Source: The Mercury, 8 September, 1992


TFL final crowds alarm


Fans urged to back local football games

By David Stockdale

The general manager of the TFL, Mr Barry Breen, yesterday 
called on Tasmanian fans to start supporting local football and 
stop knocking it. 

His call came as figure s showed a continued alarming drop in TFL finals 
attendances this season - the four finals in the past two weeks have 
attracted fewer than half the numbers of four years ago. 

Mr Breen saw what he regarded as a very good game of football at York 
Park on Saturday and said yesterday that "the standard of football in the 
statewide league finals so far has been excellent". 

"The second semi-final I saw 
between North Launceston and 
North Hobart on Saturday was 
one of the best games I've seen in 
years," he said. 

His comments follow an alarm- 
ing drop in attendances since 
1989 which threatens the con- 
tinuation of statewide football in 
its present form for next year. 

Not even the finals series, 
which normally helps rescue the 
league in the event of a wet and 
cold winter minor round .such as 
this year, has made any differ- 
ence. 

A total of only 10,788 people 
went to see the first four finals, 
compared with 23,422 three 
years ago-a drop of more than 
half. 

"Tasmanian football suffers 
from an unwarranted inferiority 
complex and just because it's 
small doesn't mean it's not good," 
Mr Breen said. 

' Okay, so it's not AFL football, 
but it is a very good standard and
 that's why so many Tasmanians 
end up being drafted to AFL 
clubs and performing very well. 

"Look at how Jason Taylor 
made the reigning premiers' side 
at Hawthorn and how Daryn 
Cresswell, Andrew Dunkley and 
Paul Atkins made the Sydney 
Swans' seniors in a matter of 
weeks after leaving the TFL 
mid-season ." 

Besides people's negative atti- 
tude, he thinks the saturation of 
AFL football coming into-Tas- 
mania on TV and the ravages of 
the recession were other con- 
tributing factors to the big fall-
off in crowds. 

"We've reduced our finals 
prices this year across the board 
for adults, kids and families," Mr 
Breen said. 

"No-one can tell me that $10 to 
see three games on grand final 
day doesn't represent good value 
when compared with what you 
have to pay to go to the 
movies or a concert. 

"I admit there isn't a 
concession for students 
over 16, but that's some-
thing we intend to rectify 
for the preliminary final
and the grand final." 

He believed the 
league's decision to let 
ABC-TV televise live
statewide all finals up to 
the grand final hadn't 
had a significant effect 
on crowds. 

"Maybe it's taken a 
few hundred off at-
tendances, but that's 
about all," Mr Breen 
said. 

The TFL will explore a
range of options at its 
end-of-season meeting to
help win back crowds 
next season.


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