billsportsmaps.com

June 22, 2015

Map and chart of supporter-owned football clubs in the English football league system [England & Wales] (37 clubs as of 28 June, 2015) / Plus illustrations for Portsmouth FC (highest-drawing supporter-owned club), and FC United of Manchester (new stadium which opened 29 May 2015).

Filed under: >2015-16 English football,Eng. Supporter-owned Clubs — admin @ 7:11 pm


england_june-2015_map-of-supporter-owned_football-clubs_37-clubs_h_.gif
Map and chart of supporter-owned football clubs in the English football league system [England & Wales] (36 clubs as of June, 2015)




By Bill Turianski on 22 June 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

Primary sources for the map and chart:
1).Category:Fan-owned English League football clubs (en.wikipedia.org).
2).List of fan-owned sports teams/England (en.wikipedia.org).

This map with charts, and this post, features the 37 supporter-owned clubs in the English football pyramid [as of 28 June 2015]. There will be no further updates of this map (for further updates of new Supporter-owned clubs in England & Wales after July 2015, see links below).

Criteria for being called supporter-owned:
For the purposes of this map and post, the definition of supporter-owned club is as follows…
Supporter-owned clubs in England & Wales with majority ownership, with either:
1). a majority of seats on the Board (such as in the case of 7th-level-club Chesham United),
2). or being a club which is 50%-to-100% supporter-owned (ie, 35 of the 36 clubs on this map and post),
3). or being a club whose ground is supporter-owned (which is what Wycombe Wanderers’ supporters trust, who currently still own the club, intend to do).

[Please note: Clubs like 5th-division-club Lincoln City (25%-owned by the LCFC Supporters' Trust), or like Premier League club Swansea City (21%-owned by the SCAFC Supporters' Trust/ see this) or like 6th-level-club Cambridge City (10% supporter-owned) are not shown on the map.]

Generally speaking, Supporter-owned clubs in England & Wales fall into 3 categories:
1). Supporter-buyout clubs,
(17 clubs / those 17 clubs’ crests can be seen at top of map page just below the sky-blue-lined icon).
2). Phoenix-clubs
(15 clubs / those 15 clubs’ crests can be seen at top of map page just below the ash-grey-lined icon).
3). Protest clubs
(5 clubs / those 5 clubs’ crests can be seen at top of map page just below the blood-red-lined box-icon).

The vast majority of clubs who are on the map here are clubs that came to be supporter-owned via a financial crisis at the club (such as with 4th-division clubs Exeter City and Portsmouth, among many others). Or, the financial crisis at the original club caused the club to become liquidated, and that club was then replaced – by supporters – with a Phoenix-club (such as with Telford Utd, and with Chester, and with Darlington, and with Rushden & Diamonds, among many others). Or because of supporter outrage (such as with 5 clubs…Enfield Town, AFC Liverpool, FC United of Manchester, 1874 Northwich, and AFC Wimbledon).

But there looks to be a new trend of clubs who became supporter-owned not through crisis, but because enough supporters were able to accomplish the takeover. Specifically, 5th division/Conference club Wrexham of North Wales, who were taken over by their supporters’ trust in December 2011. Two years later, the club became debt-free {see this, ‘Wrexham: Club now debt free under fan ownership‘ (supporters-direct.org); and see this, ‘AGM – Press Report‘ (wrexhamafc.co.uk)}.

When I first covered the subject of supporter-owned clubs in Britain – in the early autumn of 2011 – there were 20 supporter-owned clubs in the English football pyramid. Now, just under four years later, there are 37 supporter-owned clubs (4 of which are in the Football League, and 9 of which draw over 1 thousand per game). There is no doubt at all that this trend will continue and that there will be more clubs that become Supporter-owned. And there are many other clubs that have partial ownership by supporters.

    Portsmouth FC – the highest-drawing supporter-owned club in England

Portsmouth’s 2014-15 avg. attendance: 15,242 per game {from home league matches}.
Portsmouth became the largest supporter-owned club in England, after the Pompey Supporters Trust successfully gained possession of Fratton Park in April 2013. After finding themselves drawn into the 13/14 League Two relegation battle, Portsmouth went undefeated in their last 6 matches (winning 4), and finished in 13th place. Previously, Portsmouth had suffered their third relegation in 4 seasons following a 7-year-spell in the Premier League, where they had finished as high as 8th place in 2007-08 and won the FA Cup that same season. Due to automatic points deductions while being in administration, a cash-strapped Portsmouth had suffered back-to-back relegations in 2012 and 2013 during the messy and protracted supporters-trust-takeover-battle. It looked like yet another relegation loomed until academy director Andy Awford stepped back in the caretaker-manager’s role in late March 2014, and shook up the squad. Awford was appointed full-time manager in May 2014 [but left in April 2015]. Pompey underachieved again in 2014-15, finishing only 16th; but their 15 thousand per game crowds continue to top the 4th division, and the south-coast club continues to be the highest-drawing Supporter-owned club in the UK, by a considerable margin. Ex-Chesterfield manager Paul Cook, who got the Spireites promoted to the 3rd division in May 2014 (and led the team to a 6th-place/play-off finish in 14/15), took over the reins as Portsmouth’s new manager in June 2015.

portsmouth-fc_highest-drawing-supporter-owned-club_england_15k-in-2013-14_b_.gif
Photo credits above -
Aerial photo, unattributed at
pompeychimes.webs.com/frattonpark.
Exterior photo, by PA via telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/portsmouth.
Fratton End fans’ TIFO/team huddle photo, from pompeytrust.com.
-PFC League history data from: portsmouth-mad.co.uk/league_history/portsmouth.

    FC United of Manchester – a supporter-owned club that has built their own stadium

Updates
1). FC United win promotion to the Conference North !… FC United of Manchester win promotion to Conference North
• Fourth promotion in 10-year history of breakaway club
• Manager Karl Marginson: ‘The Football League is possible
(from theguardian.com/football on 21 April 2015).

-FC UNITED PROMOTION WIN 2015 BBC COVERAGE (2:12 video at youtube.com uploaded by MattMCR).

2). The stadium FC United are building in Moston [3 mi NE of Manchester city center], the Broadhurst Park, had seen its completion delayed by almost a year, but it is now [May 2015] completed, as can be seen in the photos at the following link…richardsearle.smugmug.com/Moston-the-Build-2014/1st-May-Broadhurst-Park/ (richardsearle.smugmug.com).

Further update (2 June 2015)…New stadium photos at the opening of Broadhurst Park (a friendly versus SL Benfica on 29 May 2015)…from Guardian.com/footballl, from 1 June 2015, by Guardian readers and Tom Stevens, Open for business: readers’ FC United of Manchester photos.

FC United of Manchester and their new home, Broadhurst Park…
FC United of Manchester, aka FC United, were a 7th level/Northern Premier League club [and now are a 6th-divsion club] that has been supporter-owned since the club’s formation in 2005. They have just moved in to their own stadium, Broadhurst Park, in Moston, Manchester, about 3 miles (5 km) north-east of Manchester city center. Construction began in November 2013. Capacity will be 4,400 (672 seated). FCUM had been averaging around 2 K per game (2,155 per game in 2014-15), which is over 1.8 K higher than the median-average of the Northern Premier (its median crowd-size for 14/15 was 314; figures here, nonleaguematters.co.uk/divisions/[Northern Prem]).

FC United of Manchester were of course formed by disaffected Manchester United fans in the wake of the widespread anger at the Glazers’ debt-leveraged takeover of Manchester United in May 2005. They entered the English football leagues pyramid at the 10th level in 2005-06, and won promotion three consecutive seasons. But then, FC United became stuck in the Northerm Premier League for 6 seasons. FC United lost in the Northern Prem playoffs for four straight seasons (including playoffs finals losses in 10/11 to Colwyn Bay, in 11/12 to Bradford Park Avenue, and in 12/13 to Hednesford Town). But the light is at the end of the tunnel now for FC United. They have finally won another promotion (their fourth), after a six-year delay. And simultaneously, their quest to secure their own ground has been accomplished – and accomplished with flying colours, because Broadhurst Park is simply a jewel.

Once FC United finally move into their new ground and start their first season in the sixth tier, the club will almost certainly see an increase in attendances more towards the 2 K to 3 K crowd sizes (and beyond) which they were getting in their first 2 seasons. {FCUM league & cup history+attendances, here}, and hopefully it will propel them up the football pyramid further.

FC United’s manager is the Manchester-born Karl Marginson, who was a MF with Rotherham (as well as with several Non-League clubs). Marginson, who is 44 years old, has been managing the squad since Day 1 (2005). With their new, supporter-owned ground, FC United will probably find it easier to resume their advance up the English football pyramid. As their gaffer says, reaching the Football League (which requires 2 more promotions) is an attainable goal for the club.

fc-united-of-manchester_new-stadium_being-built_broadhurst-park_2014_c_.gif
fc-united-of-manchester_broadhurst-park_opening_friendly-v_sl-benfica_may2015_c_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
1st photo, unattributed at fcunited.ru/news. 2nd photo, by Sean Wilton at manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/fc-united-ground-moston-begins. 3rd photo, unattributed at skyscrapercity.com [thread: MANCHESTER |New FC United of Manchester Stadium Broadhurst Park. Architect's rendering, unattributed at fcunited.ren/broadhurst_park. 4th photo, aerial-view of stadium build circa fall 2014, photo by Airviews Photography via bbc.com/news. 5th photo, exterior photo of new stadium - Broadhurst Park - on its opening (friendly v. SL Benfica on 25 May 2015), photo by Matthew O’Dowd/GuardianWitness via guardian.com/football . 6th photo, of FCUM fans in Broadhuest Park stands, with banner reading: ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’, photo by Ian Hodgson via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-FC-United-Manchester-0-1-Benfica-B-Diogo-Goncalves-bags-winner-hosts-enjoy-proper-match.
___
Thanks to all at the following…
-Thanks to the contributors to the following page at en.wikipedia.org, especially a Gigantic Thank You to Neil from Tasmania, who is a Wikipedia editor [and a club-member of the supporter-owned club AFC Rushden & Diamonds]…Neil was a big help in getting the list of supporter-owned clubs (as it would pertain to this map) organized, as well as general details about the many clubs on the map – ‘Category:Fan-owned English League football clubs‘ (en.wikipedia.org); Neil also re-edited and organized, into the three categories (Supporter-buyout clubs; Phoenix-clubs; Protest-clubs) the list of Supporter-owned clubs of England, at List of fan-owned sports teams/England (en.wikipedia.org).

-Thanks to Non-League Matters.co.uk, for the hard-to-get attendance figures in (most) lower-level leagues below the 6th level in Non-League football.
-Thanks to the always-reliable and very comprehensive European-Football-Statistics.co.uk site…I got the 2014-15 attendance figures of the 4 Supporter-owned Football League clubs from there, {here}. [Note: E-F-S site also has Non-League attendances/ see top-right-hand, there, after you click on 'England'.]

Thanks to Supporters Direct for existing.

June 15, 2015

England: 2015-16 League Two [4th division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed.

2015-16_football-league-two_map_crowd-sizes_seasons-in-1st-div_titles_post_f_.gif
England: 2015-16 League Two [4th division], location-map with 14/15 attendances




Links…
Teams…2015–16 Football League Two (en.wikipedia.org).
Football League Two page at BBC.com.
[more links to follow as season approaches...]

    England: 2015-16 League Two [4th division], location-map with 14/15 attendances, all-time seasons in 1st division + major titles listed

By Bill Turianski on 15 June 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

New template for English Football League & Premier League maps, for the category ’2015-16 English Football’…
Map…
The map is a basic location-map which includes the traditional counties of England and Wales, and I have also listed the 9 largest metro-areas which emanate from a single city (London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield, Nottingham, Bristol). I have included regional names like the East and West Midlands, East Anglia, the West Country, the Black Country, etc. There is also an enlarged inset map of Greater London, at the lower-right-center of the map page. I have included a few extra details for the Greater London inset map – the City of London’s small confines are noted, as are the locations of the following: Regent’s Park; Hyde Park, Parliament [Westminster]; Wembley Stadium; the Royal Observatory, Greenwich [home of 0 degrees longitude (the Prime Meridian), and Greenwich Mean Time]; and the Dartford Crossing. (The Dartford Crossing is a vital and heavily-traveled dual-tunnel/bridge crossing located on the River Thames just east of Greater London, which connects Dartford, Kent to Thurrock, Essex, and is the only fixed-road crossing of the Thames east of Greater London; the busiest estuarial crossing in the UK, it services around 130,000 vehicles daily). The three largest municipalities adjacent to Greater London are also noted (Watford in Hertfordshire, the Medway Towns [incl. Gillingham] in Kent, and Slough in Berkshire).
Chart…
As for the chart, that will always be on the right-hand-side of the map page. The chart template is a bit different from ones I have used in the past. For the first time, I have included the last two seasons of league placement data – for all the clubs in the league – as well as the last two seasons of attendance data. Basically, the chart shows, from left to right, the following seven items…
1). light-grey column…league placement and average home attendance from 2 years ago (2013-14 season);
2). Club name/crest;
3). darker-grey column…league placement and average home attendance from last season (2014-15 season);
4). change in home average crowd size (2014-15 avg attendance subtracted from 2013-14 avg attendance);
5). percent-capacity (avg attendance figure divided by stadium capacity);
6). blue column…all-time seasons spent in the English first division (with date of last 1st div appearance listed);
7). major domestic titles listed…English titles [aka Football League First Division titles to 1992/Premier League titles], FA Cup titles, League Cup titles (with dates of last titles listed).
___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Attendance, at soccerway.com, us.soccerway.com/national/england/league-two/20142015/regular-season/r25245.
One crest on the map is partially from a photo [Leyton Orient crest], at leytonorient.com/news/article/new-kit-290714-1789322.aspx.

June 8, 2015

England, second division rugby league, 2015 RFL Championship (aka Kingstone Press Championship): location-map with all-time English RL titles list; plus a preview of the new Super 8s promotion/relegation play-off mini-league.

