Eagles cash in as rival SANFL Clubs hit tough times
- by:Holly Petersen
- From: Weekly Times Messenger
- February 27, 20139:40AM
The Eagles have finished a $1million revamp on their fuction centre and will soon be extending hours so fans can come and eat dinner and watch players train at the same time. Uby Faddoul at the Club’s headquarters. Picture: Sam Wundke Source: adelaidenow
REACHING out to families and community groups and boosting memberships has helped the Eagles become one of only two league Clubs to record a surplus last season.
The Eagles came out $161,637 ahead at the end of 2012.
Woodville-West Torrens was the only team to increase its crowd attendance numbers, bringing in five per cent more fans than the previous season.
An average of 2706 people attended home games, compared with 2573 in 2011.
Club CEO Uby Faddoul said attendance was improved by the Club’s theme days each week, which would be expanded this year.
“All 10 home games this year have a theme, from bring a mate day to ladies’ day, kids’ day, community day and even a 20-year reunion theme day for the Norwood vs Eagles grand final (1993),” Mr Faddoul told the Weekly Times Messenger. He said a jumping castle and face painter would be on hand at all home games this season.
“We have a big focus on families and children. I’m a big believer in the kids pulling mum and dad along to the football.”
The Eagles have also steadily increased membership over the past four years, with 3624 members this year, compared with 2096 in 2009.
Mr Faddoul said the Club aimed to reach 4500 members by the end of 2013.
As previously reported by the paper, West Adelaide Football Club recorded a loss of $505,027 in 2012, including SANFL’s $50,000 fine for exceeding the salary cap.
The Club has sent out an SOS to fans to support them on match days and sign up for memberships.
The wider SANFL competition is also struggling with seven of the league’s nine Clubs posting losses in 2012 on the back of falling pokies profits and increased costs.
Mr Faddoul said attendance on game days was the main revenue raiser during the season, but Clubs often struggled between October and April when football was on a break.
Mr Faddoul said the Club’s upgraded function centre would be a big drawcard for the community during the off season, and keep people’s mind on the Eagles.
“We’re creating new ways to raise and generate revenue for the Club,” he said.
“We’re going to be bigger and stronger than last year.”
REVAMP GIVES CLUB THE VIBE
WOODVILLE-West Torrens Football Club hopes a $1-million upgrade of its function room will help deliver a windfall of extra revenue this year.
The work, which included building a glass wall so members could watch games and training from indoors, was recently completed.
CEO Uby Faddoul said the new-look centre, which also included a new outside dining deck, upgraded dining area, commercial kitchen, music system, and new conference equipment would be “a major lifeline,” for Woodville-West Torrens.
Mr Faddoul said the centre, which fits up to 400 people, could host conferences, functions and weddings. He said the centre had already been booked for about 10 upcoming functions since it reopened in December.
Mr Faddoul said the Eagles had raised about $200,000 through functions and events in 2012 using the downstairs bar and off-site venues and were aiming for more than $400,000 in 2013.
He said in addition to game days and weekends, the clubrooms would be open three nights a week during the football season for dinner, allowing fans to watch the team practise under lights. He said he was excited about supporters being part of the “Eagles experience”.
“I want the facility to be a place of gathering for the Club, our members and the broader community.”
Mr Faddoul said plans were also being considered to transform the downstairs bar into a similar function space. The upgrade was scaled back from a $4-million overhaul shelved in 2011.
The Club decided to put that plan, which involved gutting the existing Oval Ave clubrooms, on hold following uncertainty over the future of SANFL funding and national pokies reforms.
The Eagles will host a player auction night at the new function centre on Oval Ave, Woodville South on Saturday, March 23. Details: wwtfc.com.aus