently excludes Wales and Scotland from hosting the Final for the next few years is out before the Pro12 committee. Bear in mind Wales and Scotland have twice as many representatives on that committee as Ireland. Logically, how on earth does that get voted through? And if your answer is something like "Roger Lewis is Evul innit?" then, please, spare me.

For this year, I have no doubt all parties went for the safest short-term choice. In the medium term I see no logical reason not to assume the whole process will be subject to ongoing review with representatives of Wales and Scotland demanding a fair distribution of finals.

I don't agree with this analysis in parts.

A risk-free option?  For whom?

The criteria for minimum stadium size has been around for a few years.  Why is it becoming an issue now?   The other two main criteria it appears to me (and I haven't seen any official ones) is the minimum financial guarantee from hosting the event, and support from local authority/municipality.  5 star hotels is a minor issue and a red herring in my view.  

This simply cannot be the first year where certain clubs would have had to think about where they could host the final if they were to be the highest-finishing finalist - the Big 5 clubs - MULGO - have all been in that likely position previously.

So if last year's criteria were no good, and this year's criteria are no good, then what would fans like them to be for next year?

And if you're running a business, then fair distribution of finals amongst the four countries should not be an important criterion, if even one at all.

Agree what the criteria should be for having a successful, high-profile, well-attended finals event, and then let everyone pitch for it. Do it a year in advance if necessary, if people need time to prepare for it. If the decision ends up being that it's most successful in Edinburgh four years on the trot - fine by me.
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Post by SecretFly Mon 01 Jun 2015, 6:18 pm

The fairest is to just do a cycle:  Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Italy and Ireland.................................

What???  Shocked

Okay  ...................... Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Italy and back to Wales to start the process again.  

No allowance for any winner or leading side in any year, just a simple one, two, three, four.  Time enough to pre-plan for a year and have all parties in the League promote the coming final of the season.  Help each other out with publicity in advance of the date.  
As has been said, with more time available for planning, the host city could have other activities and entertainment lined up to compliment each final and make the whole package more attractive for fans and more attractive for local businesses seeking to take advantage of crowds in their town for a weekend.

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Post by 123456789 Mon 01 Jun 2015, 6:43 pm

TJ wrote:
123456789 wrote:
TJ wrote:Tynecastle pitch is too small.  Not sure about easter road.  Ibrox worked well in the commonwealth games.

Easter Road's pitch was widened a few years back according to wikipedia I'd assume it is wide enough. Although that begs the question as to why Edinburgh have never moved/ played there. I suppose it could be because they haven't shown signs of selling out a 20,000 seater stadium anytime soon so why pack for a largely empty stadium when you've already got one.

I think but am not sure Easter road is not long enough.  BTW 3 seasons ago Edinburgh had 40 000 gates twice in European cup games.  Edinburgh also get Murrayfeild for free.  easter road would cost

I think, with all due respect, that is the operative word in that sentence. Edinburgh's average is around 3,000, Glasgow's wasn't much better until the recent uplift in success in recent years. Although it begs the question what the long term plan is at Scotstoun. Glasgow is the most populous city in the Pro12 and you'd like to think that they envisage a situation whereby Glasgow outgrows the stadium in its current form, they could make the temporary stands a more permanent fixture and raise the capacity to 15,000-20,000 per game I suppose but I seem to remember there being a planning issue with that.

Pot Hale wrote:The criteria for minimum stadium size has been around for a few years. Why is it becoming an issue now?

Simply put because, since the Play-Offs were implemented in 2010, only Leinster and Munster have won it every year except twice, in 2013 Ravenhill was being redeveloped and there weren't any other appropriate stadia so it was held at the RDS instead and this year Glasgow won and the rules had changed. However now, in theory, all teams have a chance of hosting it if certain criteria are met. I think at the start of the season it should be put up for bids, with the previous winner given the chance to present a viable plan first, in which Clubs/ Cities should have to explain how they'd go about making it an event befitting of the culmination of the Domestic Rugby Season in Three (technically four) of the Game's oldest unions. By that I mean an 80% (at least) full stadium larger than 18,000 seats. If Glasgow can't provide a decent option (and regardless of Criteria Kilmarnock shouldn't be an option for a league's flagship event bearing in mind the league includes Cardiff, Dublin, Glasgow and Edinburgh) I'd much rather see it go elsewhere, rather than a half full Hampden, Ibrox or Celtic Park or a bog standard football stadium in Kilmarnock.