Filed under: Rugby,Rugby>England — admin @ 5:12 am

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English RL 2nd div map 2015





Links…
-New competition structure explained, rugbyleaguechampionships.co.uk/['2015 - A New Era'] [from the Official site].
-Teams, etc…2015 RFL Championship (en.wikipedia.org).
-Fixtures, results, table(s), etc…rugbyleaguechampionships.co.uk/match_day/fixtures [Official site].
-BBC.com’s rugby league page/results (which includes 2nd div RL attendance figures for most matches), bbc.com/sport/rugby-league/championship/results.
-A good RL site is Total RL.com, and here is their page on 2nd division English RL…totalrl.com/category/kingstone-press-championship.
-Another good RL site is Love Rugby League, and here is their page on 2nd division English RL…loverugbyleague.com/championship.
-My most-recent map & post on 1st division English RL (from Feb. 2015),
Rugby League: 2015 Super League XX location-map, with all-time English RL titles list & attendance figures from 2014./ Plus a season-preview article on 2015 Super League XX, written by James Nalton./ Plus illustrations of the 4 semifinalists from last season, including 2014 champions St Helens RLFC (billsportsmaps.com).

    England, second division rugby league, 2015 RFL Championship (aka Kingstone Press Championship): location-map with all-time English RL titles list; plus a preview of the new Super 8s promotion/relegation play-off mini-league

By Bill Turianski on 8 June 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
The 12-team second division in rugby league in the United Kingdom, called the Kingstone Press Championship for sponsorship reasons, is pro/semi-pro; attendances range in the ~500-to-2.5-K-per-game range, with an average crowd size of around 1.2 K or so. (Last years’ average crowd figure is unavailable, however 2 years ago in 2013 the average crowd size was 1,199 {see this}.)

The 1st division in English RL draws similar crowd-sizes to the 3rd division in English football;
while the 2nd division in English RL draws similar crowd-sizes to the 5th division in English football…

A convenient way of getting a picture of what crowd-sizes tend to be in the top two tiers of English rugby league is to compare it to English football attendances within the English football pyramid. So, from current and recent figures (from 2013, 2014, 2014-15)…the 1st division in English rugby league (Super League) is akin to Football League One [the 3rd division] in terms of crowd-size (~7-to-9-K per game range of league averages); while the 2nd division in English rugby league is akin to the Non-League football Conference National [the 5th division] in terms of crowd-size (~1.1-K-to-1.9 K per game range of league averages). (Figures {& sources}: 2014 Super League avg total attendance: 8,153 {source} versus 2014-15 Football League One avg total attendance: 7,043 {source} ; 2013 RFL Championship avg total attendance: 1,199 {source} versus 2014-15 5th div Non-League football avg total attendance: 1,855 per game {source}.)

There are some recent exceptions, such as the 7.4 K that Leigh Centurions drew on the 2015 season opener (versus newly-relegated Bradford Bulls). [Bradford Bulls probably had well over 1 K traveling fans cross the Pennines to attend; the distance between Leigh in western Greater Manchester and Bradford in West Yorkshire is 73 km (or 45 mi) by road.] It just so happens that there is an excellent write-up (with gallery of photos) from that match (which Leigh won 36-24), at the awesome site known as The Onion Bag – Travels around Non League Football & Rugby League Grounds…
Leigh Centurions – Sunday 15th February 2015. Kingstone Press Championship. Leigh Centurions 36 Bradford Bulls 24. Atten 7499 (onion-bag.blogspot.co.uk).

Attendances will almost certainly increase in the English RL 2nd division this year, because of the re-introduction of promotion/relegation into the format…
[Note: very first link at the top of this post has the official site's page on the new format, again, here.}
Basically, the new format, which has re-introduced promotion/relegation, will see some 2nd division matches with attendance increases, especially come August and September 2015, after the 23rd game, once the season morphs into the Super 8s, when the top four 2nd division clubs get re-grouped with the bottom 4 Super League clubs. Those 8 teams then fight it out in what is essentially a 7-match round-robin mini-league...with the 4 best from that set-up earning the right to play in the 1st division in 2016 (Super League XXI), and with the 4 worst from that set-up being placed in the 2nd division for 2016.

{For a more detailed description, see this excerpt from Wikipedia, ..."Following the split into the Super 8's, the top four teams in the Championship 2015 will join the bottom four teams of the Super League 2015 in "The Qualifiers". This group will see each team play each other once each, totaling seven extra games, with points reset to zero for the qualifiers. After 7 extra rounds the top 3 teams will earn a place in the Super League competition for 2016, thus either retaining or earning a place in the top competition. The teams finishing 4th and 5th in the qualifiers will play off in an extra fixture, at the home of 4th, for the final place in the 2016 Super League competition. The loser of this fixture, along with teams finishing 6th, 7th, and 8th in the qualifiers will either remain or be relegated and will play in the Championship in the 2016 season."...{end of excerpt from 2015 RFL Championship at en.wikipedia.org}.

In other words, with the new RL set-up in England, as many as 4 but as few as zero 2nd division clubs can gain promotion to the top flight.

Below: Leigh Centurions, who sit first in the second tier as of 6 June 2015...
leigh-centurions-r-l-c_leigh-sports-village_2015_a_.gif
Photo credits above -
Aerial photo of Leigh Sports Village by Leigh Centurions RLFC, at leighcenturions.com/club/contact.
Action photo from 15 Feb. 2015 (Leigh 36, Bradford 24), photo by Onion-Bag.blogspot.com at onion-bag.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/leigh-centurions.html; and at onion-bag.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/leigh-centurions.html.

So, come mid-August, who will be in the 2015 Super 8s promotion/relegation mini-league?
...Note: below is a brief look at the tables from 8 June 2015 (or after about three-quarters of the regular seasons have been played [~15 to 17 games-played per team])…
2nd div teams…
-{Here is the RL 2nd div/Championship table (bbc.com)}.
Two-time national RL champions Leigh Centurions and 6-time-champions the Bradford Bulls sit even on 28 points (14-1/ with Leigh having a better points-difference of 365 [v 360 p-d for Bradford]). Leigh were undefeated prior to their surprise loss on 7 June away to London Broncos. Some observers feel Leigh look like the best of the second tier by a considerable margin, but meanwhile, Bradford’s’ objective of bouncing straight back to Super League remains on-course. Leigh and Bradford are now virtual locks to make it to the Super 8s round. As to the other two teams who will qualify for the promotion/relegation/ mini-league, it is starting to look like the 3rd spot will go to the Sheffield Eagles, with the fourth spot being a toss-up between the Dewsbury Rams, Halifax RLFC, and Featherstone Rovers, with London Broncos now looking to also have a chance of squeaking in. The London Broncos (aka the formerly-worst-drawing 1st div English RL club) are now poised to move up the table, because they play hapless and winless Doncaster RLFC next Sunday the 14th of June.

1st div teams…
-{Here is the RL 1st div/Super League table}
(Leeds Rhinos lead the table at 12-1-4 with St Helens and Wigan 1 and 2 points behind respectively.}

As far as which 4 basement dwellers from the 2015 top tier will join the top 4 of the second tier, well, if you look at the current Super League table, you will see that the now-lowest-drawing 1st div English RL club, the Wakefield Wildcats (who drew ~4.3 K per game in 2014) look to have all but guaranteed that they will be fighting for their top-tier existence in the Super 8s come August and September. Wakefield have just 2 wins after 16 games, and are 14 points from safety. The other 3 that will be joining Wakefield in the promotion/relegation Super 8s is still very uncertain, but if the season were to end today, it would be: Salford, Hull KR, and Widnes. However, 5 more clubs are not by any means safe yet (Catalans, Hull FC, Castleford, Warrington, Huddersfield).

The 2nd Division in English RL is currently comprised of the following…
Currently [2015 regular season/Feb-to-July], of the 12 teams in the RL 2nd division in the UK, 11 are from the north of the England, with the exception being the London Broncos (whom were relegated in 2014, along with Bradford Bulls). So, just like in the first division in RL in the UK (Super League), the second tier is currently is comprised almost completely of rugby league clubs from the historical ceremonial counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire, but also in the second tier currently there are two clubs from Cumbria in the far northwest of England (Workington Town and Whitehaven), and as recently as 2014 there was representation from the north of Wales (the North Wales Crusaders, who were relegated to the 3rd division last year [2014]).

In 1895, a split in Rugby football created the two codes…
History of rugby league/The schism in England (en.wikipedia.org).
In 1895, a split in Rugby football created the two codes (pro Rugby League to the North / amateur Rugby Union to the South). This resulted in the formation of the Northern Rugby Football Union, which was of course the precursor to Super League rugby (est. 1996), in particular, and was also the precursor of all Rugby League leagues in general.

The list below shows which of the 22 founding Rugby League clubs who formed the NRFU (for the 1895-96 season) are currently in the 2nd Division as of 2015 (5 clubs)…
Batley RLFC (est.1880).
Bradford FC * (est. 1863/ re-est. 1907 as Bradford Northern RLFC/see note below).
Halifax RLFC (est. 1873).
Hunslet RLFC (est. 1883).
Leigh RFC (est. 1878).
*Note:
*Bradford FC played rugby (and later on by 1879 also played cricket) in the 1863 to 1906 time period. In 1907 the club was split in 2 branches:
1). An association football club, Bradford Park Avenue AFC.
2). A rugby league club, Bradford Northern, which joined the 1907-08 Northern Rugby Football Union (their name was later changed to Bradford Bulls RLFC, in 1996.)

Title-winning clubs currently in the RL second division...
[Source for the list below, Rugby Football League Championship/League Leaders and Champions; Super League/Super League Champions (en.wikipedia.org).]

7 of the 12 clubs currently in the RL second division have won national English RL titles:
Bradford Northern/Bulls (with 6 titles, last in 2005),
Halifax RLFC (with 4 titles, last in 1985-86),
Leigh Centurions (with 2 titles, last in 1981-82),
Hunslet Hawks (with 2 titles, last in 1937-38),
Featherstone Rovers (with 1 title in 1976-77),
Workington Town RLFC (with 1 title in 1950-51),
Batley Bulldogs (with 1 title in 1923-24).
___
Thanks to the contributors at 2015 RFL Championship (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to D-maps.com, for blank map of the UK, http://d-maps.com/pays.php?num_pay=218&lang=en.

May 29, 2015

Brazil, 2015 Brasileiro location map: w/ 2014 attendance, 2015 teams-by-state, all-time titles-by-state & titles by club./ With editorial: Brazil basically deserved to be humiliated by Germany (7-1), because Brazilian football is a goon-show run by corrupt clowns.

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Brazil — admin @ 8:49 pm

brazil_brasileiro-2015_map_campeonato-serie-a_2014-attendance_2015-teams-by-state_brasileiro-titles-list_post_h_.gif
2015 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A location map



Links…
-Teams…2015 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.
-Tabela…http://globoesporte.globo.com/futebol/brasileirao-serie-a/.
-Scores, fixtures, table… http://www.flashscores.co.uk/football/brazil/serie-a/.
-Blog on Brazilian football, which is run by one of the contributors to billsportsmaps.com, James Nalton…http://thebotafogostar.com/.

    Brazil – 2015 Série A location map: with 2014 attendance, 2015 teams-by-state, all-time titles-by-state & titles by club

By Bill Turianski on 29 May 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
On the map page
The left-hand side of the map page features a simple location-map of the 2015 version of the confusingly-named Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (it is easier to just refer to the competition as the Brasileiro).

In the center of the map page is a two-part chart which shows representation in the 2015 Brasileiro by state, with a list below that which shows the all-time list of Brasileiro titles by state. (Note: there are 28 States in Brazil, plus a Federal District [Brasilia]. 8 of those states have representation in the 2015 Brasileiro, with Sao Paulo state, as usual, having the most teams in it – 5 teams, and, with, surprisingly, the small-but-relatively-wealthy southern state of Santa Catarina having the second-most teams in it – 4 teams. [Rio de Janeiro state only has 3 teams in the 2015 Brasileiro, because Botofogo was relegated in 2014]).

At the right-hand side of the map page is a chart which shows 24 clubs (the 20 from last season and the 4 promoted up from Série B for the 2015 season), and it features 4 bits of information…
1). How the clubs finished in 2014 and if they are playing in the Copa Libertadores or the Copa Sudamericana for 2015.
2). The 24 clubs’ 2014 average attendances (from domestic league matches/ paid-tickets+free-tickets counted [aka publico]).
3). Brasileiro titles (incl. previous Brazilian national titles, from 1959-1970/1971-2014), with year of last title noted.
4). Copa Libertadores titles, with year of last title noted.

Poor attendance plagues Brazilian pro football
Brazilian first division attendance – league-wide – has increased by slightly more than 3,500 per game in two years. 2012 was the modern-day low-point of crowd-size in Brazilian pro football, when the Brazilian first division averaged a paltry 12,970 per game (paid attendance; publico attendance was 13 per game higher at 12,983; seen here at sidebar there). In 2013, the league-average increased (by 15.2 percent) to 14,951 per game. Last season [2014], aided by the continued introduction of several new or renovated stadiums (some of which were built or were renovated for the 2014 FIFA World Cup), attendance increased again (by 10.7 percent) to 16,555 per game.

There is little doubt that the quality-level of Brazilian top flight football has eroded over the past decade. The fact that more fans are now in attendance – a 27.6 percent increase in 2 years – is good sign. But the stadiums that host Brazilian first division matches are very dangerous places, and large sections of the sporting-fan-public have made the conscious decision to stay away from the stadiums, stay home, watch football on TV, and be safe. According to Brazilian media giant Globo, 23 people died in 2012 at Brasileiro games; and in 2013, 30 died {see this article, Why Brazil’s footballers play to half-empty stadiums (guardiam.com/football by Jonathan Watts on 25 Feb. 2014)}.
-See this, Soccer’s Deadliest Fans: The Troubled World of Brazil’s ‘Organizadas’ (rollingstone.com by James Young on 28 May 2014).
-See this, article 5 facts about Brazil’s soccer hooligans (by Daniel Milan at Matador network from 9 June 2014);
that last article, linked to above, points out 5 salient points about fan violence in Brazilian pro football…
1. Problems typically unfold outside the stadiums.
2. Different sets of hooligans can team up.
3. Players aren’t immune.
4. It’s a super homophobic scene.
5. They really like Carnaval.

