Two years ago

The Canberra Hawks / Cannons?

4 games in Canberra and an alliance for the Hawks with Basketball ACT is an interesting combination to see Canberra back in the NBL.

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Two years ago

Great news....if only Basketball aCT could put together a more competitive SEABL team and work on a direct pathway to an NBL team

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Two years ago

CoE are killing it at the moment. been a long time since that program has been competitive.

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Two years ago

I think this is the model more regional teams should follow. Would make teams more viable to have a larger supporter base split between two cities.

Wollongong/canberra - Southern NSw
Hobart/launceston - Tasmania
Cairns/townsville - North QLD

Obviously teams would train out of one location. Only games would be split.

Just makes sense for regional teams to run with a model similar to this in some cases.

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Two years ago

Interesting no comments from the Hawks in that article

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Two years ago

Yeah, cos what they really need to do is erode their existing supporter base.

What regional teams need is bums on seats, in their home arena. Everything else is secondary.

If they can't get enough support at home, then selling games only postpones the inevitable.

Selling games only works in the AFL because most of their games are in Melbourne anyway. So teams like the Squawks & Roos can sell home games to Tassie, but still keep roughly the same number of games in Melbourne, and their members still get tickets to 11 Melbourne games.

It might not be a bad idea for a new team, that was starting from scratch. Eg a Tasmanian team playing games in Launceston and Burnie, but ultimately it still needs to revert back to building support in their home court.

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Two years ago

"Launceston and Burnie"

You mean Launceston and Devonport?

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Two years ago

"Perth Wildcats forward Jesse Wagstaff rose through the ranks in Canberra and hopes it is his side that meet the Hawks should the NBL return to the capital.

'It would be wicked.'"

Did he just say wicked? O_o

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Two years ago

Yeah, don't overly like this idea. Hawks fans are going to want to see their team at home and will buy season memberships with that in mind. The NBL has no real immediate future in Canberra and there won't be a team situated there any time within the next few years because they don't really have a big enough stadium for it. It's basically ripping off the home fans at a time where they should be trying to bring more of them in. And it's not as though the two cities have some sort of kinship whereby they feel some connection. I mean, what would a Canberra basketball fan really get from following Illawarra? Let's say Adelaide didn't have a team but Melbourne dropped in for four games, sure I'd watch but probably not going to spend a lot of money on merch or back them too much. Kind of just a dumb idea I think unless someone can show me how it isn't.

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Two years ago

If this is true and they follow the NRL model, home fans will only pay for the number of games they attend.

Is 13 games compared to 14 games going to stop them attracting new fans in Wollongong? No, highly unlikely. New fans would be none the wiser.

13 games is still a lot more than the number of NRL games played in Wollongong.

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Two years ago

As a Canberra basketball fan, I don't see the upside to this for us, the Hawks or Wollongong. I remember going to West Sydney Razorbacks/Spirit games at a barely half-full AIS Arena and don't see any reason this would be much different. The basketball community isn't big enough to fill a decent-sized venue four times without good cause, and there won't be the random local sports team fans that cycle through when an actual local team is playing, so I think crowd sizes would be pretty terrible. I don't think there are huge numbers of Hawks fans living here, either. Like most Australian cities without an NBL team, it's easier to care about the NBA, so I just don't see this as something that moves the needle.

What do the Hawks and/or the city of Wollongong get out of it? Canberra isn't a bad location to tap into some of the far southern parts of NSW, but is there really enough population there for it to be worth it? They lose genuine home games, making it harder to sell memberships. They have to travel and play in an unfamiliar arena with an apathetic crowd. If the ACT government is throwing money at them, maybe it's worth it. But it doesn't really make sense to me otherwise.

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Two years ago

They are in no position to be picky right now, so anything that may help in any way should be welcome. However, there should be a longer term strategy that should be engaged sooner rather than later. More action, less talk.

Canberra's distance is significant enough that it will become a stumbling block once a certain treshold is reached. Southern Sydney on the other hand is much more viable. There has been several floated ideas about a second Sydney team for a while and the focus has been the western region.

The Kings no doubt will jealously guard their boundaries, but for the league, a viable Hawks franchise is important. Sydney is certainly a large enough city that can afford to share its southern market. No doubt there will be objections from Illawara locals about incorporating their snotty upmarket neighbours but the franchise survivability should supersede such sentiment.

Some form of regional rebranding would be required. South Sydney-Illawara Hawks perhaps? Once the regional connotation is set, marketing into as far north as Menai or Sutherland Shire may rejuvenate attendance & membership. Finding alternate venue slightly further north may become a future objective. Its something to consider & may not alienate existing members as much as other alternatives.

