How Not To Give Birth To A Brand New Expansion Club

Starting a new football team, and expansion team, is all about good will.

You have to convince the governing body of the sport that they really need you in the competition. That the area you are going into has room for growth, and their presence will will be a welcome addition to the established competition and its teams.

You have to convince the local community you are looking to represent that you belong to them, you are their team. You have to convince them to give you their support, to buy a membership, to buy your merchandise, to buy tickets, and to invest themselves emotionally into the new team you are creating.

You have to convince local government officials that it is a worthwhile cause to spend money on new or upgraded facilities. You have to convince them that any help their give you will help their own popularity. You have to make them grave the photo ops and TV time they can gain if they jump aboard early.

You have to convince the media that you are the real deal. Confident, but not arrogant. Open to their questions. You have to establish a brand new working relationship because at the end of the day, these people will be your harshest critics.

Overall, the goal of a new expansion club is to get everyone to like to, some to love you, and to basically give no one a reason to say “No”.

The Brisbane Bombers have pretty much failed in every single one of these goals.

Lets start with their new name “The Bombers” shall we?

The goal of a new expansion club is to pick a name that is marketable, that kids will like and that will be relevant beyond a fad. Ask the Toronto “Raptors” what happens when to select a name based on a really cool Dinosaur in a new movie that just came out that everyone went to see….going on 20 years ago….

The biggest test I think is the crinkled nose test.

If you put the name forward, and people crinkle up their nose when they hear it, then the name is no good.

Strike one for the Brisbane Bombers.

Anyone that heard that name when it was announced crinkled their nose. They immediately said things like “But thats the name of an AFL team”, which is the very best first impression you would want for your brand new Rugby League team obviously!

As a name for a modern day football team, I think its fantastic!

I asked all my friends about the name and they thought it was cool! Of course, we were all sitting in a bunker eating rationed turnips. The air raid sirens wailed loud as Gerry German dropped bombs during the Blitz….wait….Its not 1942 any more is it?


A terrible name. Hell they even managed to piss off the Melbourne based AFL mafia (The media) who still refer to the NRL as “Rugby”, such is their complete ignorance!

Now to get approval to expand, the NRL basically needs the tick of approval from the current 16 clubs in the competition. Not an easy thing to get. The Brisbane Bombers has been at pains to make sure everyone knows they will not look to cannibalize the Brisbane Broncos. That’s nice. So what do they go and do after that?

They claim to have 18 players already signed up to letters of intent (Which amount to nothing legally) and would be ready to go in 2013. They have said they will target the Melbourne Storms Cooper Cronk with a massive offer. They have sounded out Penrith Panthers captain Petero Civoniceva is the capacity of a player, on the coaching staff, or even an ambassador. They keep tossing out names every few weeks, players they will sign, players they will bring home.

Way to piss off the entire National Rugby League supporter base Brisbane Bombers!

Another little wrinkle that I have just learned about tonight is that fact that, in a calender year, Suncorp Stadium is now allowed to host more than 25 “big events” that have crowds of 25,000 or more. This is a law that was put in place to cap the number of times Brisbane streets get show down and diverted for big events and also to cut down on noise pollution to the people that move next door to the most famous sporting stadium in the entire state, but who aren’t fond of the sound of….you know….big football crowds.

Normally this cap doesn’t get reached, but with all the success that Brisbane based sporting clubs have had this year, that cap is expected to be reached and could see the Brisbane Broncos having to relocate finals games to The Gabba.

With that in mind, if you add a second Brisbane based NRL team, who plan to play out of Suncorp Stadium…how will that effect the capping of “Big Event” crowds by seasons end?

You’d think even a moderately successful Broncos alternative would be able to draw at leave 5 “Big Event” sized crowds per year. Throw in the local derby with the Broncos, and a similar crowd for their games against the Titans and Cowboys and surely the “Big Event” cap because a very serious issue, not just for the new Brisbane Bombers, but even more so for the Brisbane Broncos.

You do not piss off the Broncos in Brisbane. Just ask the South East Queensland Crushers what happens when the Broncos decide they don’t want to share their patch of turf!

The Brisbane Broncos and an institution at every level in Brisbane and will always be the number one tenant of Suncorp Stadium. I’ve got no doubt that if the Brisbane Broncos think they will have any issues over the use of Suncorp Stadium, or feel they will have any issues with the “Big Events” caps due to the addition of the Brisbane Bombers, the Bombers will find the “House Full” sign put up at Suncorp Stadium and they will have to find somewhere else to play.

All of this has happened and the Brisbane Bombers aren’t even part of the NRL yet!

If you lived in Brisbane, and you were an uncommitted Rugby League fan with no real feeling to follow any clubs just yet, you need to have a pretty good case put in front of you as to why you should turn your back on the all conquering institution that is the Brisbane Broncos and go and support another team.

Right now, the Brisbane Bombers and the way they have carried on is quickly turning them into the team to hate!

They have embarrassed the sport by stealing an iconic name from a rival football code, they’ve pissed off fans of established clubs, they are a threat to the dominance of the Brisbane Broncos….why the hell would you want to support them?

Way to get off on the wrong foot Bombers!

Bombers by name…..

Liked it? Take a second to support League Freak on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Reply