“Rugby League is sitting on a ticking time bomb demographically” as Wolves look to future

Warrington have issued a rallying call for rugby league clubs to do more to attract the next generation of supporters.

Their new junior memberships for 2023, called “Wolf Pack”, allow young fans to attend all 13 of the clubs Super League home fixtures for just £23.

Wolves CEO Karl Fitzpatrick said: “We all remember watching our first live game as a kid and we want to give as many juniors in the town that opportunity.

“We’ve seen previously through our ‘Kid for a Quid’ initiatives that the appetite is there and it’s important we continue to make watching our great sport accessible and affordable for the next generation of fans.

“The sport of Rugby League is sitting on a ticking time bomb demographically and from 2023 onwards we really want to be proactive in our community, enticing a new younger audience to come and watch our great game.

“By making the memberships £26, and all the other activities and events that fall under the new “Wolf Pack”, we hope a whole new wave of kids in our town will fall in love with our great club.”

Average age of fans increasing across Super League

The club revealed that since 2019, the number of members under the age of 12 has declined by 40%. Alongside this, two years of community activations in schools were lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The average age of a member across has Super League has increased year on year, with the average age of a Warrington member being just over 50.

The Wolf Pack concept is a throwback to the club’s days at Wilderspool, its former home before moving to the Halliwell Jones Stadium ahead of the 2004 season.

Being a Wolf Pack member not only allows juniors to attend all home Super League games, but there are numerous exclusive events, parties and competitions. Each member will also be given a personalised card and lanyard which they can wear to games with pride. 

LRL verdict

It was an offer like this that got me to my first live rugby league game at Wilderspool back in 1997. It’s important that it has value, and is something more than just the game itself. It’s about getting kids to engage with the club and its brand, and this is what Warrington will be trying to do.

Lots is always said about giving tickets out free to kids – but this can sometimes be counter productive, as people then just get used to waiting for free tickets.

By making it affordable across the board, it’s a win-win.

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About James Gordon 7231 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.

2 Comments

  1. It’s great attracting kids to stadiums. But, are they gonna come with a responsible adult? Are they gonna sit, watch the game and behave? Or, is the likelihood that the clubs stewards end up babysitting.
    Someone’s gotta take on the safeguarding role. That’s a fairly high responsibility and whoever does it will want a big salary.
    Then there’s the problems of em spoiling others viewing cos they get bored. You can’t just chuck em out. You have to get parents details, you have to be certain that the person who turns up is really who they say they are.
    It’s a minefield, one where you WILL be crucified if you get it wrong.
    Good luck, I’m really glad I am retired and not responsible anymore.

  2. If watching matches isn’t affordable then it needs to be made affordable for everyone, not just kids, otherwise they just see a massive price spike the moment they’re too old for the scheme and move onto something they can afford. Anyway, what good is it for a kid to attend for that much when the parents will need to drop at least £50 per game for the two of them to go with the kid?

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