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NorthPort's picture
NorthPort
Last seen: 11 hours 6 min ago
Joined: 03/11/2003 - 00:00
What is needed to get crowds back to your club or the VFA/VFL in general?
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I would love to know peoples thoughts on this.. Both the minor gripes from day to day or the big issues that have a major impact on you and what deters people from coming back to elite state level footy in Victoria. 

vfa
Last seen: 4 weeks 7 hours ago
Joined: 13/03/2004 - 00:00

The bus replacements put me off a few times. At least trains are back to normal on the lilydale and belgrave line. I will only go as long as at least one of the vfa clubs are playing in port Melbourne, Williamstown, Frankston, Preston, coburg or werribee. Think they should also play more games in regional Victoria. The game at wonthaggi had a decent crowd. Was promoted and organised well. Frankston get decent turnout under lights. Werribee should now be getting more supporters while they are doing well.

NorthPort's picture
NorthPort
Last seen: 11 hours 6 min ago
Joined: 03/11/2003 - 00:00

There are a few things I think from a Port Melbourne perspectice I would change.

  • Gate raffle (merchandise perhaps) 
  • Football record (including print articles from VFL and Club sources (from the two or more teams playing on the day). 
  • Cheaper food options (I'm now regularly bringing my own food as I find paying for overpriced food distasteful) 
  • Reserves / Curtain raisers (with a maximum break between games of 20 minutes). Turning up to a ground where nothing is happening kills the pre-match atmosphere.
  • Improved PA system. The current horn speakers at Port are unpleasant to say the least. Maybe proper outdoor speakers could be mounted to the light towers. 
  • Pathway footy being played at the club (Juniors, u18/19s, and a Development League (Reserves)
  • Reduced height or recessed interchange benches. (one of the best spots to stand and watch footy at Port has been lost because it is hard to see over the bloody benches.

Others issues are 

  • the limited amount of undercover seating
  • The need for more of a footy club feel in the clubs facilities.. Eg all players and player sponsors lit up along the wall. 

Maybe playing Port Colts games at Port when the VFLW team is playing away could be an option?

 

 


* It's time to restore the VFA name.

NorthPort's picture
NorthPort
Last seen: 11 hours 6 min ago
Joined: 03/11/2003 - 00:00

Things like the scoreboard at Port need replacing but don't really detract from the game day experience. 

Other incentives to bring crowds back could be

  • playing concerts before or at half time on the hill on warmer night games
  • All ratepayers get a free 3 game membership (I'm pretty sure the majority of current supporters do not live in Port Melbourne)..I'd like to know the breakdown.
  • If food prices can't be reduced to the general public, at least have a discount for club members.

 

 


* It's time to restore the VFA name.

MegaA
Last seen: 58 min ago
Joined: 12/10/2012 - 23:04

I can give you a educated guess of the ratio of local support. In 2019 when we had some 1200 members 170 of those were from Port Melbourne, the surrounding suburbs were significantly lower (I think Albert Park has some 20? Or so members). Unlike perhaps Frankston and Coburg, Port melbourne relies on support from far and wide. 

I agree that lincreading local support should be a priority. A major hurdle is that the new locals who have moved into the area don't feel a sense of community, for many they are just passing by and know that they will be out of the area in a few years. Other locals already have a AFL club and as they are playing in the same competition as their AFL club becoming a Port melbourne member doesn't sit well or interest them.  We need to get more kids to the game at a tender age when they are impressionable. 

Having said that I often look around the ground and think to myself that crowds are comparable to when I was a kid in the late 80s. 

Haven't paid much attention to food prices but yes that's a big draw factor (or was) in bringing people through the gates. Once you lose affordable food prices you also lose a advantage you have over going to watch the AFL and as theirs only a few advantages the competition has over the AFL you need to hold onto them.

I'm sure the P.A. was fixed in 2017 ? Just like the playing surface, seems like it didn't last... anyways time to get back to work.

17 PREMIERSHIPS, 21 X Runners up

THE VFLS MOST SUCCESSFUL CLUB - THE MIGHTY PORT MELBOURNE BOROUGH!