Nevertheless I don't believe if you were to announce next week that it was to be held at Glasgow and there would be more to it than simply one rugby game (i.e exhibition match, 3rd place play-off, baa-baas game as well as entertainment inside and outside the stadium) that it wouldn't full or at least near capacity. Glasgow filled out a stadium for lawn bolls during the commonwealths for goodness sake. The same applies to Cardiff or Dublin or Edinburgh or Belfast or Limerick or Swansea, this league has great cities with rugby history so it's about time we stopped selling ourselves short, bickering with each other and being conspiratorial and accusatory (that's not aimed at you Pot Hale btw I just got on a tangent from the original quotation).

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Post by wayne Mon 01 Jun 2015, 7:05 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
wayne wrote:
Except you're guessing since no complete list of criteria has been published.  You're only relying on what was said by Ospreys fans on a website.
Pot Hale, it was not said by Ospreys fans on a website, it was a Q and A session between a committee member of the Ospreys Supporters Club (OSC) and a representative of the Guinness League, the OSC person is Grant, I seem to have forgotten the GL members name.
When the 4 Regions fans representatives met with the WRU and RRW last year, ALL minutes had to be agreed between both parties before anything was disclosed, it took a lot longer for the minutes of WRU meetings with the fans representatives to be agreed, one took over 2 weeks to be disclosed.
I would have thought the same procedure would have been followed, and there was more than 1 conversation involved, because there were follow up questions asked.  


A committee member of the Ospreys Supporters Club sounds like an Ospreys fan to me?   Who wrote up the minutes of the Q&A session with the Pro12 guy and where were they published?
PH, I'm a supporter, the person who had the conversation with the representative of the Guinness League, is voted onto the OSC by the 3000 odd members of said club, as I said his name is Grant, I would say he is more than a supporter, the person he had these conversations with, was somebody named Tom McCormack, and as I explained if the same procedures were followed as in the previous year, these would have been scrutinised by Tom, the final draft as with all others were written by Grant, there is a link on one of the supporters forum on one of the topics, that is where I read it initially, but the easiest way to find it is on the Official Website of the Ospreys Supporters Club, let me just add there is nothing on any of the websites, that is the Official Website of the Ospreys, the Ospreys fans forum or the Official Website of the Ospreys Supporters Club where Tom McCormack or anybody from the Guinness Pro League have disputed anything written up in any of those drafts.

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Post by Chunky Norwich Mon 01 Jun 2015, 7:38 pm

Notch wrote: there are several other grounds of the appropriate size outside Ireland including Rugby Park, Parc Y Scarlets, the Liberty Stadium etc. etc.

What's the capacity of Parc y Scarlets then?

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Post by Cardiff Dave Mon 01 Jun 2015, 7:43 pm

Chunky Norwich wrote:
Notch wrote: there are several other grounds of the appropriate size outside Ireland including Rugby Park, Parc Y Scarlets, the Liberty Stadium etc. etc.

What's the capacity of Parc y Scarlets then?

Around 15k plus the jacuzzi.

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Post by SecretFly Mon 01 Jun 2015, 7:45 pm

Closing on 15,000 according to Wiki.


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Post by Chunky Norwich Mon 01 Jun 2015, 7:49 pm

Cardiff Dave wrote:
Chunky Norwich wrote:
Notch wrote: there are several other grounds of the appropriate size outside Ireland including Rugby Park, Parc Y Scarlets, the Liberty Stadium etc. etc.

What's the capacity of Parc y Scarlets then?

Around 15k plus the jacuzzi.

Unless the jacuzzi has 3,000 capacity I'm not sure how it can host a final.

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Post by SecretFly Mon 01 Jun 2015, 7:58 pm

What's the capacity requirement?

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Post by Guest Mon 01 Jun 2015, 8:56 pm

18,000. Ulsters capacity, spot on Whistle

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Post by SecretFly Mon 01 Jun 2015, 9:01 pm

Griff wrote:18,000. Ulsters capacity, spot on Whistle

Is it 18,000?

