Hey Denis, hows Melbourne going?

Current NRL champions and Rugby League front runners the Melbourne Storm have left suburban Sydney teams in their wake as they registered higher crowds than several of the Sydney and regional games. The Wests Tigers, Dragons, Knights, Raiders, Manly and Cronulla all played their Round 1 2008 NRL games in front of lower crowds.

Every time Melbourne reach another NRL milestone, it means more people are laughing at Parramatta CEO Denis Fitzgerald who has been trying to de-rail the Storm for years – yet only succeeding at making himself look continually foolish. Fitzgerald is rarely taken seriously these days as his comments and actions defy words, but surely his comments about Melbourne not being deserving of an NRL licence must keep him awake at night.

Not only have Melbourne successfully grabbed another NRL Premiership, they continue to make massive advances off the Rugby League field. It’s widely known how successful their coaching and management staffs are; their knowledge and ability sought out the world around – with UK sporting outfits chasing Craig Bellamy while in the UK for the World Club Challenge.

The Storm also set the standard off the Rugby League field. They are always first to keep NRL News up to date with not only press releases; but in depth club reporting and news, along with complete access to the players for interviews – they truly leave the other clubs well behind.

Melbourne Storm CEO Brian Waldron has naturally delighted at the strong crowd of 20,084 at Monday night’s Round 1 NRL clash against the New Zealand Warriors. Icing the cake for the Warriors first season win.

Olympic Park, Storm’s usual home ground, has a capacity of 17,500 and would have been too small to cater for those wishing to attend.

“We’re very pleased with the attendance at the game on Monday and it just goes to show more and more Victorians are taking an interest in rugby league,” said Waldron.

“In very hot conditions, the Storm fans turned up in excellent numbers, and we couldn’t be happier. Had we played the game at Olympic Park we would have had a sell out! ”

Monday night’s crowd is the third largest of any home game during the regular season in the club’s history, with only the Storm’s very first game at Olympic Park (20,522 v North Sydney, Round 4, 1998) and the Round 1 clash of 2000 (23,000 v Dragons at the MCG) topping that figure.

In terms of Round 1 crowds, the numbers at Telstra Dome clearly outstripped those at traditional rugby league fixtures including the Sharks v Sea Eagles, Knights v Raiders, and Wests Tigers v Dragons games. Of all Monday night fixtures played since the introduction of Monday night football, Melbourne’s crowd against the Warriors sits sixth on the list.

ROUND 1, 2008 CROWDS

AR

RD

HOME

AWAY

VENUE

RESULT

CROWD

SCHEDULE

2008

1

Rabbitohs

Roosters

ANZ Stadium

Roosters d Rabbitohs 34-20

29,386

Friday

2008

1

Titans

Cowboys

Skilled Park

Titans d Cowboys 36-18

26,974

Friday

2008

1

Eels

Bulldogs

ANZ Stadium

Eels d Bulldogs 28-20

25,065

Saturday

2008

1

Manly

Cronulla

Brookvale Oval

Sharks d Sea Eagles 16-10

15,424

Saturday

2008

1

Knights

Raiders

EnergyAustralia

Knights d Raiders 30-14

17,233

Saturday

2008

1

Broncos

Panthers

Suncorp Stadium

Broncos d Panthers 48-12

31,250

Sunday

2008

1

Wests Tigers

Dragons

SFS

Tigers d Dragons 24-16

18,211

Sunday

2008

1

Storm

Warriors

Telstra Dome

Storm d Warriors 32-18

20,084

Monday

 

 

 

 

 

Total

183,627

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average

22,953

 

 

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL CROWDS

ATE

RD

HOME

AWAY

VENUE

CROWD

19/03/2007

1

Roosters

Rabbitohs

Aussie Stadium

24,127

26/03/2007

2

Titans

Sharks

Carrara Stadium

17,946

2/04/2007

3

Raiders

Knights

Canberra Stadium

13,109

9/04/2007

4

Sharks

Dragons

Toyota Park

19,137

16/04/2007

5

Raiders

Roosters

Canberra Stadium

15,862

23/04/2007

6

Cowboys

Rabbitohs

Dairy Farmers Stadium

17,678

30/04/2007

7

Knights

Sharks

Energy Australia Stadium

15,453

7/05/2007

8

Titans

Cowboys

Carrara Stadium

17,806

14/05/2007

9

Storm

Bulldogs

Olympic Park

14,066

21/05/2007

10

Sea Eagles

Broncos

Brookvale Oval

13,493

28/05/2007

11

Eels

Warriors

Parramatta Stadium

11,160

4/06/2007

12

Wests Tigers

Eels

Telstra Stadium

22,245

11/06/2007

13

Dragons

Sharks

OKI Jubilee Stadium

12,455

18/06/2007

14

Knights

Raiders

EnergyAustralia Stadium

11,349

25/06/2007

15

Broncos

Wests Tigers

Suncorp Stadium

29,364

2/07/2007

16

Bulldogs

Roosters

Telstra Stadium

20,722

9/07/2007

17

Eels

Knights

Parramatta Stadium

10,363

16/07/2007

18

Storm

Knights

Olympic Park

10,223

23/07/2007

19

Broncos

Eels

Suncorp Stadium

25,762

30/07/2007

20

Wests Tigers

Cowboys

Leichhardt Oval

17,101

6/08/2007

21

Sharks

Storm

Toyota Park

7,831

13/08/2007

22

Panthers

Cowboys

CUA Stadium

7,618

20/08/2007

23

Rabbitohs

Sea Eagles

Telstra Stadium

12,087

27/08/2007

24

Dragons

Eels

Oki Jubilee Stadium

13,488

17/01/2008

1

Storm

Warriors

Telstra Dome

20,084

 

 

 

 

Total

400,529

 

 

 

 

Average

16,021

So Mr Denis Fitzgerald, hows the Melbourne Storm going now? Or should they still be kicked out of the NRL?  If you forgot what you said about the Melbourne Storm a few years ago, click here for the full report.

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