I'M PORT MELBURNE BORN, I'M PORT MELBOURNE BRED, I'LL BE PORT UNTIL I'M DEAD!!!

aj9172's picture
aj9172
Last seen: 21 hours 16 min ago
Joined: 26/08/2019 - 16:45

Great question this one. We're getting pretty great crowds at Frankston so we really can't complain much. I don't know for certain but think our membership numbers might have stagnated a bit - the battle to establish the club as the number one footy club on the lower Mornington Peninsula is an ongoing struggle. From a Frankston supporter perspective.....

*continue to foster relationships with other local clubs. Friday and Saturday night footy is enabling MPNFL diehards to come and watch Frankston games which is great. Amazing how many local club beanies I see at night games. I think we need a more interactive relationship with the clubs though, such as more MPNFL games at Kinetic Stadium.

*agree on the issue of curtain raisers.....the atmosphere before games is bland and whoever is choosing the music to play this season needs to bugger off and let someone with taste do it. If you have to play music make it your normal sports type soundtrack. Having our women's team play curtain raisers would be great, or NAB league, or MPNFL games. I'd also love to see a regular little league game played at half time - let the local primary schools compete in a knockout over the season. The kids would love the chance to play on a great ground like ours.

*club songs only get played sporadically over the loudspeakers.....that's crap. It's footy, if you can play the songs before the game and for the winning club after it, then do so. They're all freely available online. Just a small footy tradition that adds to the game day experience.

*food......our canteen was awesome up to last year, and no doubt our volunteers still do a great job. But the prices have gone up heaps and the quality and quantity has come down heaps. We take our own food now. It's great to see some food/coffee vans at the game, but you never know what's gonna be on offer from week to week. 

*isolation/supporters of away clubs......yes, we're a long way away, and sadly the area has a bit of a shady rep. What can we do to encourage people to make the trek down the highway? I'd love to see us do a deal with a local pub or even with our own pregame meals where away members can get a discount on their meal. Give people a reason to come down for the day and enjoy the local area, not just to attend the game.

*footy record - this is a no brainer. We need a record back, even if we have to produce our own. I print up team lists for us and our opposition every week. If any other supporters out there are interested in producing a record, I'd be more than happy to help with production/design.

*family friendly? Nope, not yet. Whilst the beer swilling bongo playing bunch on the hill are much celebrated at the club and do often enhance the atmosphere, they tend to get out of hand at times. Personal insults towards opposition players and umpires that would never be tolerated at an AFL game. There is a serious lack of families at our games and I believe this is the reason why. If these blokes are getting out of hand, security should be throwing them out. They just stand around the area ignoring it. The introduction of things like jumping castles and stuff has been good (but having them at freezing cold night games with no lighting down that end probably doesn't help). Would love to see the club put some real thought and effort into encouraging local families to be made more welcome.

NorthPort's picture
NorthPort
Last seen: 11 hours 6 min ago
Joined: 03/11/2003 - 00:00

Some ripper points there AJ. 

The footy record.. Surely they can pribt up recent club articles from both teams, some content from the AFL and team lists. It doesn't need to be a book, but 2-3 articles on each team should be sufficient. And a page or two  if advertising by sponsors etc.

Family friendly. A jumping castle is a great idea and sounds like Frankston just need to put some thought into its location.  I'd love to see Port doing something like this, as I am currently running around after a 2 year old, while trying to watch the footy.

Yes Auskick games are a must to get kids along to the footy. I think that should be a priority for all clubs. 

I think also engaging with local community groups like farmers markets etc could be a way of getting new people along to games. Draw new people in for a different reason...even polling booths for elections could be an option. 

Reading MegaA's post.it seems by far the majority of Port supporters do not live in Port Melbourne, so the club isn't actually losing anything by I in away memberships to City of Port Phillip residents. 

 

 


* It's time to restore the VFA name.

billythekid
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: 22/11/2004 - 00:00

Sadly the history of sporting comps that lose their original purpose and crowds rarely recover back to their glory days and the current shambolic VFL rabble comp is a prime example!

From my observations of the former standalone VFA clubs apart from Frankston is that as the years go by the original fanatical supporters are dying of and not being replaced by new ones and in the case of Port, Willy Coburg Preston and Sandringham the demographic of those areas now a days is not favourable to Australian Football.

So to me the outlook is bleak and I remember the same questions that are being asked now were also being asked in the mid 1950s when the VFA was struggling to get decent crowds and that only changed when the VFA switched to Sunday Footy shown on TV on Ch 0/10 and 16 men a side in the early 1960s!