Brazilian pro football is a colossal mess, with all the best Brazilian players leaving as soon as they can, for the moneyed clubs in Europe, or for anywhere else, for that matter {see this, Brazilian clubs in crisis as wages unpaid and debts rocket (insideworldfootball.com by Ricardo Seaton on 23 November 2014)}. The clubs there in Brazil often literally have nothing…they usually don’t own their stadiums, and they usually don’t even own the full transfer-rights to most of their best players (thanks to the insidious rise of third-party-ownership). As to TPO (third party ownership), measures look to be implemented which will impose more restrictions on the practice. As James Young points out in the article linked to at the end of this paragraph, “In the short term, a ban on third-party ownership is likely to create serious cash-flow issues for financially strapped Brazilian clubs, which frequently rely on the sale of percentages of their promising young players to third parties just to pay the bills. In the longer term, however, the move may be a positive step since it forces clubs to stir from their collective torpor and encourages much-needed reform of the underperforming domestic game, which is plagued by financial woes, low attendance and an archaic fixture calendar.”…{excerpt from
Brazilian football faces battle to emerge from third-party ownership (espnfc.us by James Young on 8 Oct. 2014)}.

Brazil has won the most FIFA World Cup titles of any nation (6 WC titles), but there are 14 other pro leagues in the football world that currently [2014] outdraw Brazil’s first division
Brazil’s first division is only the 13th-highest drawing in the world, and fourteenth highest if you count all leagues (see next sentence). Using 2013-14 figures, here are the countries in the world whose top flight in football (aka soccer aka association football) outdraws Brazil’s top flight (note: the second division in Germany, 2-Bundesliga, also outdraws Brazil’s top flight).
1). Germany
2). England (incl. Wales)
3). Spain
4). India [Indian Super League]
5). Italy
6). Mexico
7). Argentina
8). France
9). Netherlands
10). USA/Canada
11). China
12). Germany, 2nd division (2-Bundesliga)
13). Japan
14). Brazil
{Source – List of attendance figures at domestic professional sports leagues (en.wikipedia.org).}

Empty stadiums in Brazil…
Very few people in Brazil really actually go to 1st division matches – I mean, the first divisions in China and in USA/Canada both outdraw Brazil’s first division. And those two leagues (MLS & China’s 1st division) both pretty much suck. The fact that the talent-poor/ rigged-by-its-single-entity-ownership-system/ closed-shop-Union-busting-cartel known as Major League Soccer outdraws Brazil’s first division should tell you all you really need to know about the sad state of professional Brazilian football. (In 2014 MLS drew 19.1 K per game, 2.6 K more than Brazil’s Série A.) The fact that the spectacularly talent-poor and ersatz Chinese Super League outdraws Brazil’s first division is just more salt on the wound. (In 2013-14, the Chinese Super League drew 18.9 K per game, 2.4 K more than Brazil’s Série A.)
{Sources of 2014 league-wide attendance data,
O público do Brasileirão-2014 (globoesporte.globo.com/futebol)
Major League Soccer/attendance/Season averages (en.wikipedia.org)
2014 Chinese Super League (en.wikipedia.org)}

    Brazil deserved to be humiliated by Germany (7-1), because Brazilian football is a goon-show run by corrupt clowns

Last June [2014], the Brazil national team embarrassed themselves in front of the whole world, on their own home turf. They lost by the score of 7-1 to Germany. It was a so-very-public humiliation, and it was well deserved, and it was a long time coming. In the aftermath of that brilliant German demolition, the following comment, made on an article on the 7-1 mauling that is linked to further below, sums it all up quite nicely…

“…Delighted for Brazil. They got exactly what they deserved. From the first game against Croatia when it was delicately poised at 1-1, a Brazilian theatrical dive results in a penalty. Neymar scores. Brazil win 3-1. They then carried on kicking and gouging their way to the finish line hoping it would be enough because Neymar will provide. Scolari’s a thug tactician. The Colombian game was meant to be a blugeoning warm up excercise for this game. David Luiz was sent out on the pitch every game with the specific instructions to elbow and tackle from behind after the ball’s gone etc. Yes he scored a great free kick against Colombia, but lucky as hell. He’s missed about 100 of those for Chelsea. Tonight he elbowed a player deliberately at 0-0. And they were all at it. Hulk is one of the most selfish stuck up players there is. A team of mercenary thugs playing as a loosely held together rag tag bunch, missing it’s two lynchpins Silva and Neymar. Rough-housing, cheating, bullying and in the end ruthless, efficient pragmatism and no little skill sensationally obliterated them. This is a watershed moment in terms of a match result…” (comment by Russell at {rte.ie/sport/soccer/worldcup/germany-hammer-hosts-brazil-to-advance}).

Losing 7-to-1 to Germany…that is your new legacy, Brazil. The beautiful game has passed you by, Brazil. David Luiz, aka Capitulator-in-chief-to-the-German-onslaught…that is your new symbol, Brazil. David Luiz, now of petro-dollar club PSG. David Luiz, who is flashy and ridiculous to look at, and who is a dirty hack and goon of a player and who is way too expensive…and who is also fundamentally incompetent. {See this, Meet soccer’s most expensive loser (nypost.com by Cameron Tomarchio on 8 July 2014).}

David Luiz pretty much sums up your whole act, Brazil national team. Flashy, expensive, and incompetent goons playing for a directionless giant republic, with no plan and no clue whatsoever. As Tony Jimenez points out in the article linked to below…”This is a player [Luiz] that Gary Neville…described as performing as though he was a player being controlled by a 10-year-old kid on a Playstation.”…”If it wasn’t for his gimmick hairstyle, I highly doubt that he [Luiz] would be turning out in the upper echelons of European football, much less leading out his country at a World Cup finals – and that he is able to strut about so arrogantly, blaming everyone else for his mistakes, and pocketing a small fortune, is more fool us.”…{excerpts from Why Calamitous David Luiz Represents Football’s Conman Economy (huffingtonpost.co.uk by Tony Jimenez on 20 July 2014).}

The Brazilian football team’s only plan is to play like goons (Brazil had the most fouls of any team in the 2014 WC), then cry when another team responds to their goonish behavior with the same. After Colombia mauled Neymar in response to the goon-show that was Brazil-2014, some saw the sweet payback coming (see this, Brazil’s goonish tactics won’t work against Germany at World Cup (latimes.com by Kevin Baxter on 7 July 2014)}.

The Brazilian football authorities have SOLD THE SELECTION OF THE NATIONAL TEAM TO SPONSORS!…
And selections for the Brazil national team are not even based on choosing the best players. No, Brazil chooses the most marketable players. You think I am making this up? Well check out this: Leaked contract reveals how national federation auctioned the Brazilian National Team. from that link, “…
[Criteria for selecting Brazil national team squad members]…
-The list of players called must match criteria established by commercial partners. Any change on the squad must have the consent of the companies involved.
-When a player is replaced, the one to get in his place must have the same marketing value.
-The contract is held between CBF (the brazillian national football federation) and a private company called Internacional Sports Events, a company with zero employees and no headquarters, located in the Cayman Islands.
-The ten years contract gives ISE exclusive rights to manage the team’s games and ownership of all transmission rights.
-The contract states that the top players, considered part of the main team, must start every single match, with no space for newcomers whatsoever, until they have a proper “marketing value”.
-The responsible for this contract is Ricardo Teixeira, former president of CBF and son-in-law of Joao Havelange. Teixeira and Havelange received more than 40 million dollars worth of bribes from marketing agency ISL, which collapsed into bankruptcy in 2001.

The sport we love is very sick, my friends.”…{end of excerpt at http://us.reddit.com/r/soccer/comments/368jm0/leaked_contract_reveals_how_national_federation/ [posted by conffra]}.

A similar story has recently been reported by the Brazilian newspaper Estadão, here, Report: Marketing Firm Owns Rights To Select Brazil National Team Squad (screamer.deadspin.com article from 18 May 2015 by Billy Haisley).

You have no answers, Brazil, and you still have a bunch of corrupt old-white-folks running your show and standing in the way and blocking progress and stuffing their pockets while the beautiful game and the nation of Brazil itself withers on the vine. Brazil has now sold the selection of its national team squad to outside interests. In other words, Brazilian football has sold its soul to the devil. Brazilian football is run by corrupt clowns.

And the geniuses who run the Brazil national team found a pretty lame “solution” to that 7-1 humiliation. Their “solution” was to re-hire the goon they had as coach before (Dunga). Seven-to-One, and the solution is to re-hire the last-goon-in-charge.

And the Brazilian pro league is hamstrung by its actual calendar (a May to December season), because Brazil lets all those corrupt old-white-guys keep their sweet gigs, which are useless, as the corrupt old-white-guys run the pointless state leagues, which act in a parasitic way on the game, sucking the lifeblood out of Brazilian pro football, while playing pointless and fundamentally stupid state championships in February and March and April. Come the August transfer window, squads in Brazil are often thrown into disarray. {See this, Historical Brazil state championships a drag on rest on of league season (espnfc.us by James Young on 24 March 2015).}

The useless empty stadiums Brazil built for the 2014 World Cup…
Reporting from Natal, Brazil, from 18 May 2014, by Paulo Prada, Brazilians left wanting by flawed World Cup investments (reuters.com).
For the World Cup they hosted, Brazil spent a mint (~$11 billion) – building useless 2014 WC venues, in places they never should have built 2014 WC venues. Venues that will now always remain empty, such as the one smack in the middle of the Amazon in Manaus, which doesn’t even have a third-division club. It now sits empty and under-utilized.

Then there is the stadium Brazil built for the 2014 World Cup in a city of just 550,000 [Cuiabá], whose highest-placed club is in the third division. It now sits empty and under-utilized.

Then there is the stadium Brazil built for the 2014 World Cup in Natal, which has never had a first division club and whose highest-drawing clubs can’t even draw 4 K (homeless people were recently found living in the dressing rooms there). It now sits empty and under-utilized.

They (the-old-white-folks-in-charge) spent and lined their pockets on instantly-useless White Elephants, while millions and millions of Brazilians still live in favela shacks and have no way to get to work – because they spent all the public-transportation money on stupid stadiums that no one will use now. They spent the whole wad on instantly-useless stadiums where there are no teams to fill the stadiums now, instead of spending those billions of dollars on absolutely-needed public improvement projects (see second link below for the 4 biggest White Elephants Brazil built for the 2014 WC, three of which I just mentioned above).

-See this, World Cup leaves Brazil with bus depots and empty stadiums (bbc.com/sport/football by Bruce Douglass on 29 March 2015).
-See this, The Four Biggest Stadium Boondoggles Of Brazil’s World Cup (thinkprogress.org by Travis Waldron on 14 July 2014).

brazil-is-run-by-clowns_a_.gif
Photo credit above – Jefferson Bernardes at latimes.com

Then there’s the Petrobras scandal, which is a kickback conspiracy involving building those useless stadiums and government big-shots and the largest corporation in the whole country. In relation to the Petrobras scandal, the treasurer of the administration of the Brazilian president was recently arrested.
-{See this, In Brazil, arrest brings Petrobras scandal closer to President Rousseff (LA Times.com, by Vincent Blevins on 15 April 2015)}.
-{See this, Brazil Builder Collapse Jeopardizes World Cup Stadiums (bloomberg.com by by Tariq Panja on 31 March 2015).}
-{See this, Brazil’s Slumping Economy and Bribery Scandal Eat Away at Dilma Rousseff’s Popularity (nytimes.com by Simon Romero on 25 March 2015).}

But Brazil has a solution to one of those problems…it looks like the authorities have figured out how to make that White Elephant in Manaus pay off…”there has been talk that the government might convert it into a jail, and given the issues around Brazil’s law enforcement, perhaps that’s not a legacy a sporting event should aspire to leave behind.”…{quote from The Four Biggest Stadium Boondoggles Of Brazil’s World Cup (thinkprogress.org by Travis Waldron on 14 July 2014)}.

What a joke.
___
Thanks to all at the following links…
-Brasileiro league average attendance and team-by-team 2014 attendances (Serie A and Serie B) can be found at the links below….
Thanks to Globo Esporte/futebol for Brazilian first division attendance figures (público), http://globoesporte.globo.com/futebol/brasileirao-serie-a/publico-brasileirao.html; and second division attendance figures, http://globoesporte.globo.com/futebol/brasileirao-serie-b/publico-serieb.html.

Thanks to NordNordWest at File:Brazil location map.svg, for blank map of Brazil.
Thanks to the contributors at 2015 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (en.wikipedia.org).

May 22, 2015

Mexico: Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (LMB) (Mexican League), location-map/attendance-map (2014 figures), with active-clubs titles list.

Filed under: Baseball,Mexico: Béisbol — admin @ 8:17 pm

http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/mexico_baseball_mexican-league_attendance-map-2014_post_b_.gif
Baseball in Mexico: Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (Mexican League), 2014 attendance-map, with active-clubs titles list


Links…
-Teams…Mexican League/Current teams (en.wikipedia.org).
-Attendance…Mexican League: Attendance [set at 2014/sortable for current attendances & archived back to -2005] (milb.com/milb/stats).
-Scores, Standings, Schedule…milb.com/LMB [Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (Mexican League)] (official site).
-My first map & post on Mexican League baseball (from 2011), which includes more info on teams and uniforms, Baseball in Mexico: Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (Mexican League), 2011.

    Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (LMB) (Mexican League), location-map/attendance-map (2014 figures), with active-clubs titles list…

By Bill Turianski on 22 May 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
The Liga Mexicana de Béisbol (LMB) (Mexican League) is one of 3 Triple-A minor leagues in Organized Baseball. Unlike the other two Triple-A leagues – the Pacific Coast League (based in the West and Midwest of the USA) and the International League (based in the East and Midwest of the USA), the Mexican League’s teams are not affiliated with any of the 30 Major League Baseball clubs. (In fact, the Mexican League has three minor leagues of its own, the Liga Norte de Mexico, the Liga de Béisbol del Noroeste de Mexico, and the Liga de Mexicana de Béisbol Academia [a winter league]).

The Mexican League season is scheduled for 104 games, and runs from the middle of March, to mid-July, with the playoffs in late July/early August, then, in mid-August, the Serie Final (Final Series).

