What the Bundesliga can learn from the NRL

Two of the first sporting titles to return to our screens have been the Bundesliga in Germany, and the NRL in Australia.

The Bundesliga has just finished it’s third match day since the sport was given the green light to resume. Meanwhile, it was the NRL’s first week back last week.

But are there things the NRL  are doing that the Bundesliga can learn from?

One of the things that has been complained about with the Bundesliga, has been the eerie feeling around stadiums whilst they are playing behind closed doors.

The NRL have done something to combat this, by having crowd noise playing over the speakers, instead of the silence of the Bundesliga, and the echoes that come with playing in an empty ground.

When watching NRL on TV, the crowd noises don’t sound too different, so for those watching on the TV, it is no different to a normal game.

In the Bundesliga, teams are still playing their goal songs over the speakers, but it all feels eerie and from another universe, as there is literally nobody in the ground apart from players and club officials.

Allainz Arena - Bayern Munich - Bundesliga
Bayern Munich usually welcome 75,000 fans into the Allianz Arena, but now have to play behind closed doors. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Clubs like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, who have very big stadiums, are seeing silence being amplified by being in such a big arena with no sound.

That is one way the Bundesliga can learn from the NRL, to make it better for the fans who cannot attend the match.

Another way involves Matchday revenue. It is no secret teams are losing money as a result of playing behind closed doors.

Borussia Monchengladbach have developed something similar to the idea, of having cardboard cutouts of fans in the stadium, so they are still getting some money back from hosting matches.

In the NRL, for a price of $22 per match, fans can send in pictures of themselves to appear on a cardboard cutout, which will be placed inside the ground.

However, this does have it’s shortfalls. You do get people messing around with it, like sending in pictures of their dogs or of other figures like Dominic Cummings and Harold Shipman.

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Despite this, it is still a way for fans to support their clubs, whilst also serving the lockdown which is currently in place around the world, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Whilst every football fan is thrilled to see the return of the Bundesliga, these changes could see the league become a bit more viewable, rather than an eerie silence while the football is on.

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Steven Hughes
I am a 24-year-old Sports Journalist, specialising in football, rugby league and darts. I have been in the industry since 2012, where I had my own radio show on a Community Radio Station in Liverpool, where I often attended the Grand National and Premier League Darts as press. Following the completion of my degree, I did my own website for a while, before taking over as a Freelance Journalist and Editor for a rugby league website.
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