QRU expecting the ARC to revitalise Queensland Rugby
The Queensland Rugby Union are expecting the new Australian Rugby Championship to develop into a momentum swing that will bring fans back to the code.
Speaking to the Communications Manager of the QRU - Paul Reid, Austadiums.com answered some of the commonly asked questions in regards to the two Queensland sides, namely the East Coast Aces.
Reid explains that the names had extensive consultation before creation, while the East Coast Aces was done to represent more than just the Gold Coast.
"The team names were chosen as a result of intensive brand workshop discussion by a cross section of people including representatives of the clubs directly involved. It's premature to decide how successful this has been. The East Coast reference was intended to extend the association with the team beyond simply the Gold Coast, to acknowledge that its catchment area is broader than that".
The East Coast Aces will be based at Gold Coast's Carrara Stadium while Queensland's other side, the Ballymore Tornados, will be based at Ballymore Stadium in Brisbane.
Reid believes crowds of 3-5000 should be expected at both venues and recognises the challenges of the Gold Coast market.
"The Gold Coast has always been a tough market for sporting teams and the success of the Titans certainly makes it harder to gain sponsorship and media space, but there is a growing rugby community in that region - encouraged by the success of the Gold Coast Breakers - and we believe they will embrace this team and this competition".
While he is supportive of the ARC, you can note that he is more cautious than officials in Western Australia and Victoria.
"Rugby as a whole has had a tough year and we're all hoping that this new competition, as well as the World Cup, will provide a "circuit breaker" for the code in Australia, especially given that the ARC will be played under the new experimental laws".
"This competition has real possibilities of expanding further if it captures the imagination of the rugby public, although the timing will depend on how the Super 14 competition evolves".