There you go then. Ulster qualify with 16 something thousand? It's doable folks. All rules are breakable in the Pro12 as we all know Wink Break a few and enjoy the party.

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Post by Guest Mon 01 Jun 2015, 9:06 pm

SecretFly wrote:
Griff wrote:18,000. Ulsters capacity, spot on Whistle

Is it 18,000?

There you go then.  Ulster qualify with 16 something thousand?  It's doable folks.  All rules are breakable in the Pro12 as we all know Wink  Break a few and enjoy the party.

Yes Kingspan is 18k. Actually, I think I remember reading on here that one of the reasons for redevelopment to this capacity was to enable Ulster to secure these fixtures (can someone confirm?).

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Post by Notch Mon 01 Jun 2015, 9:07 pm

There is no confirmed criteria of any kind for next year Fly, including stadium sizes. They will probably be similar to this year. But nobody knows. It's all bluffing and assumptions at this point.

I'll reiterate what I said in the other thread; the Pro12 would be fools not to take advantage of the rising interest in rugby Glasgows win will generate next year.
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Post by Guest Mon 01 Jun 2015, 9:07 pm

SecretFly wrote:
Griff wrote:18,000. Ulsters capacity, spot on Whistle

Is it 18,000?

There you go then.  Ulster qualify with 16 something thousand?  It's doable folks.  All rules are breakable in the Pro12 as we all know Wink  Break a few and enjoy the party.

Yes Kingspan is 18k. Actually, I think I remember reading on here that one of the reasons for redevelopment to this capacity was to enable Ulster to secure these fixtures (can someone confirm?).

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Post by Notch Mon 01 Jun 2015, 9:13 pm

Griff wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
Griff wrote:18,000. Ulsters capacity, spot on Whistle

Is it 18,000?

There you go then.  Ulster qualify with 16 something thousand?  It's doable folks.  All rules are breakable in the Pro12 as we all know Wink  Break a few and enjoy the party.

Yes Kingspan is 18k. Actually, I  think I remember reading on here that one of the reasons for redevelopment to this capacity was to enable Ulster to secure these fixtures (can someone confirm?).

Yes that is definitely true, but at the time the development was being planned that was as much about meeting the capacity criteria for hosting European quarter-finals as it was about meeting the old criteria for hosting Pro12 finals (which until this year was a minimum capacity with no maximum explicitly specified, though the league still reserved the right to make the final decision on the venue).

But also justified because of rising demand. In our last season before redevelopment was finished we regularly sold out with lots of people being disappointed.
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Post by Pot Hale Mon 01 Jun 2015, 9:16 pm

So - any answers?

if Ospreys had got the home final over the last few years or even this year if the rules hadn't been changed, where would they have hosted it?
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Post by Guest Mon 01 Jun 2015, 9:29 pm

Pot Hale wrote:So - any answers?

if Ospreys had got the home final over the last few years or even this year if the rules hadn't been changed, where would they have hosted it?

They would have been kicked out, de-regionalised (yeah that's a real thing), liquidated and banished Whistle

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Post by Pot Hale Mon 01 Jun 2015, 9:35 pm

Griff wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So - any answers?

if Ospreys had got the home final over the last few years or even this year if the rules hadn't been changed, where would they have hosted it?

They would have been kicked out, de-regionalised (yeah that's a real thing), liquidated and banished Whistle

Ok. And besides that, where would they have hosted it?
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Post by Guest Mon 01 Jun 2015, 9:36 pm

Notch wrote:
Griff wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
Griff wrote:18,000. Ulsters capacity, spot on Whistle

Is it 18,000?

There you go then.  Ulster qualify with 16 something thousand?  It's doable folks.  All rules are breakable in the Pro12 as we all know Wink  Break a few and enjoy the party.

Yes Kingspan is 18k. Actually, I  think I remember reading on here that one of the reasons for redevelopment to this capacity was to enable Ulster to secure these fixtures (can someone confirm?).