The Mexican League was founded in 1925, with 6 teams.
The only original team that has survived to this day are Águilas Rojos de Veracruz [the Veracruz Red Eagles], although there was a Mexico City team back then, and there is now a different, present-day Mexico City team – Diablos Rojos del México [the Mexico (City) Red Devils, who were formed in 1940 and have won the most Mexican League titles, with 16 Mexican League titles. The Diablos' last title was won last year [in 2014]).

There are sixteen teams in the Mexican League, which is an increase from the 14 teams the league had in the 1987 to 2011 era.
The three newest teams are the purple-clad Delfines de Ciudad del Carmen [the Carmen (City) Dolphins], established 2012; the navy-blue-and-gold Rieleros de Aguascalientes [the Aguascalientes Railwaymen], also established in 2012; and the black-and-red Toros de Tijuana [the Tijuana Bulls or Tijuana Toros], est. 2014. The Toros of Tijuana drew a very impressive 7.9 K in their first season in the LMB in 2014. This is 3 years after the new first division Mexican soccer team the Xolos of Tijuana began drawing in the +20 K-range {see this article I wrote featuring the Xolos, from Jan. 2013}. So these two developments show the signs of good healthy cross-border fanbases beginning to form for both the brand-new pro baseball and futbol teams in Tijuana.

(Meanwhile the Petroleros de Minatitlán [Minatitlán Oilers], who were among the lowest-drawing clubs in the LMB, folded after the 2013 season.)

Crowd sizes in the Mexican League
The Mexican League, as a whole, averaged 4,720 per game in 2014 (which was a 4% increase from 2013). The Mexican League’s highest-drawing club, year-in/year-out is the Sultanes de Monterrey [the Monterrey Sultans], who usually draw above 10 K and averaged 11,856 per game in 2014. That was best in all of Organized Baseball, by the way. [Second-best drawing ball club in all of MiLB last year [2014] was the International League’s Charlotte Knights, who, thanks to their new, downtown-Charlotte-located ballpark, drew 9.6 K {source for data in this paragraph: 2014 Affiliated Attendance by Average (ballparkdigest.com)}].

If you are wondering why there are no Mexican League teams in the pretty populous areas in and around Guadalajara and along the west-central coast in Sinaloa and Sonora states, that is because there is a separate pro baseball league there. That is the 8-team Liga Mexicana del Pacífico [Mexican Pacific League] (LMP), which is a Winter pro baseball league. Commenter Juan found the attendance figures for 4 of the Winter ball leagues, {see 3rd comment in the Comments section further below}.
___
Thanks to all at the following links…
-Globe-map of Mexico, by Addicted04 at File:MEX orthographic.svg at Mexico (en.wikipedia.org).
-Map of Mexico…by Yavidaxiu at File:Mexico blank.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).

Some circular-cap-logos on the map included photos or banner illustration (which I then cropped and included into the design using my somputer-drawing-program)…
-Toros de Tijuana (Tijuana Toros), illustration of T-J logo, from banner at torosdetijuana.com.
-Saraperos de Saltillo (Saltillo Sarape Makers) teal home cap, photo of Gothic-S-with-sarape logo from neweraaustraliasale.com/saraperos.
-Vaqueros Laguna (Laguna Cowboys) grey-and-orange road cap, photo of silver-L-logo from listado.mercadolibre.com.mx/cachucha-vaqueros-laguna-beisbol.
-Delfines de Ciudad del Carmen (Ciudad del Carmen Dolphins) dark-purple home cap, photo of bright-green-C [part of the logo], from lids.com/mexican-league/delfines.
-Guerreros de Oaxaca (Oaxaca Warriors), photo of the O-a-x logo on home cap from newhatsite.net/oaxaca-guerreros.
-Piratas de Campeche (Campeche Pirates), photo of baseball-as-sneering-pirate logo, from mlm-s1-p.mlstatic.com [jpg] at mercadolibre.com.mx.

-Team info, etc…
Mexican League [Liga Mexicana de Béisbol] (en.wikipedia.org).

May 11, 2015

Australia (and New Zealand): National Rugby League (NRL) – 2015 location-map with a chart which shows…2014 attendances by club, club colours & crests, and titles (Premiers) won by club./ Plus an article on the history of pro Rugby League in Australia./ Plus illustrations for 2 clubs; the highest-drawing rugby club in the world (the Brisbane Broncos) & the reigning RL champions of Australia and the World (the South Sydney Rabbitohs).

Filed under: Australia,Rugby,Rugby>Australia — admin @ 6:32 pm

australia_nrl_rugby-league_2015-location-map_w-titles_2014-attendances_post_h.gif
Australia (and New Zealand): National Rugby League, 2015 location-map with 2014 attendances and titles listed



Links…
-Teams…National Rugby League/ Current clubs (en.wikipedia.org).
-Live scores, schedule, table…livescores.ninemsn.com.au/nrl.
-NRL at LoveRugbyLeague.com…loverugbyleague.com/nrl.
-Official site of NRL…nrl.com.

    Australia (and New Zealand): National Rugby League (NRL) -
    2015 location-map with a chart which shows…2014 attendances by club, club colours & crests, and titles (Premiers)

By Bill Turianski on 11 May 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
[Please note: the first 7 paragraphs below (demographics of Australia & the 4 football codes in Australia) are similar to the text in my recent post on Australian rules football (AFL), here. If you are already familiar with that section, you might want to begin at the section further below called 'On the map page...' .]
Size and population of Australia…
I will start of with a brief description of the size, relative size, and population of Australia. If you click on the following link you can see, at a glance, how massive the island/Continent of Australia is when it is compared to the Continental USA, {here (aboutaustralia.com)}. (Note: that graphic can also be seen at the far-lower-left-hand corner of the map page.) As you can see in that graphic, Australia is about the same size as the Continental USA, but when you factor in Alaska (and Hawaii), Australia ends up being about 23% “smaller” than the 50 United States. Australia is the 6th-largest country on Earth, at around 7.6 million km-squared (or around 2.9 million miles-squared), which makes it about 10% “smaller” than the 5th-largest country – Brazil, and more than twice the size of the 7th-largest country – India. To put it another way, Australia is massive. It is also not very populous for its size, because Australia is only the 52nd-most-populous nation, with a population of around 23.7 million {2015 figure}. To give you an idea of how sparsely populated Australia is, it has slightly less inhabitants than the pretty-small-sized nations of Nepal, Ghana, or North Korea. {Sources of data: sizes: List of countries and dependencies by area; populations: List of countries and dependencies by population (both from en.wikipedia.org).}

The Big 5 Cities in Australia…
There are 5 major cities in Australia, 3 of which have NRL teams (Sydney [9 teams], Melbourne [1 team], Brisbane [1 team]). On the map page, in the globe-map at the far left there, I have placed those 5 cities along with their populations. Sydney is the largest city in the country, with around 4.7 million inhabitants (in the metro area/urban population/all listed here are 2013 or 2014 estimates). Melbourne is the second-city of Australia – but only just…it has a population of only about 300 K less than Sydney, at around 4.4 million. Brisbane is third-largest, at about 2.3 million; Perth is fourth at around 2.0 million; and Adelaide is fifth at around 1.2 million. The capital of Australia, Canberra (which is situated in the small Australian Capital Territory, located midway between Sydney and Melbourne) is a rather small city [but it nevertheless does have an NRL team], and is the eighth-largest Australian city, with about 411,000 inhabitants. {Sources, each city’s Wikipedia page for the most-recent population estimates, however the following link is relatively recently updated (2012 figures), List of cities in Australia by population (en.wikipedia.org).}

There are 4 football codes in Australia which have professional major leagues (the most of any country)…
There are 4 football codes in Australia (listed below with first-division 2014 league-average-attendances):
Australian rules football (1st division: AFL, which averaged 32,327 per game in 2014).
Rugby union football (1st division: Super Rugby, which averaged 16,913 per game in 2014).
Rugby league football (1st division: NRL, which averaged 15,787 per game in 2014).
Association football [aka soccer]: only pro division: A-League, which averaged 14,759 per game in 2014).
[source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Australian_football_code_crowds#Attendances_by_league.]

An extremely simplified guide to the 4 football codes’ popularity in Australia…
Aussie rules football…
To simplify it in the extreme, Australian Rules Football, which originated in the 1860s in and around Melbourne in the state of Victoria, turned semi-pro when the AFL was formed in 1897. Although first division teams were not based in any of the other states and territories of the country for almost 90 years (until the 1980s and 1990s), Aussie rules football has always been hugely popular throughout all the 8 states and the 2 territories of Australia, with the exception of New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland. In and around Sydney (which is the capital of New South Wales) and in all of Queensland (including Brisbane), Australian rules football has been historically overshadowed by rugby league football. The split described in the last two sentences can be see in the map at Barassi Line (en.wikipedia.org) {that map is also at the top-left-hand-side of the map page}.

Soccer (aka association football), in Australia…
Soccer was widely shunned by many if not most Australian fans and players for decades (ie, only “Sheilas, Wogs & Poofters” played soccer, as the bigotry of the day held [circa 1950s through '80s]). Only in the last decade-and-a-half or so has soccer become a viable pro sport in Australia. And now, going into the 2010s, soccer has made significant gains in popularity, to the point that the Australian first division in soccer (the A-League) is currently drawing only marginally less than both rugby codes in the country (see list with league-attendance 2 paragraphs above above).

The 2 Rugby codes in Australia…
Rugby Union, a little over a century ago, became the major sport of the city of Melbourne and of the state of Victoria. The highest level of competition in Australia is the National Rugby Championship, although there is a higher tier that involves teams from South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, Super Rugby.

Rugby League, a little over a century ago, became the major sport of the city of Sydney and of the state of New South Wales (as well as the major sport of Brisbane in Queensland). The highest level of competition in Australia is the National Rugby League (NRL), which has 16 teams (9 teams from New South Wales).

On the map page…
The map page is a bit complicated, owing to the Sydney-centric nature of first-division rugby league in Australia – 9 of the 16 NRL teams are from Greater Sydney (all are listed in the next paragraph), plus there are 2 more teams nearby…one team in northeast New South Wales (Newcastle Knights) and one team in the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra Raiders). So there are three maps that comprise the location-map aspect of the map page. First off, is the map at the upper center of the map page, which includes all of Australia and New Zealand, and shows the other 5 clubs in the NRL…3 teams based in Queensland (North Queensland Cowboys, Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Titans)), one team based in Victoria (Melbourne), and one team based in New Zealand (New Zealand Warriors).

The next map, at the lower center of the map page, shows all of New South Wales state and it features the locations of all the 9 Greater Sydney teams, plus the Newcastle team and the Canberra team. The 9 Greater Sydney-based teams are then shown in the third map at the lower right-hand part of the map page – that is an enlarged inset-map of Greater Sydney…there you can see the more precise locations of the 8 NRL teams that play all their games in greater Sydney (Manly-Warringah Eagles, Penrith Panthers, Parramatta Eels, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Sydney Roosters, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Wests Tigers). Also shown in the Greater Sydney inset map is the team that has two locations (St George Illawarra Dragons), who play half their home games in the St George neighborhood of south Sydney and the other half of their home games in Woolongong, NSW, which is about 80 km or 50 mi south of Sydney.

The other two features of the map page are…a globe-map of Australia at the far left-hand side (featuring the 5 biggest cities in the country plus the capital); and
a chart at the upper-right-hand side which lists 4 things:
1). 2014 home regular season average attendance;
2). the year the club gained admission to the NRL or its predecessors;
3). club crests and colours;
4). Australian RL titles (aka Premiers) won by each club, with last title-year listed.

    History of First Division Rugby League in Australia (1908 to 2014)…

The path to the NRL – the first 88 years of Rugby League in Australia…
From the Wikipedia page National Rugby League/Origins and beginnings…{2 excerpts}…
…”The New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) ran the major rugby league competition of New South Wales from its inception in 1908 until 1994, by which time its powers had expanded to run the code nationally. Following the introduction of a new format for interstate rugby league, the State of Origin series in 1980, the decade of the 1980s brought about expansion of the NSWRL premiership, with the…addition of non-Sydney-based teams, Canberra and Illawarra in 1982.” /…”Further expansion of the league followed in 1988, with another three teams based outside Sydney introduced to the competition; the Newcastle Knights and the first two Queensland teams, the Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast-Tweed Giants.”…{end of excerpts}.

1995…
With a major threat looming on the horizon (see below), the NWSRL became known as the Australian Rugby League (ARL) in 1995; that same year, there were four more expansion teams…Auckland Warriors, North Queensland Cowboys, South Queensland Crushers and Western Reds [of Perth, Western Australia]. The former two of those four – the Warriors of NZ and the Cowboys of North Queensland – still exist. But the latter of those four – the South Queensland team and the Perth team – became a couple of the many casualties of the Super League War.

In 1996, Rupert Murdoch tries to gain the television rights to Australian rugby league, and the Super League War is initiated…
Then in 1996 and 1997, Rupert Murdoch wanted the television rights in order to establish a (very lucrative) pay-television scheme, so he formed a short-lived rival major league by luring prominent ARL club executives, coaches, and players with bags of cash. But it must be pointed out that many of the 8 clubs which jumped ship to Murdoch’s phony league were threatened by Murdoch had they stayed put. Sick of the salary cap in the ARL thwarting their ambitions, Brisbane, Canterbury, and Auckland went over to Murdoch’s league willingly. But as to the others, Murdoch coerced some of those 1st division rugby league clubs into joining his new league, or face the threat of having to compete for the fan-dollar against theoretical new rival-teams that Murdoch would have put in those clubs’ neighborhoods. By April 1996, Murdoch’s News Limited began to sign up target clubs, some of whom had already lost key personnel to Super League. “Club representatives were told that if they did not join Super League, they would face rival clubs established in their area.” {quote from Super League war/The war at its peak (en.wikipedia.org)}. That threat by Murdoch & Company was in fact carried out in one place – the Hunter region of northeast New South Wales (where the city of Newcastle, NSW is located, and where the then-ARL team/now NRL-team the Newcastle Knights are located). So, because the Newcastle Knights stayed put in the AFL, they were suddenly forced to compete in their region in 1997 with the hastily-formed and poorly-supported Hunter Mariners (who were established in 1997, played the ’97 season in Murdoch’s league, then were wound up in late 1997). Poetic justice can be found in the fact that the Newcastle Knights held steadfast, refused to buckle to Murdoch & Company, stayed put in the ARL, and then went on to win the ARL premiership in that twisted year of 1997.

