NRL Stadium Deals

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PARRAMATTA EELS – Pirtek Stadium, ANZ Stadium


Capacity: 20,700

Expenditure: Operational costs: $70,000

Revenue: Ticket sales: $58,000 (round one), $55,000 (round four).

Merchandise: $37,000 average a game (up from $17,200 in 2013)

Corporate: $80,000 (capacity of 800 at about $100 a head)

Signage: $120,000 a game

Profit: $220,000



Capacity: 82,000

Expenditure: Operational costs: $15,000

Revenue: ANZ Stadium: $175,000 minimum guarantee a game

Ticket sales: $0 (ANZ Stadium receives money from ticket sales. There is a profit-share agreement in place for large crowds that gives the Eels an incentive to drive crowds and commercial. That agreement came into play on Easter Monday.)

Merchandise: $21,000 average (For the Easter Monday blockbuster game against the Tigers, the club sold $50,000 worth of merchandise.)

Corporate: $80,000

Signage: $120,000

Profit: $381,000

Parramatta: The Eels are in the second year of a three-year deal with ANZ Stadium, with an option for another two years. They will play a minimum of two games a year at the Olympic Park venue with a guarantee of $175,000 a game.

A lucrative deal worth about $400,000 to play one game a year in the Northern Territory allows them to schedule nine games a season at Pirtek Stadium. The club needs to sell 4200 tickets (outside of its 12,500 ticketed members) a game to break even when playing at Pirtek Stadium, given approximately 55 per cent of ticketed members attend each game. The average profit per game at Pirtek Stadium is $220,000, well below the ANZ Stadium average of $381,0000.

The Easter Monday clash against Wests Tigers attracted 50,668 fans, allowing the Eels to activate a profit-share agreement with ANZ Stadium. The club earned about $60,000 more on Easter Monday than it normally would at ANZ Stadium. If the club switched its ratio of matches to nine games at ANZ Stadium and two games at Pirtek Stadium, it would benefit from an estimated $1.4 million growth in game-day profit.

Even if Pirtek Stadium is at full capacity, the club estimates the game-day profit will be $70,000 less than an average game at ANZ Stadium. Research undertaken by the club has shown the 5.30pm timeslot on Saturday evening is the most popular with the Eels fans.


PENRITH PANTHERS – Sportingbet Stadium

Capacity: 22,500

Penrith: Fairfax Media contacted the Panthers but they declined to provide the confidential figures for their game-day expenditure and revenue. The club is hopeful a new stadium will be built in Penrith. A proposal has been put up to sell the greyhound racetrack at Wentworth Park for a billion-dollar residential development to fund a new sporting arena in western Sydney.

A Deloitte report details a plan to sell Wentworth Park Sporting Complex — in Glebe, opposite the Sydney Fish Market on Blackwattle Bay — Fairfield Paceway, Bankstown Paceway and Penrith Paceway. The proceeds would fund a 35,000-seat covered stadium in Penrith worth about $350million, and a multi-purpose racing facility at Eastern Creek, which will turn the site into the hub of greyhound and harness racing in Sydney.

The finishing touches are being put on the master-plan for the 35,000-seat stadium, which would include an aquatic centre, which is expected to cost $300 million-$500 million. Its success hinges on the proposed Badgerys Creek airport. The stadium could be used by NRL teams, the Western Sydney Wanderers, the Penrith Emus rugby union club and other local sporting teams, and could host concerts and events. There have been discussions about the venue being controlled by the ANZ Stadium Trust, which would allow the four western Sydney-based NRL teams — Parramatta, Canterbury, Penrith and Wests Tigers — to split home matches between the two venues based on the number of fans each game is expected to attract.

The Panthers have averaged home crowds of just more than 10,000 for the past two years. Their largest average home crowd for a season was in 2003 when they averaged 17,771.



Capacity: 82,000

Expenditure: Operational costs: Fee paid to ANZ Stadium based on ticket sales


Ticket sales: Each club estimates a ticket is worth $15 to $25 a person. Against South Sydney on Good Friday last year, the Bulldogs made more than $400,000 on ticket sales alone from a crowd of more than 50,000 (club members did not pay for entry).

Average crowd: 21,371 (a 155 per cent increase in average crowds compared with the club’s last season at Belmore Sports Ground in 1998, when the Bulldogs averaged 8363 for a home game).

Corporate: The Bulldogs have some of the largest corporate numbers in the NRL. Some 140 companies and an estimated 1000 people in total use the corporate facilities per game (at an estimated value of $120,000).

Merchandise: The Bulldogs average $1.50 a spectator for each game and up to $2 a spectator at blockbuster matches.

Membership: 14,500 (a 480 per cent increase on the club’s last season at Belmore).

Bulldogs: The Bulldogs were the first club to use ANZ Stadium as their home ground in 1999. From 2001 to 2005, they played most of their home games at the nearby Sydney Showground, before making the permanent move to ANZ Stadium in 2006. Last year they became the first Sydney club to attract more than 50,000 people to a regular season match when 51,686 spectators piled into ANZ Stadium for the Good Friday clash against South Sydney.

