It's not that long (~2000) since Wellington rugby followers were incredibly loyal, turning up in better numbers than anyone else in the country. There are many complex reasons why they've (we've) become fickle and fair-weather. The lack of silverware in that era was part of it, but a lot have to do with the way we've been treated by those running the games. Issues such as the lack of afternoon games, terrible catering within the stadium, irritating entertainment and incidental music. For me the way we were treated during the 2005 Lions tour was about the final straw. Still going to the playoff games though, partly for the satisfaction of (hopefully) experiencing the success that we could never pull off earlier.
Should be subject to a simple test: name the team.
Anyone who says 'Canes' is refused admission. See also: 'Nix'.
This message brought to you by CAINS, the Campaign Against Idiotic Name Shortening.
I hear complaints here in Dunedin that there wasn't a similar line queueing around the Octagon ... not because the fans aren't just as 'real, but because the tickets weren't being sold here
Not sure what a real fan is. I stopped being a season ticket holder before the last World Cup - there was just no value in it, and I felt ignored by the Unions. After that I just bought a ticket to whatever game I wanted to attend. Pay $25, sit in a $100 seat… there was no one there.
My chums have kept it up after I went to the UK for 3-4 years. They are loyal, but I have a wee nipper now and don't go out as much in last season or two. This year I have been to 3 home games I think, plus semi and the final this week. With crowd numbers down to a low of (I think7) 7,500… if you are there you are a fan.
I sit with my member friends. Plenty of room - but it was on the back of their passes I got to the playoff games. Kudos to them - they stuck it out while I bought a big telly. However, I will be back for three reasons next year as a pass holder I reckon: 1) the team are great again 2) I hate Sky Sport gouging my bank a/c, and 3) It's the only way you'll get Lions tickets in 2017.
Wellington is mall - 250,000 in decent area nearby? To fill a 35,000 stadium for everything is hard. Simples. Especially if your teams are not playing well.
Can you be classed as a real fan if you've lived in Christchurch for many years but occasionally venture out to Super games in Wellington supporters gear? (Including attending but not seeing the infamous Gorillas in the mist final at Jade Stadium). A real fan also watches on tv which allows the continuous swearing, cheering and groaning which is the usual lot of a Hurricanes fan (except this year).
To echo Dom - I also was a long-time season pass holder for the Hurricanes and Wellington Lions, both through Athletic Park then Westpac Stadium. But then, around 2010, it all just got too much.
While seeing our teams playing poorly wasn't particularly new, having to do so at great cost in a bitterly cold concrete stadium with ridiculously poor choices for food and drink, attempts at half-time entertainment that at best were half-hearted (but more accurately, simply piss-poor) and security who embodied all the worst aspects of trumped up little pricks in uniform.
We started to leave at half-time to watch the rest of the game in comfort at a nearby bar; with good food and drink to hand.
Then we just stopped going along at all.
Well, us Highlanders' fans are pretty stoked. Hard luck, Canes. I was very impressed by how dignified Conrad Smith was at the press conference, too.
Got back from Brisbane in time to catch most of the final, which was a damn fine game of rugby, I think I was pleased that the Highlanders won as the Hurricanes were getting a little too cocky, Sort of affirmation too that my team (Chiefs) were up against tough opposition in their encounters with the Highlanders.