Sadly there is no magic bullet this time!

I would also suggest the the vast majority of Victorian football fans think the VFL is basically the AFL reserves and have little or no interest in the VFL.

If the sporting public think your product is second rate like the current VFL is they won't buy it when they have the top tier AFL with many matches to choose from weekly that is where they will spend their hard earned. 

Bearsman's picture
Bearsman
Last seen: 4 days 7 hours ago
Joined: 01/08/2014 - 20:20

In terms fo promoting the VFL, the AFL does very little and its left to the clubs with limted funds, so all advertising now is done via social media, mostly to members who follow the clubs pages and are already converted. So they are probably not reaching too many new people. While the AFL keeps their hand in their skyrocket the comp will continue to stagnate.

Another nail in the coffin of getting crowds back is the introduction of free live streaming. If ever there was an inducement not to go to the games this is it. 

BattleofBellStreet
Last seen: 10 months 1 week ago
Joined: 01/05/2022 - 09:55

Coburg has a problem in that the club promote itself as a pathway for players to get into the AFL. This is perceived as giving up on winning or even getting into the finals.I have been told that the club will never get in the way of a player living their dream on making the AFL when i asked why Coburg let Brisbane have an option of selecting four of the clubs best for COVID replacements.

aj9172's picture
aj9172
Last seen: 21 hours 16 min ago
Joined: 26/08/2019 - 16:45

Battle of Bell Street, I definitely feel your pain regarding Coburg's direction there. We've been battling this issue for years at Frankston. We had hit rock bottom as a club when Simon Goosey started recruiting players on that basis, and it did help, in the short term. We managed to get some decent players on the park, but of course they either got drafted (many have been drafted from Frankston since) or if they failed to get drafted didn't hang around for long. 

I think what makes this a difficult issue is that today's young fella doesn't see the VFL as a reputable competition in its' own right. Back in the VFA days you would be proud to get a game, but now it's just seen as AFL seconds with no real importance given to who wins it (aside from within the standalone clubs). I think unfortunately it comes down to each individual club's desire to promote itself as a strong community based club. We have to be more than just average footy clubs. At Frankston these days there is a definite feeling of wanting to stick it up the AFL clubs, and I think that's healthy for us. Yes, we still congratulate those who get drafted, but those that leave us for other VFL clubs are not really welcomed back with open arms like in the past (at least by the supporters).

I think that yes you have to include the draft as part of the lure to get players, but you want them to be motivated to play for your club regardless of that happening, and feel some sadness when they go off to the big league. Port and Willy have managed to build lists that have won premierships, Werribee have built a great list this season. It's certainly possible, but that challenge to make ourselves a destination club lies before all of us.

I was rapt to read an article with our co-captain Will Fordham a couple of weeks back. Will has nominated for the draft for the past few years and not been selected. He's playing his best ever footy right now in my opinion and could quite easily make a couple of AFL lists, but has chosen not to nominate anymore. He wants to stay at Frankston and be part of building something special. The fact that he wants to do that tells me we're headed in the right direction, even if the progress is slow.

Keep the faith Bell Street.....hopefully the Burgers will find their old identity and once again become a power club of the competition. It's a hard road for all of us standalones, but we gotta keep plugging away.

vfa
Last seen: 4 weeks 7 hours ago
Joined: 13/03/2004 - 00:00

I think the VFA teams have improved overall this year from last season. Werribee and Williamstown will go close to winning the flag especially Werribee. Frankston have been very competitive and are on the right path. I don't mind the idea of games being streamed. If I want to go to a game I go. If there is a game on interstate or one you can't go pretty easy to either check scores through VFL flashscore or watch live stream. This week I intend to watch Williamstown v Footscray on the Saturday in a tribute game for the late Barry Round. On Sunday I'll go watch Coburg play North and hoping for a massive upset where Coburg wins.   

aj9172's picture
aj9172
Last seen: 21 hours 16 min ago
Joined: 26/08/2019 - 16:45

Vfa, I get where Bearsman is coming from on the streaming. It doesn't make a heap of difference to me, I still love going to watch the Dolphs either way.....but for the fringe dweller types, and we have plenty of them in Frankston.....it's probably easier for them to sit at home and be warm watching the live stream. I know I've thought about nicking down to Casey a few times when we're not playing but have decided against it only because I know I can watch it online. The plus side is that I get to watch at least some of every game now. Never would have thought that possible.

