Netball Leadership Considers Move To Bigger Stadiums As Attendance Booms
With netball drawing bigger crowds than some National Rugby League games, administrators "are considering moving matches to bigger stadiums and changing the structure to keep more teams in contention for the finals," according to John Stensholt of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The moves, also designed to be more friendly for broadcasters, "come as the sport's flagship competition, the ANZ Championship, enters its final stages." Crowds across the 10-team competition "are up about 8 per cent compared with the 2013 season and television ratings have increased about 15 per cent." Trans-Tasman netball league GM Andy Crook said that the Australian teams "need to take more matches to larger stadiums." He said, "In order for us to keep growth and for the sport to go to the next level, we need to move to those bigger venues." Netball Australia and its New Zealand counterparts "are also negotiating a new broadcast deal with the contract incumbents SBS, Fox Sports Australia and Sky Sport in New Zealand." Crook "hoped a new deal could be signed within about two months, with next year's Netball World Cup in Sydney also part of the contract" (SMH, 6/11).