Here are the 8 RL clubs [7 which still exist today, as NRL teams], that jumped ship for that cash-fueled league that Murdoch foisted upon RL fans in 1997…
Auckland Warriors [now named New Zealand Warriors]
Brisbane Broncos
Canberra Raiders
Canterbury Bulldogs [now named Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs]
Cronulla Sharks [now named Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks]
North Queensland Cowboys
Penrith Panthers
Western Reds [defunct]

-See this [if you want a headache], Super League war (en.wikipedia.org)/
-See this [if you want it explained short and sweet], from the National Museum of Australia site, Super League (nma.gov.au).}

-Here is a “TL;DR” version of the events around the Super League War, from Reddit.com/RL commenter Socc13er37 [link to the original thread is further below]…
…{excerpt}…
…”[1] Two media moguls, Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch, fight over TV rights for the ARL. Packer purchased them in 1993 and Murdoch tried to take the currently dead Pay TV rights, which he did. Packer gets pissed and says he has all the ARL TV rights, and the brawl brews over from there.

[2] Meanwhile, Brisbane CEO John Ribot is unhappy with the current state of the league for his Queensland side, and wants to make his own league, with a global audience and Murdoch-owned teams, called the Super League. ARL and the clubs say “Fuck that” and unanimously decline.

[3] Ribot and Murdoch “go into their evil lair” to plan out how they make the Super League dream a reality. They offer massive salaries and signing bonuses to clubs like Canterbury, Auckland and Brisbane, who all sign on. The ARL find out and plan to expel said clubs from the competition. Murdoch states he won’t let that happen and will compensate the clubs if legal action occurs.

[4] The ARL can’t stop the News Ltd SL train. 8 clubs sign on to join the Murdoch-run league and they look to be riding high, but the court brings them down. The ARL runs the show here, and the Federal Court says there will be no SL until 2000, which was then reduced until this year. Then, the court overturns the decision, and says that the Super League will run in 1997. The ARL appeals, but loses in less than 40 minutes of court proceedings, and results in the CEO’s resignation.

[5] During the two leagues running simultaneously, a lot of clubs lost money and sponsorship was spread thinly. Eventually, the Super League with its extravagant amount of spending couldn’t hold it together, and there was a merger back together, to make the NRL.”…{excerpt from comment made by Socc1er37 at the Reddit.com/r/NRL thread entitled Can someone outline what happened during the ‘super league war’ period of time? (reddit.com/r/nrl/comments).

Murdoch’s cash-fueled league (1997/merged with ARL to form NRL in 1998)
The 1997 season saw 22 clubs in two rival RL leagues. One of which – Murdoch’s league – was filled with 8 former AEL clubs and a few now-defunct expansion clubs [Adelaide and Hunter]). Fans stayed away in droves. Then in late 1997, the courts stepped in and resolved the unsustainable twin-major-leagues mess in Australian rugby league. Murdoch got some of what he wanted (some broadcast rights and co-ownership of the new league structure, as well as ownership of some clubs [he currently owns two-thirds of Brisbane Broncos, and he used to own Melbourne Storm/see 2 paragraphs below]). But more importantly, Murdoch stopped meddling with rugby league in Australia. The fallout remained for years, though/ (see below).

With the resolution of the Super League war in late 1997, the National Rugby League (NRL) is established in 1998…
In late 1997, with the resolution of the Super League war, the National Rugby League (NRL) was established, to begin its first season in 1998. The first order of business was to consolidate. Some clubs (such as St George and Illawarra) merged, in the form of joint-partnerships. Then, after the 1999 season, pushed by Murdoch’s News Limited, the NRL top brass went too far, and tried to destroy South Sydney Rabbitohs. But after a two-year exile, South Sydney and their supporters were able to fight their way back into the league.

In 2000, South Sydney Rabbitohs are excluded by NRL, but then the courts re-instate the Souths into the league (for 2002)
-…{excerpt from wsws.org}…”[2001]…An acrimonious court case late last year in Australia’s Federal Court over the exclusion of a team from the National Rugby League (NRL) spotlights how Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation uses sport to expand its pay TV subscriber base and secure multi-million dollar profits. The Federal Court upheld a decision by NRL administrators to exclude South Sydney, one of the clubs that founded rugby league in Sydney in 1908, from the premier national competition. The decision was followed by an angry demonstration of 80,000 rugby league football fans, which denounced the court ruling and what they saw as the takeover of their sport by the Murdoch-dominated Foxtel pay TV network, without any concern for those who participate in or support the game”… excerpt from, Australian court endorses Murdoch takeover of rugby league, by Robert Hoffman and John Roberts at wsws.org on 10 January 2001 .}
-… {excerpt from en.wikipedia.org}…”The outbreak of the Super League war involved a vision to cut Sydney sides with Souths in the firing line. Souths remained in the ARL during the 1997 season, and were then played in the National Rugby League, the merger of the Super League and ARL, from its first season in 1998. The NRL set determined to cut its competition to 14 teams and duly cut South Sydney from the premiership for the 2000 season.”…/…”Souths fought their way back through the court rooms and public rallies generating a swell of support throughout Sydney and Australia as they took on the NRL and News Limited. Souths won re-admission on appeal during the 2001 season and were brought back into the NRL competition for the 2002 season.”…{end of excerpts at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History of the South Sydney Rabbitohs/ Fightback and Re-admission (en.wikipedia.org).

PS, Murdoch’s News Limited company’s then-ownership of Melbourne Storm saw not one but TWO titles revoked [2007 & 2009 NRL titles surrendered by Melbourne Storm] for exceeding the salary cap.

PPS, In 2012, NRL was finally free of Murdoch when …”[the] joint partnership between the sport’s already-existing national governing body, the Australian Rugby League (ARL) and media giant News Corporation…was dissolved in February 2012, with control of the NRL going to the independently formed Australian Rugby League Commission.”…{excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Rugby_League}.

    Into the 2000s, the NRL gets more established and begins to draw more fans…

Televised matches of the NRL began to draw much larger audiences, to the point where the NRL Grand Final of 2007, between Manly and Melbourne, was the most-watched television show in Australia that year. In 2010, the NRL set a record for league average attendance at 17,367 per game [total season aggregate attendance: 3,490,778].

2014 and 2015, and on
The league still shows robust signs of health. The Brisbane Broncos, the highest-drawing rugby club in the world, draw 33 K per game. All-time & reigning-NRL-champs, the South Sydney Rabbitohs pull in 19.8 K per game. The Parramatta Eels draw 18.7 K per game. The Newcastle Knights draw 17.6 K per game. The New Zealand Warriors draw 17.1 K per game. And the NRL as a whole pulls in 15.7 K per game (which is 7.5 K more-per-game than the English first-division rugby league draws) {see this post on England’s Super League [RL]}.

And Australia’s reigning NRL champions – the club that Murdoch could not kill, the resilient South Sydney Rabbitohs – just OWNED England’s best rugby league team, by the score of 39-to-zero, in the 2015 World Club Series. {See this, South Sydney Rabbitohs steamroller St Helens to win World Club Challenge (from Guardian.com/sport/rugby by Aaron Bower on 23 Feb.2015);

    Illustrations for: the best-drawing Rugby team in the world, the Brisbane Broncos;
    and: the second-best draw in Australian RL + 2014 World RL and 2014 NRL champions, the South Sydney Rabbitohs…

Brisbane Broncos (established 1987), are not only the highest-drawing NRL team, but they also are in fact the highest-drawing rugby team in the world (at 33,354 per game in 2014). The Broncos have won 6 NRL titles, their last title having been won in 2006. This gives the Brisbane Broncos the best titles-per-seasons-played ratio in the NRL, at 21.4% (second best is South Sydney Rabbitohs at 18.3%)…
brisbane-broncos_lang-park_aka-suncorp-stadium_c_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
2015 Brisbane Broncos home jersey, photo from nrlshop.com/brisbane-broncos.
Night-time aerial shot of Lang Park (aka Suncorp Stadium), photo from pinterest.com/source/skypac.com.au. Interior shot, photo by Getty Images via smh.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/a-journey-into-the-belly-of-maroon-beast. Shot of fans at Suncorp Stadium, photo News Limited via foxsports.com.au.

South Sydney Rabbitohs, second-best-drawing rugby league club in Australia, and the 2014 NRL champions…
-The following link has a nice article on the history of South Sydney Rabbitohs, and how the club’s demise and re-birth is inextricably intertwined with the aftermath of the Super League war of the late 1990s. From the ConvictCreations site, South Sydney Rabbitohs – An Australian Story.
-Here is an article which points out that the 2014 NRL Grand Final drew a larger TV audience than the 2014 Aussie rules (AFL) Grand Final, see this, Rabbitohs’ 2014 NRL grand final win the most-watched game in rugby league history (from Daily Telegraph/sport on 6 Oct. 2014, by Cory Adno).

South Sydney Rabbitohs RLC, est. 1908
[Note: the text below is largely the same as the text within the illustration further below.]
South Sydney Rabbitohs RLC were founded in 1908, in the working-class neighborhood of Redfern, which is south of the Sydney business district, and which to this day has a sizeable Aboriginal community. The team’s nickname is believed to come from the club’s early days, when, pre-game, some players on the squad would hawk freshly caught-and-butchered rabbits, and then go on to play the match still in their bloodstained gear. The team is also known simply as the Souths. No one really knows the official reason why the team wears cardinal red and turtle green, but…if you caught and butchered a rabbit, you would probably have grass-stains and blood-stains on your gear.

South Sydney have won the most Australian RL premierships – 21 titles, but before the 2014 season, the club had not appeared in a Grand Final since 1971.
By the 1970s, South Sydney had such financial problems that they became perennial basement-dwellers. Following the resolution of the Super League war, three seasons later [in 2000], the club was excluded from the NRL, for failure to meet “financial criteria”. There then ensued mass protests of over 80,000 in support of South Sydney, and after extensive litigation, the club was re-instated into the NRL, in 2002. The club remained cash-strapped, though, and in 2006 it was voted that the club would seek private ownership. That came in the form of the heir of media conglomerate Consolidated Press Holdings, James Packer; and the film star and Sydney-native Russell Crowe. The two hold a 50-50 share of a 75% stake in the club (with the other 25% ownership of the club still retained by club members).

The Souths play at the 84,000-capacity ANZ Stadium in Sydney (aka Stadium Australia), which was the chief venue for the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. The Rabbitohs also play a couple of home games each season out in Perth, Western Australia {see this, List of Australian rugby league stadiums/ Occasional Stadiums}.

In 2014, South Sydney averaged 19,888 per game, making them the second-best drawing team in the NRL. In the 2014 NRL Grand Final, in front of 83,833 at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney, the South Sydney Rabbitohs beat the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 30-6, to win their first NRL Premiership in 43 years.
south-sydney-rabbitohs_2014-grand-final_2014-nrl-champions_h_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
2015 Rabbitohs jersey, photo from rabbitohsmegastore.shopdesq.com/rabbitohs-2015-mens-home-jersey. ANZ Stadium (aka Stadium Australia), photo .
2014 NRL Grand Final,
Sam Burgess, photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Alex Johnston diving to score a try, photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. View from the stands at ANZ Stadium during the 2014 NRL Grand Final, photo by Sam Ruttyn at dailytelegraph.com.au/the-2014-nrl-grand-final-souths-fans-pride-will-live-forever. George Burgess breaking a tackle and scoring a try, photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Rabbitohs players carrying MVP Sam Burgess off the field, photo by dailytelegraph.com.au/rabbitohs-2014-nrl-grand-final-win-the-mostwatched-game-in-rugby-league-history.

___
Sources for map page:
-Attendances (2014 season), 2014 Australian football code crowds/Attendances by team.
-Attendance for the New Zealand team (NZ Warriors), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_New_Zealand_Warriors_season#Regular_season.
-Titles: List of NRL Premiers (en.wikipedia.org).

Thanks to Ssolbergj for globe-map of Australia, File:Australia (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to Mdmanser for blank map of Australia and New Zealand (for use as a template), File:Map of Australia and New Zealand coloured.png (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to NordNordWest for blank map of Australia, File:Australia location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to Antigoni for blank map of New Zealand, File:Map of New Zealand (blank).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to NordNordWest for blank map of New South Wales, File:Australia New South Wales location map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to Roke for blank map of Greater Sydney, File:Sydney Areas Map.svg
(commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to Rulesfan for map of the Barassi line, commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Barassi_line_2.png.
Thanks to aboutaustralia.com.

Thanks to NRL/shop, for colours in recent NRL home jerseys, http://www.nrlshop.com.
Thanks to the contributors at en.wikipedia.org, National Rugby League/Current clubs.

April 30, 2015

World football attendance by domestic leagues (2013-14 or 2014 figures, primarily) – chart of the top 25 highest-drawing pro leagues of association football [aka football, aka futbol, aka soccer]./ Plus a very brief look at the 3 countries that have led in crowd-size through the years (England, then Italy, and now Germany)./ Plus the Indian Super League, which is now [2014] the fourth-highest-drawing football league in the world.

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts — admin @ 11:20 pm




Links…
-Source of data, List of attendance figures at domestic professional sports leagues/Complete_table [with 2013-14 or 2014 figures, primarily] (en.wikipedia.org).
-European football attendances at E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-Another good site for football attendances: soccerway.com [found atop league tables in the statistics sections at most league-pages there].

    Chart of the world’s top 25 highest-drawing pro leagues of association football (2013-14 or 2014 figures, primarily)

By Bill Turianski on 30 April 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

[Note: you can click on the illustration below to place it in a stand-alone page.]
world-football-attendances_25-highest-drawing-football-leagues_2013-14_no-1-is-bundesliga_f_.gif

My first version of this chart, which I made two years ago in May 2013, only went to 20 leagues, and the list only considered first division football leagues (with 2011-12 figures). You can see that chart {here}. This time, the list on the chart considers all association football leagues – not just each country’s top flight. I didn’t decide that – the folks who contributed to the list at Wikipedia did. And it makes sense (after all, if you are trying to determine the highest-drawing football leagues, why should you stop at only first division leagues?). So this chart includes the two highest-drawing second divisions in the world – Germany’s 2-Bundesliga, and England’s Football League Championship.