With reciprocal membership rights allowing fans of both teams to attend the match, the Bulldogs sold an additional 20,000 tickets, worth about $400,000. Reciprocal rights have added further value to memberships, allowing fans to attend a total of 15 games at the Olympic Park venue this year. ANZ Stadium has this year introduced free wi-fi for fans, which Bulldogs chief executive Raelene Castle believes is a huge advantage over suburban grounds. ‘

‘The addition of the wi-fi to ANZ Stadium gives the in-stadium crowd the opportunity to tweet, text, Facebook and view statistics and replays in a similar way to the fans at home,’’ Castle said. ‘‘This technology will become more valuable as the Bulldogs develop more fan initiatives with wi-fi at the centre.’’

The Bulldogs have played a trial match at their spiritual home at Belmore the past two seasons and there have been discussions about a NRL match in 2014 to celebrate their 80th anniversary being played at the ground. However, operational costs, which include bringing in lighting up to broadcast standard for night games, means the Bulldogs will sacrifice a substantial amount to stage a match at the venue, even if were a sellout.

There are now also free trains to and from games at ANZ Stadium, a benefit not available at suburban grounds.


WESTS TIGERS – Leichhardt Oval, Campbelltown Sports Stadium, ANZ Stadium



Capacity: 20,000

Expenditure: Operational costs: $65,000 (Ground rental, hiring of the big screen, ushers, security, police, cleaning and waste removal).


Ticket sales: $200,000 for a sell-out crowd at Leichhardt Oval. There is a budgeted difference in average ticket price between Leichhardt and Campbelltown, with about a $4-a-head higher return at Leichhardt. Undercover seats at the Leichhardt ground are scarce, therefore the higher premium charge.

Corporate: $55,000 (capacity of 550 at approximately $100 a head)

Merchandise: Roughly worth $1.20 to $1.50 a head ($35,000 in round five)

Signage: Only one stand for signage opportunity not in television range.

Average crowd: 14,279 for the past three seasons (five of the past 13games against Sydney teams).




Capacity: 20,000

Expenditure: Operational costs: $70,000 (ground rental, hiring of the big screen, ushers, security, police, cleaning and waste removal).


Ticket sales: $170,000 for a sell-out crowd at Campelltown.

Merchandise: Roughly worth $1.20 to $1.50 per head ($16,000 in round six for a crowd of just more than 6000)

Corporate: $47,000 (capacity of 470 at appx $100 a head)

Signage: Greatest opportunity for signage sales of all three venues because the club has 100 per cent inventory. However, appeal is lower because games are rarely on free-to-air television.

Average crowd: 13,256 for the past three years. (Six of the past 13games against Sydney teams)




Capacity: 82,000

Expenditure – Operational costs: $10,000-$15,000


ANZ Stadium: In excess of $125,000 average guarantee.

Ticket sales: $0 (ANZ Stadium receive the money from ticket sales. There is a profit-share agreement in place for when all operational costs, including gate receipts, are met. This is an incentive for the club and venue to maximise crowds and receive an equal split.)

Merchandise: Budget for $1.50 a person, with average crowd attendances budgeted for 22,000 a game. On Easter Monday, as the away team, the club sold $16,000 worth of merchandise outside the stadium. The club was not entitled to merchandise rights at the ANZ Stadium and had to sell outside the ground).

Corporate: Estimated $70,000 (maximum capacity in excess of 1000)

Signage: Shared inventory for big screen and signage.

Average crowd: This is the first year of a new deal at ANZ Stadium. The Tigers averaged 18,018 at Allianz Stadium (one game at the SCG) during the past three years. Ten of the 12 games were against Sydney teams, the other two were against the Broncos. Their only home game at ANZ Stadium this year attracted 20,061.

Wests Tigers: The Tigers played some games at ANZ Stadium between 2005 and 2008, but in 2009 the club’s former administration signed a deal with Allianz Stadium to play four games a year at the venue. The club decided against extending its stay in the city despite being offered $100,000 a game to play at Allianz Stadium.

They are now in the first year of a 10-year deal with ANZ Stadium worth close to $500,000 for four games with the potential to play up to six games a year. The club put up an online poll before moving to ANZ Stadium, with 51per cent of fans voting in favour of the Olympic Park venue compared with 49 per cent at Allianz. However, the club believes it has more of a connection with the west rather than the city, plus it provides an opportunity to offer cheaper entry-level memberships worth $50 for eight games at ANZ Stadium (four home games and four away games with reciprocal membership rights). They now work in partnership with ANZ Stadium to promote the game, whereas at Leichhardt and Campbelltown they are the sole promoters.

‘‘The more games played at ANZ Stadium, the more leverage the game and the venue has with state and federal government to consistently upgrade and develop not only the facility but the precinct to provide customers an improved match-day experience,’’ Tigers chief executive Grant Mayer said. While some details of the finances of each club are private and confidential, Mayer believes sharing this information is beneficial for the game to drive greater commercial benefits for each club.

‘‘If the clubs pooled resources and negotiated as one, then our buying power is magnified exponentially and that increases the commercial return for the clubs,’’ Mayer said.


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