Yes that is definitely true, but at the time the development was being planned that was as much about meeting the capacity criteria for hosting European quarter-finals as it was about meeting the old criteria for hosting Pro12 finals (which until this year was a minimum capacity with no maximum explicitly specified, though the league still reserved the right to make the final decision on the venue).

But also justified because of rising demand. In our last season before redevelopment was finished we regularly sold out with lots of people being disappointed.

It was excellent from Ulster IMO. Not knocking them at all. Funnily enough the Dragons redeveloped recently.by changing half the stadium from terracing to seating. We've gone from circa 12k to circa 8k capacity Doh

Just picking up on the Euro 1/4s comment. Is there really a minimum capacity for that? I thought it was the home side's ground, regardless of capacity.

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Post by Guest Mon 01 Jun 2015, 9:43 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
Griff wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So - any answers?

if Ospreys had got the home final over the last few years or even this year if the rules hadn't been changed, where would they have hosted it?

They would have been kicked out, de-regionalised (yeah that's a real thing), liquidated and banished Whistle

Ok.  And besides that, where would they have hosted it?

To be honest I'm a bit late to this whole conversation. My apologies. I'm guessing the criteria is only for this season as an interim measure? My thought is that previously the home final was at home regardless of capacity?

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Mon 01 Jun 2015, 9:44 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Here's a question, LD. If they'd left the final allocation as it was to whoever finished first, and let's say that Ospreys had finished top of the league and won their semi-final, where would they have proposed holding the final under last year's criteria?

Thats the thing though isnt it ? They would not have been able to hold the final under last years criteria, the only stadiums that fit the criteria are the Showground in Leinster, Thommond Park in Cork and the Kingspan in Ulster. There are probably a few football grounds around Glasgow and Edinburgh that could hold it, but you would have to go down the road of striking deals and making sure the dates for the final does not conflict with anything to do with the football played in those stadiums.

Hopefully the criteria can be changed for next season as otherwise the final will be held in Ireland again.
It's simply not going to be held in any football ground, everyone may just get that out of their heads now... why would it be with the expenses of renting the stadium etc. National stadiums are also too big of a risk at this stage as you cannot have a half empty stadium for a final and then expect to get a bigger sponsorship and tv deal.

The only solution I can see is to go back to the old format, but that brings us to the problem of where can Glasgow host it if they finish top again? They have already outgrown Scotstun comfortably (I'm sure the demand for ST for next season will be double what they can actually give) so could they look at a development?

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Post by Kingshu Mon 01 Jun 2015, 9:56 pm

To go back to the idea of a game being played before the final (suggestions were 3rd v 4th), I have an alternative, as I don't think these teams will really sorry about it.

Instead how about the 2nd bottom plays the bottom team, with the losing team Captain and coach being presented a large wooden spoon, on the centre of the pitch for all to see.

We may not have relegation, but we can provide motivation to not finish in the bottom two, and also to win this game.

I predict that it would be a dull game with teams focused on not losing rather than trying to win, but it should provide motivation for the humilated team for the next season, as I am sure they will not want to risk picking up the wooden spoon again.

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Post by Guest Mon 01 Jun 2015, 10:00 pm

An interesting idea, Kingshu. I can't imagine it will be one that PRO12 would be keen on though Very Happy

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Post by Guest Mon 01 Jun 2015, 10:10 pm

Is that a serious suggestion Kingshu?! Or tongue in cheek? If serious, who would travel cross-border to watch that?! After all, the original suggestion for a preceeding game was to swell the crowds. Not sure the two worst teams would garner much support. Fans may be too emabrrassed to travel!!!

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Post by Pot Hale Mon 01 Jun 2015, 10:17 pm

Griff wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
Griff wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So - any answers?

if Ospreys had got the home final over the last few years or even this year if the rules hadn't been changed, where would they have hosted it?

They would have been kicked out, de-regionalised (yeah that's a real thing), liquidated and banished Whistle

Ok.  And besides that, where would they have hosted it?

To be honest I'm a bit late to this whole conversation. My apologies. I'm guessing the criteria is only for this season as an interim measure? My thought is that previously the home final was at home regardless of capacity?

Nope. The highest finishing finalist proposed a venue to Pro12 to host it. The required capacity was 18,000.