The attendance figures are primarily for the 2013-14 season, but there are a few exceptions…the Argentina Primera División attendance figure is from 2 seasons ago (2012-13), the Algerian Ligue Professionnelle attendance figure is from 6 seasons ago (2007-08), and the Indonesian Super League attendance figure is from 3 seasons ago (2010-11). I already knew there were no reliable attendance figures for Argentina for 2013-14; for Algeria and Indonesia, I tried, but I could not find any more recent figures reported. I decided to include both, but let’s just say there should be a “mental-asterisk” next to the Algerian and Indonesian attendance figures on the chart. (Note: there were a couple others that were not updated on the original list [which you can find at the link at the top of this post]. But I was able to find 2014 Chinese Super League attendances at that Wikipedia page {here}, and I found 2013-14 Turkish Süper Lig attendance at the E-F-S site {here}.)

Note: I added another detail this time to the chart – the populations of the countries. That can be found at the far right of the chart – the figures are from 2011 to 2015 {see each country’s page at Wikipedia for those figures}. On the chart, the country-populations are listed in millions (m), except for India and China, whose vast populations are listed in billions (bn).

    World football attendance leaders through the years…

England and its First Division led in attendance up to 1971-72 (for 74 seasons);
then Italy and its Serie A led in attendance from 1972-73 to 1993-94 (for 22 seasons);
and since 1994-95, Germany and its Bundesliga have led in attendance (for 21 seasons and counting…)

Germany has been #1 in attendance since 1994-95. Before that it was Italy. Originally, of course, it was England.

The English First Division had best crowd size from 1888-89 [when the Football League was formed], all the way to 1971-72. The highest league-average-attendance that the English top flight has ever had was in the third season back after the disruption caused by World War II – in 1948-49, when the First Division pulled in an average of 38,792 per game. That 38.7 K per game is to this day the highest crowd-size the English top flight has ever achieved. The second-best crowd-size in England was in the following season of 1949-50 (at 37,284). The third best English top-flight crowd-size was actually last season [2013-14], when the Premier League (est. 1992-93) had its highest-ever turnstile-count, at 36,670 per game. {Source: European Football Statistics site for those English figures as well as Italian and German figures mentioned below.}.

In 1972-73, Italy’s Serie A (at 32,176 per game) overtook England’s First Division (at 30,257 in 72/73). And the-best-drawing football league in the world was a distinction the Italian top flight held for 22 seasons. Italy remained king of football crowd-size all through the 1980s and into the early 1990s, peaking at 38,872 per game in 1984-85, and still drawing best overall for another 9 years, until Germany’s Bundesliga overtook Serie A as the top-drawing league in the world in 1994-95.

Germany’s Bundesliga is King. Period.
Germany’s Bundesliga has remained at the top of the attendance list since 94/95 – for 21 seasons now (counting 2014-15). The largest crowd-size in a Bundesliga season was in 2012-13, at 45,116 per game. (Last season [2013-14], the Bundesliga had its second-best crowd-size ever, at 43,499.) And the Bundesliga shows no signs of flagging, held back in aggregate crowd-size only by the fact that minnows constantly find a way into the Bundesliga for a year, and end up pulling the league-wide attendance figure down. Minnows like Greuther Fürth (in 2012-13, drawing 16.8 K in a 18 K venue), and SC Paderborn (currently [2014-15] drawing 13.8 K in a 15.3 K venue). And quasi-minnows such as SC Freiburg (drawing 23.8 K currently in a 24 K-capacity venue), can and do find a place in the Bundesliga (this is Freiburg’s 6th-straight season in the Bundesliga), while much bigger clubs, +30-K-drawing-clubs like Kaiserslautern, Nürnberg and Düsseldorf, stay stuck in the second division. The Bundesliga draws well because of several reasons…Bundesliga tickets are very affordable (like often costing less than $20 USD), the stadiums are all full of modern amenities and quite simply fantastic, the atmosphere is absolutely electric, and no fans get hurt. Oh, and last but not least, Bundesliga teams invariably play high-energy, ball-on-the-floor, passing-and-attacking-football. Bundesliga is by far the best attended football league in the world, but it goes deeper than that…Bundesliga is the best football league in the world no matter how you look at it.

Out of nowhere, India now has the fourth-highest-drawing football league in the world – the ISL…
(Indian Super League.)
I am sure many will be as shocked as I was, when I first perused the list, to see that the Indian Super League (aka the ISL), has become the fourth-highest drawing football league on the planet. The Kolkata Derby (Mohan Bagan v East Bengal) has always drawn huge (like ~80 K to ~137 K [seriously; see previous link: it happened in 1997]). But those two clubs are not even in the brand-new ISL – they are in the I-League (the I-League was re-established in 2007-08). Hopes are that the two leagues will find ways to acommodate each other, and maybe even merge, at some future date.

Anyway, there are just 8 brand-new teams in the ISL (there is no promotion/relegation, as in USA/Canda, and as in Australia). Those 8 teams are spread out rather evenly across the Indian subcontinent {see map of 2015 ISL, here}. Now one point needs to be made, and this will put that massive league-average-attendance figure the ISL drew in 2014 into a more fair perspective…these ISL teams are playing way less home matches than most, if not all, other pro football leagues across the planet. The ISL season only runs from October to December, and the regular season has just 14 games…so with just 7 home matches, amassing a higher average attendance is much easier.

This link shows you the 8 teams’ attendance figures in 2014 {here}.

I know the following might be a little dated by now, but this next link is an informative article from Oct. 2014, by Sam Crocker, which gives brief profiles of the 8 teams in the [2014] Indian Super League, Indian Super League: club-by-club guide to the inaugural season (theguardian.com/football).

In the inaugural season, in the Final, the ISL’s top-drawing team, the Kerala Blasters (who drew 49.1 K), and who are co-owned by retired Indian cricket star Sachin Tendulkar, lost 1-0 to the ISL’s second-best-drawing team (at 43.7 K), Atlético de Kolkata. Atlético de Kolkata, located in Kolkata (aka Calcutta), on the northeastern coast of India, are owned by a small consortium which includes retired Indian cricket star Sourav Ganguly and the Spanish club CA Atlético Madrid – and Atlético Kolkata wear the same kit as the 2013-14 La Liga champions (red-and-white-vertical-stripes-with-blue-pants). Here is an article on the ISL, which was posted in late December 2014 following the first ISL Final… from Guardian.com, by Saptarshi Ray from 23 Dec. 2014,
How India’s ISL became world football’s fourth biggest league (theguardian.com/football/blog).

The ISL might not be able to maintain the 24-K-per-game crowds that they drew in their first season in 2014, but, who knows? Maybe they will. I will leave the last word to one of the commenters on the article linked to above…
…(from commenter Indianguardian)…”It was an amazing tournament. I-League will never reach the heights of this tournament. For me I-League has to be scrapped and the ISL should be the only official football league of India.The reason is that the I-League is filled with teams like Dempo, Salgaocar, Mohun Bagan(founded in 1889) etc. These are historic teams with good local support but these team fail to gain national support. To support a team, one must identify oneself with the club. Most European clubs represent a city or a county or a region. People born in that city or in that region have an emotional attachment with that city and anything related with it. The historic I-League clubs don’t have this effect. They are named after their founders, chairmen etc. Imagine if Newcastle United is changed to Sports Direct United, Manchester City/United is changed to Etihad Inc./Glazer United. Will these clubs gain new fans?
¶Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu which is quite a big state in India. There are some hardcore football fans in Chennai and it has a population of 4.3 million and ever increasing and there is NO football club based in Chennai. This is what the new ISL corrected. They created teams based on Metropolitan cities and regions where football is extremely popular. People who followed football occasionally suddenly got interested and they wanted to support their city.
¶Another factor in ISL’s success is the ticket price like the author mentions. Everyone were able to afford the ticket.
¶With support for cricket declining in India (test match crowds are already dying out, only a short while ODI crowd diminishes also), ISL organisers must take this to the next stage. The huge cultural differences between the many states in India will lead to exciting rivalries and clashes. Here is hoping that this is the birth of football in India.”…(from commenter Indianguardian at theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/dec/23/india-super-league-fourth-biggest-league)
___
Thanks to the contributors at en.wikipedia.org, {Source of data, List of attendance figures at domestic professional sports leagues/Complete_table [with 2013-14 figures] (en.wikipedia.org).

April 23, 2015

Baseball in South Korea: KBO League, 2015 location-map with 2014 attendances, and an analysis of KBO crowd sizes./ Plus an illustration for the reigning (4-straight) champions the Samsung Lions.

Filed under: Baseball,Korea: baseball — admin @ 9:42 pm

korea_baseball_kbo-league2015_attendance-map-2014_post_b_v_.gif
Baseball in South Korea: KBO League, 2015 location-map with 2014 attendances



Links…
Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) (en.wikipedia.org).
-KBO teams…KBO League/ Teams (en.wikipedia.org).
-KBO official site/schedule, scores, standings; About KBO, etc. (in English, with Korean option)…http://eng.koreabaseball.com/.
-KBO 2015 season: standings, stats…2015 Korean Baseball Organization [sic] (baseball-reference.com/).
-KBO 리그의 공식 사이트http://www.koreabaseball.com/Default.aspx.
-My first post on KBO League (from Feb. 2010) has lots of info on the culture of Korean baseball,
Korea Baseball Organization: the 8 teams, with teams’ parent corporations listed, and baseball stadium photos (billsportsmaps.com/February 2010).

    Baseball in South Korea: KBO League, 2015 location-map with 2014 attendances

By Bill Turianski on 23 April 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
Demographics of South Korea
The population of South Korea is around 51.3 million {2014 estimate}. This puts South Korea as the 26th-most-populous nation on Earth. South Korea is very small, though: it is the 109th-largest country (at 100,210 km-sq or 66,690 mi-sq). That makes South Korea slightly smaller than Iceland, and slightly larger than Hungary. Largest city (by far) is, of course, Seoul…which is absolutely gigantic, and has a metro-area population that is second-largest on the planet. Seoul has a special-city population of around 10.1 million, and metro-area population of around 25.6 million ! {2014 figures). Only Tokyo, Japan (at ~36.9 million) has a larger metro-area. (I guess you learn something new everyday.) Basically, half of the population of South Korea resides in Seoul’s metropolitan area. South Korea has about the 30th-highest adjusted-GDP in the world {see this, List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita).

KBO League established 1982; title is called Korean Series championship; there are 10 teams in the KBO League/ season is 126 g/Apr-Oct
(KBO, or Korea Baseball Organization, is the governing body of the sport in the country).

Pro major-league baseball in South Korea began in 1982, with the institution of the KBO League as a 6-team league; a minor league was established eight years later in 1990 – the KBO Futures League. In 1986, the KBO League expanded to include a seventh team. In the first decade of its existence, the KBO League as a whole was only drawing in the 5 to 7 K range. By 1991, the KBO League had 8 teams. In 1995, cumulative attendance for the season finally topped 10 K per game, boosted by the exciting 1995 KBO season which saw three teams, the OB Bears, the LG Twins, and the Lotte Giants, go neck-to-neck for the pennant (the title in ’95 was won by the OB, now Doosan, Bears). However, this league attendance figure wasn’t surpassed for 14 years. After 1995, the KBO began to see dwindling fan interest that lasted for a decade. What first helped reverse the gradual slide in attendances from 1996 to 2004 was the good showing that the South Korean national baseball team had in the first World Baseball Classic, in 2005, when they finished in third. Another boost to the game there came three years later, when South Korea narrowly lost to Japan in extra innings in the second World Baseball Classic, and then six months later, the South Korean baseball team won the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. These results convinced many South Korean sports fans that KBO baseball was a product worth supporting. In 2008, league-wide attendance shot up 2.3 K per game to 10.4 K; the next year [2009] it was 11.1 K, and the KBO League has drawn above 11 K ever since.

And there is no doubt that the caliber of Korean baseball players has improved in the last 25 years. There is a large number of South Koreans playing in Japan, in the Nippon Professional Baseball League. In the United States, in Major League Baseball, there are currently 5 Korean players, including LA Dodgers starting LHP pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu, and Cincinnati Reds slugger and OF Shin-Soo Choo {see this, List of Major League Baseball players from South Korea}.

KBO League in the last two-and-a-half decades (1990s through 2010s)/ including present-day make-up of the KBO League [2015]
There were a few franchise shifts in the ensuing two decades (1990s to 2010). It wasn’t until 2013 that the KBO League finally got a ninth team (the NC Dinos). Now, for 2015, the KBO League continues to exhibit robust signs of health by finally getting to the nice round figure of 10 teams, with the addition of the KT Wiz. The KT Wiz look to have a serious uphill climb though, seeing as how they started their KBO existence going 3-and-17 (!) and sit last (as of 24 April 2015/ 2015 table here).

The KBO League is, in 2015, comprised of the following…
5 teams from Greater Seoul/Incheon/Suwon (metropolitan-area Greater Seoul)
3 teams from Seoul’s core-city-region: (Doosan Bears, LG Twins, Nexen Heroes); and
2 teams from Greater Seoul, with one team in South Korea’s third-largest city of Incheon (SK Wyverns), and
one team about 19 miles south of Seoul-city-center in Suwon (the brand-new KBO team the KT Wiz; KT Wiz).
5 KBO teams from the rest of South Korea
The other 5 teams in the KBO League are comprised as follows [clockwise on the map]…
one team from the fifth-largest city, Daejon (Hanwah Eagles);
one team from the the fourth-largest city, Daegu (Samsung Lions);
one team from the second-largest city Busan, (Lotte Giants);
one team from the 8th-largest city, Changwon (recent-expansion-team NC Dinos; NC Dinos); and
one team from the sixth-largest city, Gwanju (KIA Tigers, who are the most successful team in KBO, with 10 titles, last in 2009).

