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Speaker: Part 15: The money shot

25 Responses

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    Right on brother!

    Absolutely spot-on - the empty stands has been a disgrace, and neither the ICC or the local administrators have accepted responsibility.

    And the poor home team have lost their trump card, i.e. fanatical home support at the actual games.

    Go the Black Caps

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    A full house paying quarter price is better than a stadium quarter-full of people paying full price.

    How obvious is this, really? At this point, they really should at least be trucking in schoolchildren to fill out the stands.

    The fencing in of Hagley Oval here will be the end of our 'taking the kids to the cricket', and they're hardly going to be watching it on TV, are they.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    It's breaking my heart. As a reggae fan for the past 25 years, and a cricket fan, this was my tournament made in heaven. I've even joked with my boss for years about this being the greatest World Cup ever to go to. Well, he actually did something about it and is heading over on Friday, but he's not pleased gazing at the cemetery-like atmosphere we're seeing on TV.

    I like the Windies, they're not the team they once were, but they still have their moments. They have one of the greatest players ever, and Chris Gayle looks like Shaft with a bat, and they (and their fans) deserve to wallow in this tournament with every advantage they can get. Shame on the organisers, tickets should be practically free just prior to games, and the crowd should be able to bring in whatever funky essentials they need to get the party going. And I mean that in the widest sense.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 948 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Commercialisation of sport is such a mixed blessing.

    On the one hand there's improvements in technology, stadia, careers for the players and, frankly, enhancements to some games (I'd argue rugby has been considerably enhanced by professionalism) on the other the exorbidant price of taking the family... the stadia that also ban people from bring their own food further discourage attendance.

    Though its slightly off topic, I don't have Fox but Australia at has anti-siphoning legislation that ensures big competitions are free-to-air (someone explain to me however why this doesn't always include Netball?). I remember the debate about this in NZ when Sky was just starting to gain real penetration - is it too late, too much of a drain on the profitability of the broadcasters? Could there not at least be some games free-to-air - that's the case with rugby league here (not that I bother to watch it).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    Yep, Brit Football seemed to go through a brief period of wrestling with the morality of alienating their traditional fan base in favour of family units who enter stadiums through the megastore, buying replica shirts and duvet covers left right and centre. Nowadays its just accepted that clubs are money grubbing bastards - and they need to be to compete. The latest thing is looking for their very own Russian Billionaire so they can compete with Chelsea - as per Liverpool fluttering their eyelashes at Dubai Corp before going home with their new US owners.

    I agree with Peter above - from afar, this looked like the best ever CWC to go to - what a shame for those paying so much for their trips that the games have less atmosphere than the moon. This tournament needs more locals and fast.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 242 posts Report Reply

  • Sarah Flynn,

    Yep it's pants. I experienced the madness 1st hand as dear friends of ours decided to marry in Barbados (family ties) and scheduled the wedding in so as to fit in the odd warm-up game. We deliberated briefly & then threw caution (and pots of money) to the wind, rationalising that we'd never come up with a better excuse to go to the West Indies.

    The island itself epitomises what you'd imagine the laid-back Caribbean to be like - no money, no shoes, no worries! Being there was a marvellous adventure. Going to the cricket there should have been but really wasn't.

    The inexplicable, arbitrary, $US 100 visa requirement imposed (at the last minute) on some countries (including NZ & Australia) for the duration of the CWC was the first example of rampant price-gouging. Then the tickets - only a warm-up (NZ vs Sri Lanka), so not so expensive, but 'cheap' seats were (as it turned out) very limited, all that was available by the time we purchased ours were $US 40 'party stand' tickets (which secured you a drink and a meal chit in addition to entry, plus seating in the crappest area of the stadium if you wanted to stay there - plenty of room elsewhere though so we didn't).