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Two years ago

No, no, and ah, no.

This is not some fledgling team, this is a well established franchise.
The ONLY way forward is to get bums on seats in the Gong.
Sacrificing local support for some token games in Canberra or elsewhere solves nothing.

The really stupid thing about the suggestion is this: If you're going to sell a game, sell it to Perth for half a million, or maybe Melbourne. At least the game would more than pay for itself.

Similarly, if Sydney start pulling really big crowds, and the WEC is too small, they could consider moving their home games against the Kings to a big Sydney venue. (In return for a lot of cash)

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Two years ago

I think this is the model more regional teams should follow. Would make teams more viable to have a larger supporter base split between two cities.

How is a Illawarra Hawks supporter supposed to be engaged with and emotionally invested in a team they see half the time (even if they pay half for a membership)?

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Two years ago

Kind of like St George Illawarra fans are with the Dragons and the 3-5 games a year they play in Wollongong each year.

Better than no games.

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Two years ago

I agree... no no no no NO...

Completely agree with ME and AD... If you want to take games elsewhere, do it in the pre-season... Taking a game away from the already small supporter base to give it to somewhere else, even if they (rightly) charge less for a season membership, will only have a negative result... The Hawks fanbase already have a chip on their shoulder about having less money than the big city teams to spend on players, you seriously want to give their fans less games per season!? No...

Sydney teams have done it in the past and they've played to small crowds from memory that actively cheered against them... Any old Cannons fans are gonna cheer and support a Hawks team? No... It might have been long enough that there could be a lot of new young fans that don't have that Cannons loyalty, but their parents, if basketball fans, would have a history?

I understand that a team needs to consider their options but taking games away from their fanbase isn't the way to do it as they just basically give themselves another Away game and potentially takes away the momentum from any home games success and support... They need to focus on getting more value for money for their fans at their home games...

@ Baller#3 can I ask where you're based? Just because different locations are both "regional" doesn't mean that they can work together and share a team... Crocs and Taipans fans especially...

@ Steve - this can never happen... The Shire is still Sydney and Hobbits really don't even like counting Menai or Engadine as part of the Shire, let alone anything from The Gong and the same would be the case from the southern cousins I would fully expect...

Did he just say wicked? O_o

Can take the boy out of Canberra, but...

Reply #688124 | Report this post

Two years ago

Living in Canberra I would love to see some NBL games in the city but as others have mentioned having a team with no connection to the area is not going to attract healthy crowds. You just have to look at the crowds when the Central Coast Mariners played 2 A-league games here just a couple of seasons ago, tiny crowds in what is arguably a more strongly followed sport. It works for GWS as they have been here from the beginning and probably have as many fans in Canberra as in Sydney, being the 2nd team for a lot of AFL followers in the area. The venue issue is also a major part of it, it's hard to draw people when a game is being played at the equivalent of an American high school gym.

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Two years ago

Problem is no one is rocking up to hawks games already. Don't blame them for looking outside the box and playing a couple of games elsewhere in the season. Might actually get some decent crowds.

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Two years ago

Brisbane Bullets played Melbourne United on the Gold Coast this year. What size was the crowd? Smaller than Bullets games in Brisvegas I recall.

Brisvegas to Gold Coast is an easy drive in about an hour down a 4 lane highway. Trains every half hour etc etc.

Illawarra/ Wollongong to Canberra is a couple of hours or more driving. From Wollongong you need to hike up the mountain via Macquarie Pass. Great pie shop on the way, but not an easy drive. From the Shoalhaven you've got 2 significant climbs up Cambewarra and Barengarry mountains using an historic single lane bridge (or dodging ADF cars on trunk road 92)These roads are great for cycle training, but not easy drives to a "home game". Public transport would be a bus/train ride to Fyshwick. As a result Canberra and the Illawarra/ Wollongong are really worlds apart.

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Two years ago

Some no so happy fans on the Hawks FB page

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Two years ago

Bit of a back track now from the original article I posted.

Pre season games only now. Perhaps once the story got out. MC has done a backflip already?

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Two years ago

I read it as Canberra Basketball has tried to say something was bigger than what it actually is. The fact the original article has no quotes from the Hawks is a telling sign

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Two years ago

The difference with teams like GWS and Suns is that they are young, and struggling to pull crowds/ So taking what they can get, by way of selling games, is not a bad interim move. Plus, in the case of GWS, they can almost sell the lie that they are also Canberra's team. But eventually they must be able to pull decent crowds at home.

As I said, that might work for a new NBL team.
But the Hawks are a long established team. The trade-off just isn't there. They need to reinvigorate their home crowds, not piss off what they already have. And nobody is going to buy an attempt to market them to Canberra.

