Monday, 8 November 2010

20,000 empty seats a blip?

I attended the Wales vs Australia game on Saturday and like most others was very disappointed by the thousands of empty seats. I have seen many comments as to the reason for this over the last couple of days with the blame being laid at the door of ticket prices, the recession, too many matches or 'just a blip' as Roger Lewis put it.

There is no doubt in my mind that the main reason is not the price or the recession but the number of internationals being played. When you play the big 3 from the Southern Hemisphere 2 -3 times per year it is no wonder that the games lose some of their sense of occasion.

I do not feel however that we should necessarily be going back to playing them once every couple of years.

It is not long since Wales were a 2nd class rugby team unable to live with any of the top 5 rugby nations. Wales has come a long way in recent years partly through regional rugby and partly through playing the best teams in the world on a more regular basis.

If Wales once again were regularly having 40 - 50 points put on them, crowds would soon fall away to well below the numbers that showed up to support on Saturday.

If lower crowds and the odd dead atmosphere are the price we pay for being a team capable of living with the best in the World then so be it.

The truth is the FAW would love to see 50,000 plus fans filling the stadium for them but as they have learnt the crowds follow success.

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