    The (perhaps trivial) thing that got me completely riled up, though, was the dreaded water rule... GRR! I was 5 months pregnant at this time, and being fairly neurotic about staying cool and well-hydrated (temperatures were around 30 degrees and there was no shade to speak of in the stadium other than a single, packed-out stand). However, we turned up at the gate to be told that water bottles weren't allowed, because who could say what they really contained, and besides, they could be used as a missile. Water was on sale inside at $US3 per plastic cupful. !!. I got very incensed and said I was more concerned about getting heatstroke than getting sconned by a plastic bottle, but they were immovable, even when I got so frustrated I burst into tears (sigh. Hormones...).

    Was a good game, but I didn't last the distance, by 2.30pm I'd spent $ US30 on water and my lovely husband had spent FAR too much time in queues so I pulled the pin (missing the cliffhanger ending. We won by 18 runs... clever boys!). I have to say, this was our only negative experience on the island - elsewhere people are helpful and generous. Such a pity that this won't be the experience of most tourists who've gone there for the cricket.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Great post Sarah. Did they at least allow the Mexican Wave?

    The latest madness in crowd control is to ban the Mexican Wave in Australia - why not deal with the source issue; drunken gits who fuck it up for everyone else by throwing up stuff intended to hurt others...

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    What sort of people deny a pregnant woman free water!

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    Super blog. It has really identified a key issue about why (even though NZ are doing well) this World Cup has been extremely tepid (well, apart from the time zones that is). The crowds have been so thin in some of the matches, it looks as though the teams are playing in Sharjah.

    Jonathan Millmow in the Dompost today identified a related issue: the 200 metre ICC-imposed security cordon around the stadium in Antigua "set up at a distance which apparently makes it effective against vehicles carrying bombs ... used to be an area where the locals would set up peanut and chicken stalls and beat out reggae music".

    So what we have is a sparsely patronised tournament that has been nearly completely stripped of its domestic fan base and local flavour.

    How long does it take for the 'Eureka! moment where the organisers come to the realisation that they need to fill the stadiums by bringing ticket prices down because the tournament is turning into an globally televised embarrassment. It must have been evident before the world cup began that ticket prices were in the realms of the absurd.

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    Oh and another thing - does anyone else get the sneaking suspicion that Bob Woolmer's death may possibly not have been murder? Imagine the acute embarrassment of the law enforcement authorities when they come to that conclusion and have to announce it to the world's media. Stranger things have happened. I'm watching this space that's for sure. There's been an uncomfortable silence for a while now.

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • Bingle Struthers,

    You are naive about business, which is about meeting targets, and about principles. If you compromise on those, you're sunk. Whether it's pricing the sale of a high-country station or a few dozen cheese rolls at the local scout group fundraiser, if you bend over for the consumers, they'll smack you.

    Quarter-price tickets? Next you'll be asking for those in the terraces to be provided with foot baths, cushions and coconut sorbets.

    Mosgiel • Since Mar 2007 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    We gave the buggers a death, what more do they want?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Sarah Flynn,

    Ha well it's not like they're filling the place... surely the principle also has something to do with maintaining and rewarding your fan base?

    Wrt Paul's comment, the crowd was pretty subdued, too, as they'd confiscated anything that might possibly be thrown around (read: all musical instruments etcetc that the locals usually take along) so nobody seemed to be in the mood for Mexican waves. Happily, these rules have subsequently been 'relaxed' (people can take in traditional instruments if they obtain the proper permission - ?!), while the water rule was also recently revised (you can take it in but they remove the bottle cap. Fair enough...). I guess they had problems with one too many overcooked tourists (there were a lot about!).

    Despite these concessions, my overall impression remains just as Charles describes - ICC have been so caught up in the "bigness" of the event that they lost sight of the fact that it's basically just good, clean fun (or alternatively, watching a bunch of blokes in pyjamas pottering about in a field while you get hot and cross).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    Well one thing is for sure, Bingle, they seem to be missing their targets. D'oh!!