    Attendances of KBO clubs in general

KBO League attendance in 2014 was 11,302 per game.

(Note: if you want to see year-by-year/team-by-team KBO League attendance figures, the link to the KBO site’s page on attendance can be found if you scroll down to the foot of this post, where you will see an instruction guide to translate the headers to English).

League-wide cumulative attendance in the KBO’s first division these days varies from around 11 K to 13 K per game, depending on how certain teams fare in any given season. With only 9 [now 10] teams in the KBO League, a few teams’ crowd-size variations can really skew the league numbers.

Lotte Giants weird crowd-size fluctuations and the possible harm of expansion in the KBO
The club with the biggest crowd variation from year-to-year is Lotte Giants of second-city Busan (which is on the south coast of the country). Generally speaking, Lotte can draw 20 K if the team is doing well (as in 2012), but they usually only draw about 12 K if the team is doing poorly (like in 2007 and 2014). But it is starting to appear that recent (2013) expansion in the KBO will end up hurting Lotte Giants’ ability to draw large crowds. It looks like nearby new team the NC Dinos (who are from Changwon, which is located about 25 miles west of Lotte Giants) might be starting to erode Lotte Giants’ crowd sizes. I say this because we have seen it happen elsewhere in top-division baseball in the recent past – namely, in the 2005 to 2011 time period, when the MLB’s Montreal franchise moved to Washington, DC and started to erode the nearby (~35 miles up the road) MLB team the Baltimore Orioles’ crowd sizes. The Orioles drew 34 K in 2004, but once Washington got an MLB team again, 6 years later the Orioles were only drawing in the mid-to-low-20s K (like drawing only 23.5 K in 2009, then only drawing an alarming 21 K in 2010). So the Nats were knocking off at least 5-to-7 K worth of attendance from the O’s circa the 2006-11 time frame, and it looked to be a problem until both those teams got competitive [circa 2013-on], and crowds for both the Nats and the O’s began to be in the healthy low-30-K range [circa 2014-and-on]). And the same could happen in the south-east coast of South Korea, because Lotte only drew 12.0 K in 2013, when they had a decent .532 winning percentage. Lotte were playing well in 2013, and going by the Lotte’s fanbases’ past behavior (ie, not going to the ballpark when Lotte were having a losing season), the ball club definitely should have been drawing at least in the 17-K-range, if not higher (for example, in 2010, Lotte had a .531 winning pct., and drew 17.8 K). The new factor of nearby fan-dollar competition has now emerged (2013 was NC Dinos’ debut season). NC Dinos, who draw 7-to-8 K, got competitive fast (with a .551 winning pct in their 2nd year in 2014). So it will be interesting to see how this new dynamic in the KBO plays out, and if the Lotte Giants will be able to overcome this imposition on their catchment area.

Other teams such as SK Wyverns of Incheon (crowd-size-variation from 12 K to 16 K), and Nexen Heroes of Seoul (crowd-size-variation from 6 K to 9 K) also have significantly variable crowd sizes in any given year.

The perennial highest drawing clubs in the KBO League are Seoul’s big two: the LG Twins and the Doosan Bears
The highest draws in KBO League are Seoul’s LG Twins and Doosan Bears. LG and Doosan share the second-largest ball park in the country, Jamsil Baseball Stadium (capacity 30,200) (Lotte Giants’ Busan Sajik Baseball Stadium is slightly larger at 30,500-capacity). Both LG Twins and OB Bears were charter members of KBO in 1982 (OB Bears were founded in Daejeon in 1982; the franchise moved to Seoul in 1985 [with same name kept], before being officially renamed the Doosan Bears in 1999). The OB Bears played their first season in Seoul in 1985 at a since-demolished stadium, then in 1986 moved over to the Jamsil stadium and have shared the venue with the Twins ever since [the Nexen Heroes also use the Jamsil stadium for big games/ see Nexen section a few lines below]. Both LG Twins and Doosan Bears’ attendance has improved considerably in the last decade, and both have drawn between 15 and 20 K in the last five seasons (2010-14). However, neither ball club is particularly successful, though, because the last of the LG Twins’ 2 titles was won in 1994, while the last of the OB/Doosan Bears’ 3 titles was won in 2001. So the big 2 of Seoul have become complacent.
3rd-best draw in KBO are SK Wyverns
Besides the aforementioned take-em-or-leave-em nature of Lotte’s fickle fanbase, the only other team in South Korea that can draw in the thirteen-to-fifteen-K-range is the SK Wyverns, a relatively new club (est. 2000), from the far-western-part of Greater Seoul in the city of Incheon. SK, whose nickname of ‘wyvern’ refers to a type of dragon, basically drew terrible in their early days (ie, 2.6 K in their second season in 2001), but once they started racking up the first of their 3 titles (2007, 2008, 2010), the ball club stated drawing better, and now can easily draw in the 12 to 15 K range, and SK Wyverns drew 12.9 K last year [2014].
Worst-drawing KBO club is Nexen Heroes (from the western-side of Seoul)
The lowest-drawing club in the KBO League is Seoul’s ugly-stepchild-club, the title-less Nexen Heroes (est. 2008), who draw between 5 and 8 K. The Nexen Heroes did come close to glory last season, though, when they drew 6.9 K and made it to their first Korean Series, but fell to the Samsung Lions in 6 games {see this, 2014 Korean Series}.

    Hats off to reigning KBO camps the Samsung Lions

Samsung Lions are the second-most successful baseball club in South Korea, with 8 titles – four of which they have won consecutively (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014). The dark-sky-blue-and-silver Samsung Lions draw between 6 and 9 K at their snug, 10 K-capacity Daegu Baseball Stadium, in Daegu. Daegu, which is located inland in the south-east of the Korean peninsula, is the fourth-largest city in South Korea, and has a metro-area population of around 2.4 million.

Samsung Lions drew 7.8 K last year, which made them the team that filled their ballpark the best in the KBO in 2014 (ie, the highest percent-capacity, at 78.9). The Samsung Lions have won all their four straight Korean Series championships under manager Ryu Joong-il. In 2014, the Lions boasted three sluggers who hit 30 HR or more (Hyoung-woo Choi, Yamaico Navarro, and Lee Seung-yeop); those 3 players are featured below…
samsung-lions_kbo_daegu-stadium_2014-champs_ryu-joong-il_hyoung-woo-choi_yamaico-navarro_lee-seung-yeop_i_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Logo/cap/batting helmet, illustration by 삼성 라이온즈 samsunglions.com/en/intro/intro_2_2.asp.
Ryu Joong-il, photo by Yonhop at english.yonhapnews.co.kr/culturesports.
Hyoung-woo Choi, photo by Yonhop via koreatimes.co.kr/news/sports.
Yamaico Navarro, photo unattributed at licey.com.
Lee Seung-yeop, photo unattributed at koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article.
Action photo from April 2015 at Daegu Baseball Stadium with crowd behind home plate, photo by Solmin at idaegu.com/?c=6&uid=313363.
Samsung Lions cheerleaders and crowd at Daegu Baseball Stadium, photo by LHD at yeongnam.com/news.
Mascot-logo illustration by samsunglions.com.
___
Thanks to all at the following links…
-Globe-map of South Korea, by Ksiom at File:South Korea (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank map of South Korea, by NordNordWest at :FileSouth Korea location map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Attendance…koreabaseball.com/Record/Crowd/History (koreabaseball.com).
and…
-A very Big Thanks to Dan at MyKBO.net, for tweeting me the 2015 KBO League attendances AND translating the headers there :) Mykbo.net ; @Mykbo.net

How to read KBO League attendance figures (at the official KBO site) if you can’t read Korean…
1.) go here.
2). use the following list to translate the [non-acronym] headers…”From left – right: Samsung, KIA, Lotte, LG, Doosan, Hanhwa, SK, Nexen, NC, KT, Hyundai, Ssangbangwool’.
3). PS, Hyundai and Ssangbangwool are defunct KBO teams.

April 11, 2015

Australian rules football – the Australian Football League (AFL), 2015 location-map with: rules (in general), clubs-history-chart, and chart of 2014 attendances with titles listed./ Plus: 2014 champions the Hawthorn Hawks.

Filed under: Aussie Rules Football,Australia — admin @ 3:14 pm

australian-rules-football_2015-afl_location-map_w-2014-attendances_titles-list_post_e_.gif
AFL (Australia): Australian Rules Football’s 1st division – map, with brief league history, 2014 attendances, and club titles listed



Links…
-Teams…Australian Football League/Current clubs (en.wikipedia.org).
-Live scores…scoreboard.com/aussie-rules.
-Fixtures & Results (official site)…afl.com.au/fixture.
-Official website…afl.com.au.

    Australian Football League: 2015 location-map with: Rules (in general), Clubs-history-chart; Attendances, Club colours, and Titles listed

By Bill Turianski on 11 April 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
First off, apologies to all the regulars from Down Under who have waited patiently (over 7 years) for me to finally make a map and a post of an Australian pro league. I will also soon have a post, in the near future (around mid-May 2015), for Australian rugby league football (the NRL).

On the map page…
At the top left-hand side of the map page is a Clubs-formation chart which shows a brief history of the VFL/AFL, with each current clubs’ date of inclusion into the league noted. At the lower left is a globe-map of Australia, with the 5 largest cities noted. At the center of the map page is a location-map of the 18 AFL teams. At the upper right-hand side of the map page are two illustrations of the typical Australian rules field, with a brief rules description and a brief word on typical-playing-field-dimensions (there also is a section below, on rules/playing-field/traditional-positions). Below that is a chart which shows 2014 home regular season attendance for the 18 AFL clubs, with three other things listed…1). club’s dates of formation and of inclusion into VFL/AFL; 2). club colours, crest, and jersey-pattern; 3). Premiers (titles) won by each club (with date of last title noted).

Size and population of Australia…
I will start of with a brief description of the size, relative size, and population of Australia. If you click on the following link you can see, at a glance, how massive the island/Continent of Australia is when it is compared to the Continental USA, {here (aboutaustralia.com)}. As you can see in that graphic, Australia is about the same size as the Continental USA, but when you factor in Alaska (and Hawaii), Australia ends up being about 23% “smaller” than the 50 United States. Australia is the 6th-largest country on Earth, at around 7.6 million km-squared (or around 2.9 million miles-squared), which makes it about 10% “smaller” than the 5th-largest country – Brazil, and more than twice the size of the 7th-largest country – India. To put it another way, Australia is massive. It is also not very populous for its size, because Australia is only the 52nd-most-populous nation, with a population of around 23.7 million {2015 figure}. To give you an idea of how sparsely populated Australia is, it has slightly less inhabitants than the pretty-small-sized nations of Nepal, Ghana, or North Korea. {Sources of data: sizes: List of countries and dependencies by area; populations: List of countries and dependencies by population (both from en.wikipedia.org).}

The Big 5 Cities in Australia…
There are 5 major cities in Australia, all of which have AFL teams. On the map page, in the globe-map on the lower left there, I have placed those 5 cities along with their populations. Sydney is the largest city in the country, with around 4.7 million inhabitants (in the metro area/urban population/all listed here are 2013 or 2014 estimates). Melbourne is the second-city of Australia – but only just…it has a population of only about 300 K less than Sydney, at around 4.4 million. Brisbane is third-largest, at about 2.3 million; Perth is fourth at around 2.0 million; and Adelaide is fifth at around 1.2 million. The capital of Australia, Canberra (which is situated in the small Australian Capital Territory, located midway between Sydney and Melbourne) is a rather small city, and is the eighth-largest, with about 411,000 inhabitants. {Sources, each city’s Wikipedia page for the most-recent population estimates, however the following link is relatively recently updated (2012 figures), List of cities in Australia by population (en.wikipedia.org).}

There are 4 football codes in Australia which have professional major leagues (the most of any country)…
There are 4 football codes in Australia (listed below with first-division 2014 league-average-attendances):
Australian rules football (1st division: AFL, which averaged 32,327 per game in 2014).
Rugby union football (1st division: Super Rugby, which averaged 16,913 per game in 2014).
Rugby league football (1st division: NRL, which averaged 15,787 per game in 2014).
Association football [aka soccer]: only pro division: A-League, which averaged 14,759 per game in 2014).
[source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Australian_football_code_crowds#Attendances_by_league.]

An extremely simplified guide to the 4 football codes’ popularity in Australia…
Aussie rules football…
[please note: a very basic VFL/AFL history is shown at the top left-hand-side of the map page.]
To simplify it in the extreme, Australian Rules Football, which originated in the 1860s in and around Melbourne in the state of Victoria, turned semi-pro when the AFL was formed in 1897. Although first division teams were not based in any of the other states and territories of the country for almost 90 years (until the 1980s and 1990s), Aussie rules football has always been hugely popular throughout all the 8 states and the 2 territories of Australia, with the exception of New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland. In and around Sydney (which is the capital of New South Wales) and in all of Queensland (including Brisbane), Australian rules football has been historically overshadowed by rugby league football. The split described in the last two sentences can be see in the map at Barassi Line (en.wikipedia.org) {that map is also at the top-left-hand-side of the map page}.

The 2 Rugby codes in Australia…
Rugby Union, a little over a century ago, became the major sport of the city of Melbourne and of the state of Victoria. The highest level of competition in Australia is the National Rugby Championship, although there is a higher tier that involves teams from South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, Super Rugby.

Rugby League, a little over a century ago, became the major sport of the city of Sydney and of the state of New South Wales (as well as the major sport of Brisbane in Queensland). The highest level of competition in Australia is the National Rugby League (NRL), which has 16 teams (9 teams from New South Wales).

Soccer (aka association football), in Australia…
Soccer was widely shunned by many if not most Australian fans and players for decades (ie, only “Sheilas, Wogs & Poofters” played soccer, as the bigotry of the day held [circa 1950s through '80s]). Only in the last decade-and-a-half or so has soccer become a viable pro sport in Australia. And now, going into the 2010s, soccer has made significant gains in popularity, to the point that the Australian first division in soccer (the A-League) is currently drawing only marginally less than both rugby codes in the country (see list with league-attendance 4 paragraphs above).