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Post by Notch Mon 01 Jun 2015, 10:17 pm

Griff wrote:
Notch wrote:
Griff wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
Griff wrote:18,000. Ulsters capacity, spot on Whistle

Is it 18,000?

There you go then.  Ulster qualify with 16 something thousand?  It's doable folks.  All rules are breakable in the Pro12 as we all know Wink  Break a few and enjoy the party.

Yes Kingspan is 18k. Actually, I  think I remember reading on here that one of the reasons for redevelopment to this capacity was to enable Ulster to secure these fixtures (can someone confirm?).

Yes that is definitely true, but at the time the development was being planned that was as much about meeting the capacity criteria for hosting European quarter-finals as it was about meeting the old criteria for hosting Pro12 finals (which until this year was a minimum capacity with no maximum explicitly specified, though the league still reserved the right to make the final decision on the venue).

But also justified because of rising demand. In our last season before redevelopment was finished we regularly sold out with lots of people being disappointed.

It was excellent from Ulster IMO. Not knocking them at all. Funnily enough the Dragons redeveloped recently.by changing half the stadium from terracing to seating. We've gone from circa 12k to circa 8k capacity Doh

Just picking up on the Euro 1/4s comment. Is there really a minimum capacity for that? I thought it was the home side's ground, regardless of capacity.

I don't know if the rules are different in this brave new era of European Rugby to be honest. There used to be one in the old Heineken Cup, mainly due to the fact that the away team was (is?) entitled to 25% of the tickets.
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Post by Guest Mon 01 Jun 2015, 10:34 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
Griff wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
Griff wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So - any answers?

if Ospreys had got the home final over the last few years or even this year if the rules hadn't been changed, where would they have hosted it?

They would have been kicked out, de-regionalised (yeah that's a real thing), liquidated and banished Whistle

Ok.  And besides that, where would they have hosted it?

To be honest I'm a bit late to this whole conversation. My apologies. I'm guessing the criteria is only for this season as an interim measure? My thought is that previously the home final was at home regardless of capacity?

Nope.   The highest finishing finalist proposed a venue to Pro12 to host it.  The required capacity was 18,000.    


So they could have hosted it a home then. I guess the only query is this 5 star hotel red herring.

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Post by Pot Hale Tue 02 Jun 2015, 12:47 am

Griff wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
Griff wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
Griff wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So - any answers?

if Ospreys had got the home final over the last few years or even this year if the rules hadn't been changed, where would they have hosted it?

They would have been kicked out, de-regionalised (yeah that's a real thing), liquidated and banished Whistle

Ok.  And besides that, where would they have hosted it?

To be honest I'm a bit late to this whole conversation. My apologies. I'm guessing the criteria is only for this season as an interim measure? My thought is that previously the home final was at home regardless of capacity?

Nope.   The highest finishing finalist proposed a venue to Pro12 to host it.  The required capacity was 18,000.    


So they could have hosted it a home then. I guess the only query is this 5 star hotel red herring.

Well I think the £100k financial guarantee would have been a bit more important Smile I don't think access to hotels would have been concentrating minds too much.
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Post by SecretFly Tue 02 Jun 2015, 10:02 am

Kingshu wrote:To go back to the idea of a game being played before the final (suggestions were 3rd v 4th), I have an alternative, as I don't think these teams will really sorry about it.

Instead how about the 2nd bottom plays the bottom team, with the losing team Captain and coach being presented a large wooden spoon, on the centre of the pitch for all to see.

We may not have relegation, but we can provide motivation to not finish in the bottom two, and also to win this game.

I predict that it would be a dull game with teams focused on not losing rather than trying to win, but it should provide motivation for the humilated team for the next season, as I am sure they will not want to risk picking up the wooden spoon again.

Laugh

Who would force the losing Captain (and coach) to parade themselves into the centre of the field to humiliate themselves by collecting a 'You're F**king Shyte' Spoon?

Absolutely ridiculous concept, Kingshu - beneath you, sir.

I think a more realistic ceremony would be to forcefully remove the players' shirts - and the coach's suit - and burn the pile of clothing in the centre of the field.  The smell of burning synthetic fibers in the nostrils of all present fans would be a fine memory warning to keep their sides going through the next season.

