The Wests Tigers today announced its new playing arrangements for the next three seasons, which now includes the moving of four games to Telstra Stadium.
The Club?s new deal with Telstra Stadium is in addition to the opening round double-header, which will continue to be played at the former Olympic venue.
Wests Tigers CEO Stephen Noyce said the Club had struck the perfect balance between building on its long-term financial viability and respecting its proud heritage.
?Financially we would have been better off to move all games to Telstra Stadium but we have decided to respect our tradition by playing three home games each at both Leichhardt Oval and Campbelltown Sports Stadium in addition to one game at Jade Stadium in Christchurch,? Mr Noyce said.
?For the next season we will also supplement these games with our annual Charity Cup match against Parramatta at Campbelltown and a trial against Manly at Leichhardt Oval,? he said. This year Wests Tigers moved a game to Christchurch for financial reasons and played two double headers at Telstra Stadium, leaving five games at Campbelltown and four games at Leichhardt.
?Campbelltown and Leichhardt can be great venues to watch football but unfortunately they haven?t kept pace with the requirements of modern stadiums,? said Mr Noyce.
?The feedback we?ve been getting from our supporters, sponsors and corporate partners is that transport and public amenities have been less than adequate, and seating capacity and covered seating is limited. Additionally, all important media and dressing room facilities are not up to the required standard. Both local councils are aware of the issues that we face and we are committed to working with them to obtain the necessary funding that is required. ?While we have been keen to support our heritage, unfortunately this has worked against us on many levels. Limited seating, restricted viewing and a lack of corporate facilities combined with costs the Club incurs to hire the grounds as well as additional facilities, means we were already financially in the red even before we open the gates.
?Our new playing schedule is good for fans, good for business, bolsters our Club?s prospects for success and provides an improved financial platform. It also provides a happy medium between our heritage and our future. ?Telstra Stadium is one of the most advanced sporting stadiums in the world and offers our fans the best in spectator viewing and comfort, our corporate supporters state of the art facilities and our players a first class sporting stage. What?s more, it?s easily accessible to existing and potential supporters.
?As Leichhardt and Campbelltown lack adequate lighting, we plan to program our potential night games at Telstra Stadium to take advantage of the facilities. ?With the Stadium being in the geographical centre between Campbelltown and Leichhardt, we anticipate the games will attract a substantial supporter base from these two areas. ?Wests Tigers are fast becoming one of the most followed teams in the NRL, and by uniting the fan base at a central location, we place ourselves in a better position to capitalise on this growing support.
?Transport access and the world class facilities will also be a major drawcard for supporters,? Mr Noyce said.
The deal with Telstra Stadium enables the Wests Tigers to offer Season Ticket Holders what it claims is the best value package in the Club?s history. A number of initiatives will be launched in the coming months including ?best seat in the house? options.
Wests Tigers will also launch its Chairman?s Club with a capacity of 800 providing the most flexible packages for sponsors and corporate partners in the premium positioned Millennium Room. Coupled with this is a further three event rooms with another 750 seating capacity, plus a host of suites and boxes for another 450. This season the Club confirmed long-term sponsorship partners with Herbal World, Wokka Noodles, XBlades and JFTA - all committing to between two and three year deals.
While the Club is working hard to secure its financial future, it is also implementing a number of initiatives off the field to cement community support for the Club. The first of which is an initiative aimed at tackling one of Australia?s greatest health issues - childhood obesity. The Club is introducing primary school children to physical activities in a fun way and teaching better nutritional habits.
Next year Wests Tigers will embark on a Driver Education Program for secondary schools, further increasing its local profile.
On the football front, the Club is headed for its best season since inception under the careful guidance of Coach Tim Sheens. It won the World Sevens, it leads the NRL with the greatest increase in home game attendance up 40% and it has some of the most exciting junior players in the league including Bronson Harrison, Benji Marshall, Bryce Gibbs, Dene Halatau and Liam Fulton coming through the ranks.