Daniel Nichols – Saturday Arvo Footy MUST Be A Regular Fixture Next Season

Growing up watching footy with my dad and brothers, one fixture each week stood out, the long lost Saturday afternoon game. I remember sitting watching the old non flat screen television (yes they once existed) in the back room watching Channel 2 as the Wests Magpies took on the Illawarra Steelers. Good times.

I am currently watching the Tigers and the Dragons battle it out in bright sunshine at the SCG and I for one have missed this Saturday afternoon timeslot massively.

I have never been a fan of having 2 7:30 Saturday night games and the recent return of the Saturday 3 pm kick off has surely proven that if there are to be three Saturday games, a 3 pm kick off must be a mainstay in the schedule.

As a father of a young child, 7:30 Saturday Night kick offs are not ideal due to the cold and the late finish. I’d much prefer to take my son for a 3 pm kick off in the sun and be home in time for dinner than be out past 10 pm in the cold. In saying that I also love a beer at a Saturday night fixture BUT in terms of family, the afternoon kick off makes far more sense.

I also believe Foxsports benefit from the change in kick off time as it allows 3 live games on a Saturday. Live games have proven to rate far better than delayed games (ah hem Channel 9) and with a 3 pm, a 5:30 and a 7:30 kick off it is truly a ‘Super Saturday’.

I honestly can’t remember a time where I’ve ever watched the entire 9:30 replay in full without knowing the result.

The only argument against the 3 pm kick off is the local sporting competitions run during the day and may impact on crowd numbers. Local Sutherland Shire Football (soccer) competitions end today with grand finals across the area which means there would be 20+ rounds affected.
From personal experience, junior games are finished by 12 noon and anyone over 18’s play on Sunday so I believe the impact to be minimal. Obviously there are a lot of U18’s games being played around 2 pm but I see the positives of adding families to crowd numbers as more than negating numbers lost to junior competitions.

At the Sharks, crowd figures are always higher for Sunday afternoon games than they are for Saturday night games. Obviously the temperature plays a huge part in this and for that reason it makes sense to have a Saturday arvo game in the winter months. I’d be all for 2 Saturday night games whilst it is still warm in the early rounds but from round 5 or so onwards I would much rather see a 3 pm game each and every Saturday afternoon.

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