The Brisbane Global Tens was doomed from its conception, writes news.com.au's Tyson Otto.
The sad images of empty stands at Suncorp Stadium on the opening day of the Brisbane Global Tens show the entire concept of 10-man rugby as a gala weekend was a complete pooch screw from beginning to end.
The festival atmosphere embraced by sporting events like Rugby Sevens, darts and - more recently - one-day cricket has clearly been proven a success for event organisers, blending sport and entertainment into one package.
The attempt by Brisbane Tens organiser Duco Events to come to the party 10 years after sports like rugby sevens and darts first embraced the idea of festival atmospheres at sporting events is shameless.
The New Zealand-based sports event management company is onto a winner with the annual Rugby League Auckland Nines, but their attempt to pivot the same strategy into an abbreviated club-based rugby competition was lazy, arrogant and a complete misread of the Brisbane sporting landscape.
Bold claims from event organisers on Friday that crowds of up to 30,000 people would attend on Saturday and Sunday were clearly off the mark.
NRL boss Todd Greenberg has already said the Australian Rugby League Commission is exploring the idea of moving the nines to Brisbane in 2019.
An estimated crowd of just 22,000 attended the Auckland Nines this year, after the concept initially attracted sell-out crowds at Auckland's 50,000 Eden Park.
Duco Events, which created the Nines concept, brokered a five-year agreement with the NRL which expires following next year's event.
Unlike, its rugby league big brother event, the Rugby Tens is not a unique concept.
Where rugby league has thrived in a gala day format with players given additional space to play razzle dazzle football, the rugby tens' concept simply comes across as a clunkier, more congested and less meaningful version of rugby sevens.
With sevens rugby expanding its foothold around the world in recent years with a boost from its inclusion in the 2016 Rio Olympics, rugby tens is just the equivalent of Thirty30 cricket.
On paper, the format never looked like working. In execution, it hasn't.
It does not pass the smell test.
Unlike the Sevens World Series, the idea of one weekend of club based, 10-man rugby, does not stand up on its own as a legitimate sporting event.
The lack of interest from players clearly shows the weekend is nothing but a poor attempt at revenue raising.
Wallaby winger Drew Mitchell conceded last week the concept has no future.
Mitchell said there is no space for the event on the international rugby calendar with the Super Rugby season kicking off on February 23.
"There's just not enough time, there's too much footy already as it is," Mitchell said.
"People aren't sending full-strength squads.
"I don't think there's room for a permanent thing,
"I think a one-off like this is exciting, but I don't think there's enough room in the year to keep adding things in.
"Then you're going to start getting injuries from players and not being able to back up for tests because of the workloads are getting too much.
"But I guess money drives everything."
When the ultimate prise of winning the entire tournament means absolutely nothing to every athlete involved, every player is turned into a mercenary showcasing their skills for a quick pay day.
At least in rugby sevens, teams are representing their country.
Under the club-based Rugby Tens concept, players, as proud as they are as professional athletes, are asked to embrace a concept that is completely foreign to our shores.
At least in Rugby Nines, the concept in its infancy was partly sold around the idea of NRL clubs winning a fairly handsome pay day alongside the money that went to the players.
The following of Super Rugby franchises in Australia is also - obviously - smaller in memberships and fans than NRL clubs, further reducing the interest in this weekend's festivities.
You can not be as late to the party as the Brisbane Rugby Tens were while offering an inferior product and expect to be automatically embraced because of Australia's thirst for sport.
Simply put, this was the first and hopefully last time we will have to endure this shoddy sports offering.