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Post by Guest Tue 02 Jun 2015, 12:08 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
Griff wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
Griff wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
Griff wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So - any answers?

if Ospreys had got the home final over the last few years or even this year if the rules hadn't been changed, where would they have hosted it?

They would have been kicked out, de-regionalised (yeah that's a real thing), liquidated and banished Whistle

Ok.  And besides that, where would they have hosted it?

To be honest I'm a bit late to this whole conversation. My apologies. I'm guessing the criteria is only for this season as an interim measure? My thought is that previously the home final was at home regardless of capacity?

Nope.   The highest finishing finalist proposed a venue to Pro12 to host it.  The required capacity was 18,000.    


So they could have hosted it a home then. I guess the only query is this 5 star hotel red herring.

Well I think the £100k financial guarantee would have been a bit more important Smile   I don't think access to hotels would have been concentrating minds too much.  

I've lost track of what we're discussing now. You asked 'over the last few years or even this year if the rules hadn't been changed, where would they have hosted it?' So, in previous years they could have hosted it at home as home finals were allowed, there was no £100k ransom (!), and no 5 star hotel criteria (allegedly), etc. So the answer your original question is 'Liberty Stadium'. Cool

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Post by Irish Londoner Tue 02 Jun 2015, 3:30 pm

According to the Tourism Ireland website Belfast only has one five star hotel - The Merchant in the city centre - some of the other hotels (The Europa and the Hilton ) appear to be five star on sites like Expedia and Tripadvisor but are not "five star awarded" hotels as such, so where this idea that there have to be two or more five star hotels apears to be a bit off beam.

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Post by Chunky Norwich Tue 02 Jun 2015, 3:40 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:According to the Tourism Ireland website Belfast only has one five star hotel - The Merchant in the city centre - some of the other hotels (The Europa and the Hilton ) appear to be five star on sites like Expedia and Tripadvisor but are not "five star awarded" hotels as such, so where this idea that there have to be two or more five star hotels apears to be a bit off beam.

I have yet to receive a reply from Pro12 after I wrote to them asking them to confirm the 2015 tendered eligibility rules. Which is a shame.

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Post by Irish Londoner Tue 02 Jun 2015, 3:51 pm

It is a shame Chunks, and I hope they respond to you soon, but my point still stands - where did the claim that the host city have to have a least two five star hotels come from, since Belfast only has one?

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Post by marty2086 Tue 02 Jun 2015, 3:53 pm

Chunky Norwich wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:According to the Tourism Ireland website Belfast only has one five star hotel - The Merchant in the city centre - some of the other hotels (The Europa and the Hilton ) appear to be five star on sites like Expedia and Tripadvisor but are not "five star awarded" hotels as such, so where this idea that there have to be two or more five star hotels apears to be a bit off beam.

I have yet to receive a reply from Pro12 after I wrote to them asking them to confirm the 2015 tendered eligibility rules. Which is a shame.

Trying to get their cover story correct no doubt

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Post by Chunky Norwich Tue 02 Jun 2015, 3:54 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:It is a shame Chunks, and I hope they respond to you soon, but my point still stands - where did the claim that the host city have to have a least two five star hotels come from, since Belfast only has one?

The same report that the OSC received I believe.

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Post by Chunky Norwich Tue 02 Jun 2015, 3:55 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Chunky Norwich wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:According to the Tourism Ireland website Belfast only has one five star hotel - The Merchant in the city centre - some of the other hotels (The Europa and the Hilton ) appear to be five star on sites like Expedia and Tripadvisor but are not "five star awarded" hotels as such, so where this idea that there have to be two or more five star hotels apears to be a bit off beam.

I have yet to receive a reply from Pro12 after I wrote to them asking them to confirm the 2015 tendered eligibility rules. Which is a shame.

Trying to get their cover story correct no doubt

Justa simple answer would suffice. The trolls / WUMs like me would then have nothing to moan about, when the likes of this 5 star hotel rubbish is exposed as a mistruth.

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Post by Don Alfonso Tue 02 Jun 2015, 3:57 pm

The Culloden's 20 minutes from the city centre and is five stars, I think?

Not that I should fan these weird flames of obsession.

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