billsportsmaps.com

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

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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 a 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 (5 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

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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 (II) [the Tijuana Bulls or Tijuana Toros], est. 2014. (The Petroleros de Minatitlán [Minatitlán Oilers] franchise moved to Tijuana after the 2013 season, to become the Toros de Tijuana (II). The Petroleros were one of the lowest-drawing teams in the league.) 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.

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

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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.

Updates…
-Crowds-&-finishes chart for 2016 season of the NRL, with 2016 Premiers (champions), the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.
-Crowds-&-finishes chart for 2015 season of the NRL, with 2015 Premiers (champions), the North Queensland Cowboys.

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.

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