Australian Rules Football: Rules (in general), Field Size, and Traditional Positions…
australian-rules-football_rules_typical-oval_field-size_traditional-positions_b_.gif
Image credits above – Field markings on the oval, illustration by Schultz at File:Footygroundfix.svg (en.wikipedia.org). Traditional positions in Aussie rules, illustration by Robert Merkel at File:Aussie rules ground positions.svg. Typical oval, illustration by clfm at File:AFL stadium.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).

Australian Rules Football: Rules (in general)…
[Note: the text below is the same as the text in the upper-right-hand-part of the illustration above.]
Each team has 18 players. The playing field is very large (~135 to 185 meters), and is usually oval in shape. The ball is oval, and has much more bounce to it than an American gridiron football. 4 quarters of 20 minutes each are played (80:00). Each quarter starts with a ball-up, which is similar to a tip-off, but with the umpire bouncing the ball down hard onto the ground, and thus high into the air, to be contested on the way down by each team’s ruckman (usually the tallest man on the team). Aussie rules is a contact sport and opposing players can stop the ball carrier by tackling, but dangerous play will result in distance penalties or suspension.

Out of bounds balls are put back in play by umpire, who, with his back turned, tosses ball overhead back into play.

There are four goalposts, and kicking the ball through the two center-posts is the object of the game. Goals are scored by kicking the ball, untouched by anyone else, through the center-uprights (6 points). If ball goes through the flanking uprights instead, it is called a behind (1 point).
-Players can advance the ball (in any direction) by running with the ball, but must bounce the ball (or touch ball to ground) every 15 meters (~16 yards).
-Players can also advance the ball by kicking the ball to teammates.
-Players can also advance the ball via a clenched-fist hand-pass (called a handball), or by an open-hand-tap.
-No throwing of the ball is allowed.
A mark is made when a player catches a kick of more than 15 meters. Play stops, and then that player kicks the ball from the mark.
{For further details, see this, Australian rules football/Laws of the game;
and see this, Australian rules football playing field.}

AFL season:
The AFL (regular) season spans from late-March to early-September, and has 22 matches per team (11 home games for each team, played in a 23-weeks-span, with one bye week per team per season). Four points are awarded for each win and two points are awarded for a draw. That is illogical mathematics. Because what would be the difference if it was 2 points for a win, and 1 for a draw? There would be no difference. Hey Melbourne, why don’t you just give 2 million points for a win and 1 million points for a draw? Because the standings would still end up the same. Sheesh. {See this, Why does the AFL use 4 points for a win and 2 points for a draw? (answers.yahoo.com/question), which features some bloke positing the following theory…”Mate, I have no idea why they award 4 points for a win in the AFL. Almost every other Aussie Rules Football competition, outside of Victoria uses the 2-1-0 system. My hunch: 4 points looks bigger and better, exactly the way Victorians see themselves! (comment by Graham).}

The top 8 [of the 18] teams qualify for a post-season playoffs, which is a bit complicated {see this, AFL finals system}. Basically, of the 8 that make it to the post-season, the top 4 only have to win 2 more matches to advance to the Grand Final, while the lower 4 [of the 8 who qualify for the post-season] have to win 3 more matches to advance to the Grand Final. Excerpt from Australian Football League/Finals series (en.wikipedia.org)…”The grand final is traditionally played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the afternoon of the last Saturday in September. The winning team receives a silver premiership cup and a navy blue premiership flag – a new one of each is manufactured each year. The flag has been presented since the league began and is traditionally unfurled at the team’s first home game of the following season.”

    Australian Football League (AFL): est. 1897 as the VFL…

(Note: The VFL changed its name to the AFL in 1990.)

1896: the Australian Football League (AFL), was formed in 1896 as the Victorian Football League (VFL), when 6 Melbourne-based clubs broke away from the the Victorian Football Association (Collingwood, Essendon, Fitzroy [now Brisbane Lions], Geelong, Melbourne, South Melbourne [now Sydney Swans]).

1897: a few months later, in early 1897, those 6 clubs invited two other Melbourne-based clubs to join the competition for its first season of 1897 (Carlton, and St Kilda).

In 1908, two more teams joined (Richmond, and the Melbourne University team), making the VFL, temporarily, a 10-team league for a 7-year-spell (1908-14).

(By around 1911 or so, player payments were becoming common in the VFL.)

1914: but one of those 2 new teams dropped out 6 years later – that was the Melbourne University VFL team. They were constrained by only being able to field players who were students there, and so never fielded professional players [just as the league was being filled more and more with semi-pro and pro players]. Melbourne University finished last 3 straight seasons, lost their last 51 games in the league, and left the competition for good in 1914. (Melbourne University team was re-started 5 years later in 1919 as 2 teams – the University Blues and the University Blacks – both of whom are currently in the top division of the seven-tier Victorian Amateur Football Association.)

1913: the VFL existed as a 9-team league from 1913 to 1925.

In 1925, 3 more Melbourne-based clubs joined, to make it a 12-team league (Footscray [now Western Bulldogs], Hawthorn, North Melbourne).

For over 5 decades (57 years/1925 to 1982), the VFL continued to exist in the 12-teams/all-Greater-Melbourne-based-clubs form.

1982: then one club moved up north to New South Wales – that was the South Melbourne Swans. The club’s Victoria-based supporters tried to stop it, but in fact the players wanted to move to Sydney, and so the move stood. Thus, in 1982, the first Interstate team (ie, a club outside of Victoria state) was established, when the South Melbourne Swans moved to the-land-of-rugby-league (NSW), and became the Sydney Swans. And several others clubs from outside of Victoria state soon followed…

1987: the first of two AFL clubs from the far western state of Western Australia, in Perth, joined the AFL in 1987 (West Coast Eagles/ 8 years later, in 1995, Fremantle, of Greater Perth, joined the league).

Also in 1987, the first of two AFL clubs from Queensland joined the league (the Brisbane Bears, who later became the Brisbane Lions in 1997, via a merger with Fitzroy [of Melbourne]/ 14 years later, the Gold Coast Suns, of far-southern Queensland, joined in 2011).

In 1991, the first of two AFL clubs from Victoria state’s neighboring state of South Australia joined the league (Adelaide Crows, who are currently the highest-drawing AFL club at ~48 K per game/ 6 years later, in 1997, the Adelaide Power joined the league).

2012: to round out the league, in 2012, another club from Sydney joined, and that was the Greater Western Sydney Giants.

So, at present [2015], there are 18 AFL teams, 10 of which are from Greater Melbourne/Victoria state; 2 from New South Wales state (in Greater Sydney); 2 from Western Australia state (in Greater Perth); 2 from South Australia state (in Adelaide); and 2 from Queensland state (1 in Brisbane, and 1 just south of there in the Gold Coast region).

To this day, first-division Aussie rules football draws best by far of any sport in Australia…in 2014, the AFL drew 32.3 K per game, which was almost double what its closest competitor for the fan-dollar (rugby union) drew. And for good reason, because Australian rules football is an awesome thing to behold. The AFL’s title-game, the Grand Final, which is held at the 95,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground, draws the highest crowd of any national championship game in the world. The AFL’s 118th Grand Final drew over 99,000 last October (see illustration below).

Hawthorn Hawks have won the last two Premiers…
Hawthorn Hawks are of course Melbourne-based, and play most of their home matches at Melbourne Cricket Ground, but, since 2007, they have been playing 4 of their 11 home games per year at the 21,000-capacity York Park in Launceston, Tasmania, which is the second-largest city in Tasmania and is located on the north part of the island of Tasmania, 202 km or 126 miles north of the state capital of Hobart, by road. Distance by air from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia to Launceston, Tasmania, Australia is 442 km (or 275 mi). (Tasmania is the only Australian state located outside of the island/continent of Australia; Launceston is the only non-coastal city in Tasmania, with a population of around 103,000.)

Hawthorn Hawks – back-to-back champions of the Australian Football League (2013 & 2014 Premiers)…
-From Dailymail.co.uk, from 27 Sept. 2014, by Louise Cheer, Daniel Mills, and Sally Lee, Hawks soar to victory as Swans sink without trace: Hawthorn smash Sydney 137-74 as [more than 99,000] fans watch AFL grand final in Melbourne (dailymail.co.uk/news/article [w/ dozens of photos]).
-From Guardian/sports, from 27 Sept.2014, by Scott Heinrich, AFL grand final: Hawthorn win 12th flag with demolition of Sydney Swans (guardian.com/sport).

    Below: the reigning AFL champions, the 12-time Premiership-winning Hawthorn Hawks, of Melbourne (and of Tasmania)…

hawthorn-hawks_2014-afl-champions_2014-grand-final_photos_k_.gif
Photos and Images above -
Hawthorn FC colours, in swatch form, from File:AFL Hawthorn Icon.jpg (by the realjoebloggsblog at en.wikipedia.org).
Photo of Jared Lewis, from heraldsun.au. Photo-illustration of Peter Crimmins Medal from hawthornfc.com.au. Quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Crimmins_Medal. Photo of Jarryd Roughead, by Michael Dodge/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com.

Photos from 2014 Grand Final…Hawks fans at the G with flags and banners, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk. Luke Breust stooping to win possession, photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Cyril Rioli scoring a goal from a tight angle, photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Luke Hodge claimed his second Norm Smith Medal [best player in Grand Final] and helped the Hawks to another Grand Final, photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media via theroar.com.au. Hawks players celebrate at the final siren, photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images via gettyimages.com. Will Langford after leaping into stands to celebrate with Hawks fans, photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Hawks’ Trophy celebration, photo by Joe Castro/AAP Images via guardian.com/sport.

Here is a very recent article about AFL’s efforts to lure American college basketball players into converting into pro Aussie rules football players, from the New York Times, by Scott Cacciola from 8 May 2015,
Australian Football Visits U.S. in Search of Basketball Big Men (nytimes.com/sports/ncaabasketball).
___
Sources for map page:
Thanks to all at these links…
-Attendances (2014 season): 2014 Australian football code crowds/Attendances by team.

-Dates of establishment: Australian Football League/Current clubs.

-Titles: List of Australian Football League premiers. (en.wikipedia.org).

-Rules: Australian rules football; Australian rules football playing field (en.wikipedia.org).

-Australian rules football ovals (3 illustrations)…
Thanks to Schultz at File:Footygroundfix.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to clfm at File:AFL stadium.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to Robert Merkel at File:Aussie rules ground positions.svg.
-Blank maps on map page…
Thanks to Ssolbergj for globe-map of Australia, File:Australia (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to NordNordWest for blank map of Australia, File:Australia location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
-Jersey Icons…
Thanks to thejoesbloggsblog for most of the jersey-pattern icons on the chart on the map page at Australian Football League/Current clubs (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the AFLstore for Western Eagles’ jersey-icon, theaflstore.com.au/west-coast-eagles.

Thanks to the contributors at Australian Football League.
Thanks to the bloke in the Geelong Cats cap, in the stairwell at the Fairport, NY library last November, who told me that Aussie rules football is…”the best sport in the world, mate.”

March 30, 2015

2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Ice Hockey Tournament – the 2015 Frozen Four: Boston University, North Dakota, Providence, Omaha.

Filed under: Hockey,NCAA - ice hockey — admin @ 12:01 pm




Links…
My map of the 2015 tournament, 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament – map of the 16 qualifying teams in the 2015 tournament, with 2013-14 attendances, plus all-time Division I ice hockey titles list (including all-time Frozen Four appearances).

Qualifying teams/Bracket2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament/Qualifying teams/Tournament bracket (en.wikipedia.org).
Schedule2015 D-I men’s ice hockey NCAA tournament schedule and results (espn.go.com)Best site for in-game scoresncaa.com/scoreboard/icehockey-men/d1.

    The 2015 Frozen Four: Boston University, North Dakota, Providence, Omaha.

By Bill Turianski on 30 March 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

Boston University Terriers…
1R: Boston University 3, Yale 2 (OT). 2R: Boston University 3, Minnesota-Duluth 2.
Boston University Terriers’ 22nd Frozen Four appearance.
The Terriers are host of the 2015 Frozen Four in Boston, on April 9th through Saturday April 11th, at TD Garden (home of the Bruins).
boston-university-terriers_2015-frozen-four_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Barry Chin/Boston Globe at BU advances to the Frozen Four with win over Minnesota-Duluth (bostonglobe.com). Logos from Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, sportslogos.net/logos/Boston_University_Terriers.

University of North Dakota…
1R: North Dakota 4, Quinnipiac 1. 2R: North Dakota 4, St. Cloud St. 1.
The University of North Dakota advances to the Frozen Four for the 7th time in 11 years.
university-of-north-dakota_2015-frozen-four_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Photo by David Samson/The Forum at grandforksherald.com/north-dakota-advances-frozen-four; grandforksherald.com/ [photo]. Logos from Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, sportslogos.net/logos/North_Dakota_Fighting_Sioux. Jersey photo from shop.cbssports.com/CBS_North_Dakota

Providence Friars…
1R: Providence 7, Miami (OH) 5. 2R: Providence 4, Denver 1.
The Providence Friars advance to the Frozen Four for the first time in 30 years.
providence-friars_2015-frozen-four_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Photo by Matt Eisenberg at uscho.com. Logos from Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, sportslogos.net/logos/Providence_Friars.

Omaha Mavericks…
1R: Omaha 4, Harvard 1. 2R: Omaha 4, RIT 0.
The Omaha Mavericks make it to the Frozen Four for the first time ever.
[Note: you can click on image below to see it in a separate page.]
omaha-mavericks_2015-frozen-four_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Photo from http://pics.mcclatchyinteractive.com/wire_photos/4y4wbk/picture16881716/ALTERNATES/FREE_960/Nebraska%20Omaha%20RIT%20Hockey.JPEG [I could not find attribution or the place the photo was situated] via Nebraska-Omaha beats RIT 4-0 to reach Frozen Four . Logos from Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, sportslogos.net/logos/Nebraska-Omaha_Mavericks.
Photo of Omaha Mavericks white jersey from omavs.com [the "15" was drawn in using font at link below].
___
Thanks to Free Vector Download for that jersey-font template, http://osc-vector.com/tag/block-font-numbers.
Thanks to the contributors at 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament (en.wikipedia.org).

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