billythekid
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: 22/11/2004 - 00:00

Really both Frankston and Werribbe SHOULD get good crowds even better that they get ATM due to their isolation and big local populations even Willy should be getting better crowds but the rest of the ex VFA clubs will always struggle to be relevant in their communities due to the massive changes in their demographics over the last 20 years and most of the new comers have little or no interest in Australian Football and no historical connection to their new suburb!

vfa
Last seen: 4 weeks 7 hours ago
Joined: 13/03/2004 - 00:00

I think due to the internet, mobile phones and today's modern society people seem a lot more lazy. As kids we always kicking the footy or play cricket over summer. Agree that both Frankston and werribee although crowds are good could do even better due to their locations. If I'm on a train on way to watch a bit game and there is a live game on I'll watch a live stream or check scores. The old days we were checking the scoreboard at the breaks a v b, c v d etc. These day you can't even get a footy record at a local footy game in Victoria. They don't print them. 

Robbo
Last seen: 1 day 31 sec ago
Joined: 21/03/2004 - 00:00

From my point of view at Kinetic Stadium

on the food the club took back control of it this season so is still a work in progress the BBQ is back on Bryan Mace Stand side of the ground.

as far as footy records AFL decided to get rid of the footy records over COVID I am presuming it is over printing costs they believe VFL App and Website is sufficient. I doubt the older demopgraphic of supporter would agree with that. Some clubs do print out teams sheets I understand (I know Casey does).

Also the club is trying things like for this Friday night’s game in Geelong for those who can’t get there we will have the Pod Bar open at Kinetic Stadium and the game live streamed on the tvs there so supporters can come together and watch the game.

I can tell you organisations like Casey Radio and 3WBC certainly help in advertising the league with their coverage and of course 3WBC’s VFL Rewind show every. Monday night.

aj9172's picture
aj9172
Last seen: 21 hours 16 min ago
Joined: 26/08/2019 - 16:45

Robbo, the new BBQ over on the Mace Grandstand side is a ripper. Great idea by whoever came up with that one. 

I print up my own team list/scoresheet each week now. It's easily customisable to any teams and takes about 20 minutes to update using Microsoft Publisher. If anybody wants a copy of it to use for your club, just let me know. I'm more than happy for anyone to take the template and customise it or expand it as you wish. Would love to see a footy record back at the VFA.....oops, VFL.

 

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Robbo
Last seen: 1 day 31 sec ago
Joined: 21/03/2004 - 00:00

Here is some points I think that can make the vfl more fan friendly .Thoughts?

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aj9172's picture
aj9172
Last seen: 21 hours 16 min ago
Joined: 26/08/2019 - 16:45

Robbo.....

1. Yes 21 teams is absurd. Send the NSW and Qld clubs back. It's not Victoria's problem that they think they don't get good enough competition for their reserves teams. Dissolving the NEAFL was stupidity as it has shut out good footballers from the ACT, NT and the other standalone teams from NSW and Qld. Rather than pulling the pin on the competition, the AFL should resurrect it and throw whatever funding is needed into it. Go one step further and just actually give the AFL its' own reserves competition back would be a great solution to a lot of problems too. This would finally give Victorians a decent state league to follow again and make for a much more balanced competition. Take Port, Willy, Frankston, Werribee, Coburg and Preston, invite Sandy and Box Hill (if they have enough of their club remaining to be standalone). Invite Fitzroy into it (can you imagine?), then add three to five more clubs.....strong metro clubs, and a couple of strong country leagues. No matter what, the heartland of footy is Victoria and the state deserves its' own strong competition like SA and WA have.

2. Yes, the fixturing has been absurd. It's generally only weeks away from the season starting and nobody has any idea of who's playing where and when. Unprofessional.

3. Footy records are a throwback to the past, but that's why many of us like the VFL in the first place. Bring it back, absolute no brainer.

4. AFL reserves comp gets rid of the need for any of us to worry about these complications.

5. As per 4

6. I'm ok with the under 22 rule if it applies to all clubs, good for the development of the game.

7. Preferably no byes. If they must be kept, everyone must have 2.