If it gets to the point where they are so desperate for cash, then at least sell the game to make some money.

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Two years ago

Two Words: Canberra Giants

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Two years ago

How would selling a home game in the NBL work? When Freo bought a home game off the Suns because the Commonwealth Games were on and the Suns had to give up their home ground, Freo lost a ton of cash to host their game. They also only drew 33,000 at the brand new Optus Stadium as members had to buy their seats for this game as it wasnt included in tbeir membership. But thid is the AFL where money flows a lot easier and costs can be absorbed better.

If for example the Wildcats bought a home game off Illawarra, then you'd expect Wildcats members would have to buy their seat for that game as it wouldnt be included in the membership. If that was to happen, I'd doubt they would get anywhwre close to the normal crowds they get as their stadium is usually filled with members and members might want to save their cash and not go.

Then what happens with sponsorship signage - will Perth Arena be branded with Hawks sponsors? I would doubt that but then whats in it for Hawks sponsors who lose exposure with one less game.

Does all revenue that the Cats raised go back to the Hawks? Yes the Cats are wealthy, but I doubt they would be interested in spending such a large amount of cash and the work behind it to make it viable.

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Two years ago

How do you lose money on a 33,000 crowd? LOL

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Two years ago

"How do you lose money on a 33,000 crowd? LOL"

Freo spent a lot of money to buy the rights to host the game for GC. I don't think they were too concerned in making a profit out of it and instead using it to buy themselves an extra 'home' game. I reckon they would have expected a slightly bigger crowd though. The game only pulled 33k and that was with tickets being sold for half the price of a regular eagles or Dockers home game.

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Two years ago

Living in Perth I laugh how everyone here claims how big AFL is yet can't even sell out a 60k stadium ever even for the derby which going by how the locals act is like the biggest thing ever. Clearly not.

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Two years ago

My first thought is yeah Canberra should host the pre-season blitz as that's a fun tournament and we get to see what interest is there.

Secondly and maybe I'm wrong but in the season after next we are expecting two more teams in the NBL and hopefully that means 4 more home games per season, if a struggling club wants to make it that way for a club then thats their choice but their fans won't be spending up big if they feel mistreated.

I'm much happier to hear Hawks going to Canberra rather than the Hawthorn/Tasmania bullshit of a few weeks ago

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Two years ago

Great idea to have the Blitz in Canberra this year. Would really give an indication of how strong the interest is in NBL basketball there. A single Hawks preseason game wouldn't show all that much I would have thought.

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Two years ago

Tassie is close than ever now.

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Two years ago

This is a great move for the Hawks as there is interest in Canberra. Hawks have to try something new to attract supporters and sponsors. There is money in Canberra, but not enough to sustain a full time NBL franchise

Canberra also has a big enough stadium, AIS Arena can hold 4.5k people, lets fill that first before making comments about needing bigger stadiums. It's four games over the course of the season, if it works then the Hawks tap into a profitable market. Canberra has also embraced the GWS Giants, so there is no reason why the Hawks in Canberra wouldn't work. I travel from Canberra to Wollongong to watch the 36ers play, but there is no f(&king way I'd go to Sydney.

Wollongong to Sydney by car is around 90 minutes, Canberra is only an extra hour travelling and an easier drive along the Highway than having to deal with the headaches of Sydney traffic.

Wollongong people also travel, one of the biggest crowds the Canberra Raiders get is against St George with a decent percentage of supporters travelling from the Gong.

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Two years ago

"As a Canberra basketball fan, I don't see the upside to this for us, the Hawks or Wollongong."

Ditto. No sense of being any part of it for Canberra people. They're treated as token fans. Plus it looks like being a mediocre team, so not a drawcard either. And Wollongong fans get their investment watered-down as well. Reeks of desperation to me.

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Two years ago

"Freo lost a ton of cash to host their game"
Not really.
And besides what did you expect???
Obviously its the team giving up the game that gets compensated.

Simple fact is that this works because a Freo game at Cararra is just about the worst attended, they average around 10k, and that's with GC giving away tickets. Move the game to Perth, and you get 3 times that number.

Freo and the Eagles enjoy a phenomenal home ground advantage, and QLD is the longest road-trip, so in a season with 10 (true) home games, adding another one is priceless.

In the case of the NBL, its equally simple. If the Hawks were going to give up a home game, why move it to Canberra where you would struggle to match a home crowd?? At least sell the game for a wad of cash.

If somebody is prepared to hand over the same wad of cash for a Canberra game, fine, but where is the money coming from? BACT don't have the money to waste, and if LK wants to spend the money it would be better spent promoting the league in the Gong.

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