Summer Bash showed what Championship has to offer, says RFL boss

Drew Darbyshire

Rugby Football League chief executive Ralph Rimmer insists the Summer Bash adds a ‘feelgood’ factor to the Championship.

The Summer Bash attracted a crowd of 15,070 over the two days at Bloomfield Road – the home of Blackpool FC.

The attendance was up 3,265 on last year, and Rimmer believes the Summer Bash adds a lot to the second tier.

He said: “The weekend has the feel of a real celebration of the game, and it’s important for us to acknowledge the part the Championship Summer Bash has played in that.

“We all saw the pictures yesterday from Barcelona, where Catalans Dragons attracted a record Super League crowd for their game against Wigan.

“That was a magnificent example of the flagship competition pushing out to new audiences, and closer to home the Summer Bash has again illustrated what the Championship has to offer.

“The live coverage provided by Sky Sports of all seven games gives the clubs invaluable exposure, on the back of the coverage already being provided of Toronto Wolfpack’s fixtures this season – and setting the scene for further coverage of the top five play-offs leading to the Million Pound Game in the autumn.”

Rimmer insists the RFL is working closely with Championship and League One clubs as they aim to continue to attract increased crowds.

He said: “We’re working harder than ever at the RFL with the Championship and League One clubs, and it’s those clubs who have driven the increase in attendances this year with their marketing and social media work.

“We’ve already received a lot of positive feedback about the first day, both in terms of the enjoyable experience off the field and the quality of the rugby on it.”