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Bulldogs (rugby league club) identity issues


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#21 Caveman

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 03:31 PM

That is great about Canterbury playing back at Belmore for those two games.

 

  Yet sadly the only way we could play home games back here for the 4 Premiership Points would be to call in the bulldozers, have them level both the John Gent and E.J. Whitten Stands and the other structures there in the vicinity of the Teddy Whitten statue and re-allign Cross Street AND the train line by placing them into an underground tunnel. 

 

It could be theoretically done -Liverpool football club in England over time purchased some houses at the back of their Anfield ground and demolished them, to enable them to build a big super Grandstand. Another example in England is Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, they are turning their ground around after demolishing nearby structures- this will enable their finished product (White Hart Lane) to have it's ground capacity increased from 38,000 to 61,000. However although NOT impossible it is highly improbable.

 

We could do this if we bought homes in Hocking Street and thus made the playing arena move back in a westerly direction (the Gordon Street wing is too narrow) plus the residents have gone 20 years without a full season of senior football played there. Yet the cost would be enormous- the money would have to come from an ultra wealthy benefactor. We know that President Peter Gordon has a few bob and he has contributed to the club, but this would require a mega millionaire to fund this. The local council (Maribyrnong Council) wouldn't have the resources to get involved in a project of this magnitude.  



#22 Mr Canterbury

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 12:56 PM

Hi Caveman

Based on my very brief time with you at Whitten Oval in November 2015, I agree with your analysis. It seemed to me that (at best) the present capacity of your ground due to “improvements” is 10,000 and the Footscray / Western Bulldogs club would need a lot more capacity than that (crowds in Melbourne for AFL are on average considerably bigger than those in Sydney for the NRL) to host an AFL game there.

As regards Canterbury, due to “improvements” the ground capacity at Belmore Sports Ground has been reduced from 25,000 to 19,000 in recent years. Well, OK Belmore Sports Ground could probably fit in 20,000 in its present state, just like it could fit in 27,804 (the ground record at a match in 1993) despite its then “25,000 capacity” but would be  uncomfortable for some spectators. I was there at the 27,804 record attendance when Canterbury-Bankstown beat Parramatta 42-6 in 1993 and it was shall we say “difficult conditions” for people like myself who were on the hill (but a terrific atmosphere!).

Much like your comments about Whitten Oval / Western Oval, Canterbury-Bankstown could theoretically increase the ground capacity at Belmore by buying a lot of houses at the Southern end of the ground (and then build a grandstand there) and/or build a grandstand at the northern end (building a grandstand over the railway line which I imagine would involve engineering difficulties). The cost would be large (although considerably less than what would be required for the Whitten Oval), but it would be theoretically possible (although improbable) for this to occur.

Still, having 2 NRL games at the club's spiritual Belmore home each year is at least something (although due to limited crowd capacity these 2 games would need to be either against teams who have a low supporter base in Sydney such as Nth Qld, Melbourne, Canberra etc or who are performing badly).



#23 Mr Canterbury

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Posted 28 November 2016 - 08:16 PM

Yet sadly the only way we could play home games back here for the 4 Premiership Points would be to call in the bulldozers, have them level both the John Gent and E.J. Whitten Stands and the other structures there in the vicinity of the Teddy Whitten statue and re-allign Cross Street AND the train line by placing them into an underground tunnel.......................................................................(SNIP)........................................................................We could do this if we bought homes in Hocking Street and thus made the playing arena move back in a westerly direction...........................................(SNIP)..............................................Yet the cost would be enormous - THE MONEY WOULD HAVE TO COME FROM AN ULTRA WEALTHY BENEFACTOR. We know that President Peter Gordon has a few bob and he has contributed to the club, BUT THIS WOULD REQUIRE A MEGA MILLIONAIRE TO FUND THIS...............

 

The Western Bulldogs / Footscray club already has a potential ultra wealthy benefactor – your former club President DAVID SMORGON (and Smorgon family multi-millions of $$$ - about $2.7 BILLION according to BRW article I read on the internet!).

 

Who knows, at this very moment David Smorgon may be realising the absurdity of looking at the list of premiership winners and seeing "Footscray 1954" and "Western Bulldogs 2016" (for what is supposedly the same club!) and have a guilty conscience about his role in renaming the club to Western Bulldogs and to “atone” himself decide he needs to get Western Oval up to scratch to hold AFL games there (and use his influence to get rid of the Western Bulldogs name)?!?!?!

 

Surely David Smorgon (and the Smorgon family) could easily afford to spend many millions of $$$ to bring the Western Oval up to AFL standard without affecting the Smorgons’ luxurious lifestyle!



#24 Caveman

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 10:19 PM

Your spot on Mr Canterbury about the previous President being quite well off. Yet I assume that there is no guilt about changing the name- he was all for it and has nothing but contempt for Footscray the suburb.

 

Probably a good similar hypothetical example would be some mega rich bloke from the west end of London, becoming President of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and upon taking over changes their name to the Northern Spurs - because Tottenham supposedly has a bad name and they need to get out of Tottenham and just go by the word Spurs all the time. So Jimmy Greaves is now on remembered as a Spurs Legend not a Tottenham Legend- the word Tottenham disappears by stealth.

