Here’s a pop quiz for the Australian rugby league bosses.
Name two of the greatest sporting events ever held at Optus Stadium.
Yes, that’s right, it’s State of Origin rugby league, your product: Here, take a Wally Lewis doll.
Origin has sold out Optus stadium twice, with just under 60,000 in attendance each time, so stay here with me. Wouldn’t that indicate a National Rugby League team in Perth would be a success?
I mean, how much more evidence do you need?
What is that, more facts, you say? Okay, how about the most powerful prime minister, a rugby league fan? Mark McGowan was born in NSW and went to Queensland Uni.
More, you say? How about Deputy Prime Minister and Tourism Minister Roger Cook wearing a Maroon scarf at Origin 2 on Sunday?
Hello, can you hear me? Can you see where I’m going with this?
Good question. The financial picture? How about half of Australia’s ASX-listed companies are listed in the west? Are you writing this down?
The largest concentration of global commodities companies in Australia is based in WA, not to mention some of the most philanthropic billionaires in the country.
We even have the man who saved the Rabbitohs two decades ago. Do you get all this?
The Pilbara, Australia’s economic engine room, is in WA, and the area loves rugby league.
Are you with Mr. V’landys, the Australian Rugby League Commission’s Chairman?
Do you know who you you dealing with? Why don’t you come over to us, cap in hand, and ask us to join your contest? Don’t want a national footprint?
We have three of the top 10 richest people in Australia who live in Perth, and they are thrilled to see WA doing well.
We are also the leading state in income and wealth, with a population of three million.
Do you get the picture? Let your number crackers do some homework.
On Barra’s line Jack Nicholson from A Few Good Men: “you want us on your team – you need us on your team”.
Honest dinkum. When WA last had a rugby league team called the Western Reds, the average attendance was 15,500 per game, above the league average.
And we’d still be drawing that crowd if you hadn’t kicked us out of the league in 1997 after the Super League war.
And did I mention the time zone advantage of having a Perth team? Or our two fantastic venues for watching sports, HBF Park and Optus Stadium.
HBF Park, Perth’s premier rectangular stadium, has seen $34 million worth of improvements.
I predict that when the Queensland Dolphins come into the league next year and you have 17 teams and a bye every weekend, you will be desperately looking for an 18th franchise to deliver a ninth game every round, expanding your TV broadcast deal.
Mr. V’landys, what are you waiting for?
Get started right now and call my friend John Jackson, the CEO of WA Rugby League; you won’t regret it.