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • AndrewD,

    The problem is the world authorities that like to muscle in on the events. When a country wins the bid to stage a comp they should be given the right to run the thing. But no...whether it's the IRB or the ICC they storm in and make rules that benefit only them, supposedly for the "good of the game". They want clean stadia so they can make the money. They hijack the corporate seats and often fail to sell them as their greed exceeds market calue. And they set the prices, ignoring the state of the local economy. Syd Millar has more power over RWC 2011 than the poor sods who have to make it work. A West Indian would know the thing ain't going to fly.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    Commercialisation of sport is such a mixed blessing

    To add to your list: News Ltd's threats to sue the NZRU for making decisions about rugby in NZ (I have been hinking about cancelling Sky anyway, but I most certainly will be if that crap happens).

    And, in general, the marketing of sport as something to be consumed, rather than engaged in. Stephen Judd noted in one of the recent music threads that recorded music destroyed the career of the non-superstar professional musician (because people play records instead of paying muscians to perform); professional sports involves the likes of Sky convincing people that sports are something you watch on TV, not something you spend your Saturday doing.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • AndrewD,

    To add to your list: News Ltd's threats to sue the NZRU for making decisions about rugby in NZ

    Will News Ltd be suing the Aussies for their shit teams this year (with all the Wallabies!) and will they ask for a 10 year refund from SA and OZ for all their half arsed rugby (with the exception of the Brumbies and the Sharks on a good year)

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • reece palmer,

    You are naive about business, which is about meeting targets, and about principles. If you compromise on those, you're sunk.

    yep, and there's some huge businesses in Mosgiel.

    At the end of the day if you don't sell tickets you don't make money regardless of their price. Costing the locals out of the equation is just plain stupid, quote whatever management guru you like bingle, but there's a thing called customers, if you aint got any because your product is overpriced you don't have a business either.

    the terraces • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Graham,

    Paul - there aren't enough spectators for a mexican wave!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    professional sports involves the likes of Sky convincing people that sports are something you watch on TV, not something you spend your Saturday doing.

    One thing that never gets said when people bitch and unfavourably compare New Zealand's sporting attainment with Australia is that our participation in sports is notably higher than theirs.

    It bugs me when people blather on about schools not making kids compete hard enough; playing sport's meant to be healthy and, above all, fun.

    My kids are never going to be cut out for organised team sports, but we've spent plenty of time playing cricket and frisbee in the park.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22759 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    One thing that never gets said when people bitch and unfavourably compare New Zealand's sporting attainment with Australia is that our participation in sports is notably higher than theirs.

    I didn't know that and have to say I'm a little sceptical about it - in inner Sydney at least, I've not lived elsewhere in Aust so won't comment, I'd have thought club memberships were very high based on the extensive use of facilities. Not disagreeing per se, just a little surprised - pleasantly too. I'm not going to set any records (although my netball team was runner-up this season - mixed grade C - c'mon!)

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    My kids are never going to be cut out for organised team sports, but we've spent plenty of time playing cricket and frisbee in the park.

    I still have fond memories of young Jimmy amassing a decent score in our back yard a few years ago. He had a decent eye on him and knew when to nick a run.

    And he didn't black my eye with a straight drive unlike you Mr B!

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 948 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I still have fond memories of young Jimmy amassing a decent score in our back yard a few years ago. He had a decent eye on him and knew when to nick a run.

    As I recall, he threaded a succession of boundaries through point.

    And he didn't black my eye with a straight drive unlike you Mr B!

    Oh. Yeah. Not the best way to thank your host, was it? Still, at least we weren't playing with a hard ball ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22759 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Oh. Yeah. Not the best way to thank your host, was it? Still, at least we weren't playing with a hard ball ...

    Heh, good job, I think you might've killed me. I guess it's that old adage about the best way to clear a close in field!

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 948 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    All may not be lost yet

    In a break with the official line, which has continued to insist the tournament is running smoothly, Alleyne admitted that things had not gone so well at other venues. He also said that some matches at the Oval were not sold out, mainly because sponsors had not taken up their allocations, and that spare tickets would be made available free of charge to local children. Furthermore, he hinted that ticket prices might be reduced "to encourage more folk in" although that would need to be cleared with the ICC.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

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