 

Yet when they win the League- which they have not done since .....1961....... yes THAT year- everyone goes back to their White Hart Lane Ground, (but it will take 20 years after they change their name) on the Sunday to celebrate despite the fact that they have been playing their home games at Wembley or Arsenal's or Chelsea's ground for 20 years) So they go back to "The Spurs" where people buy merchandise that says - "Northern Spurs - Premier League Champions 2036-2037" and they start singing their song -

 

"Glory Glory The Northern Spurs"

 

and in keeping with the tradition of treating their spiritual name as invisible some of the older fans start singing the old Chas and Dave song- Ossie's Dream about the Argentinian import Ossie Ardiles and the 1981 F.A Cup Final and they change a few words so its like this -

 

Spurs are on the way to Wembley

Northern's gonna to do it again

They can't stop them

The Boys from Northern

The Boys from White Hart Lane

 

Yet we have to be realistic about looking at other men /women that might have a few bob that would be prepared to tip in for such a project. If I could ever would win one of those American lotteries-  I would do it and I am sure that a few other Footscray fans would too if they ever come into the amazing amount of money that some people have.



#25 Mr Canterbury

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 02:21 PM

Just as in 2015 and 2016, Canterbury-Bankstown played 2 games at their true home ground of Belmore in 2017. They were on 3 March (a 12-6 loss to Melbourne) and 9 July (a 20-18 win over Newcastle).

I had nothing to do on the afternoon of 9 July, so I made a spontaneous decision to attend by myself the Canterbury-Bankstown versus Newcastle match at Belmore. I got to the ground and was a bit shocked to discover the cost (the last time I attended an NRL match was in 2012), considering that rugby league is supposed to be a game of the working class! Prices for an adult ranged between $40 (general admission) to $60 (a reserved grandstand seat), with an intermediate option of $50 for a reserved seat in front of the grandstand. Out of interest, how do these adult entry prices compare with AFL games?

I decided to “treat myself” to a $60 grandstand seat, seeing that it was 1994 since I last saw a Canterbury-Bankstown match at Belmore. Some things had changed since then, the main thing being that the “Tin Shed” at the southern end of the ground had been removed (is now an uncovered spectator area). Also different was no spectator access to the northern (railway) end of the ground and some of the seating area in the north-west corner had been removed, affecting the ground capacity. The crowd of 13,103 was reasonable considering both teams are not doing well (Canterbury coming 13th and Newcastle last).

Rather strange was the start time of 4pm (traditionally Sunday games have started at 3pm). This had the interesting effect that the first half was played in daylight and the second half under lights! A rugby league day-night game!

As the 20-18 result would indicate, the match could have gone either way (both sides missed opportunities during the game). However, with Canterbury down 18-8 with about 5 minutes left to play (by which time a lot of “unpatriotic” Canterbury-Bankstown supporters had left the ground) the Bulldogs made a barnstorming finish with 2 converted tries and won 20-18, which made for a good crowd atmosphere during the last 5 minutes.

The crowd was allowed on the field after the game (which is not standard practice for NRL games). An error was made by the ground officials by allowing fans onto the field after the full time siren but before the players had left the field (an announcement was made to this effect, but by then it was too late). This had the effect for me of going back in time to the 1970’s when as a boy I got a thrill when fans could run onto the field after the full-time siren and pat the players on their back (I took the opportunity to relive my boyhood and did this in 2017!).

All in all a pleasant experience, but in monetary terms I think $60 was too much to pay for the experience. Still, I have no complaints, as it was good for me to see a Bulldogs game at Belmore after a 23 year absence and I enjoyed myself.



#26 Caveman

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 10:55 AM

That is a hefty price to pay there Mr Canterbury- $40 at the minimum just to walk into the place. As for the $60 that is pushing it to a new level. For either of the games played today in Melbourne, it is $25 for a General Admission but where you sit for a reserved seat costs more. The St Kilda v West game today at Docklands- you may as well just pay your general admission into the place and sit up on level 3. Level 2 at Docklands is the expensive part of the stadium.Though at the MCG today for The Tigers v Hawthorn a seat on Level 2 will cost you $73, so it is expensive these days to go to the football wherever in Australia and whatever code too if you want to sit down.

 

Looks like you got the rough end that day against Newcastle. 4 pm is terrible time- Saturday at least not Sunday is your only saving grace with the time. As for tin sheds- Footscray had one years ago- it was called the COWSHED, behind the goals at the Barkly Street end. It was demolished/removed back in the mid 1960's, before I was alive. Tin roofs improve the noise, sad they are gone all for progress we are told. 

 

That was good that the fans come on before they should have. Players hang around for far too long on the ground after the game has ended, sharing joviality and laughs with their opponents who they were probably sledging with for the previous 2 hours. If you followed the losing team, this grates me no end- I went them to get off as quick as possible,

 

Too expensive as you say its a working class game (cough cough) not the ballet or opera but maybe not any more.  Home sweet Home but your pocked was ransacked for it all.






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