With the Warriors' announcement that they will remain in Australia and continue to compete in the 2020 NRL season, Christopher Reive looks at the pros and cons of their decision.
They get to play
It seems like an obvious one, but a point worth noting nonetheless. With so many other sports being put on hiatus, the Warriors (and Wellington Phoenix) are likely set for a spike in viewership for people wanting their sporting fix. Additionally, these are professional sportsmen – it's their job to go out and compete; you can bet that's exactly what they want to do.
However, the lingering question is how long it will be before the competition is suspended.
The NRL can go ahead as planned
There had been suggestions the NRL season could go ahead regardless of whether the Warriors chose to base themselves in Australia for the foreseeable future. That's probably true, but it would take some re-imagining as the league would have to give one team a bye every week. Sure, they could just give whoever was supposed to play the Warriors that week the bye, but nine teams are scheduled to meet the Warriors twice while the remaining six teams only play the Warriors once. The Warriors remaining in the competition saves the headache of reworking it.
No home crowd advantage anywhere
At this stage, all NRL matches are to be played behind closed doors, so having to take home games on the road isn't as big a disadvantage as it could be. Instead of roaring crowds, the teams will play in front of an eerie silence with no hostile environment created for the away team, giving the home team no energy from their crowd to draw on.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Being away from families for an indefinite period
The hardest part of this equation for the Warriors staff is the time they will have to spend away from their loved ones. Staying in Australia means leaving their wives, partners, children and relatives at home in New Zealand for an undefined period. How that affects them remains to be seen, and could be different for every player depending on their situation.
This seems to be a con for the entire league given there won't be any fans at their games. Revenue will be down among all clubs with fans unable to attend games. However, with the Warriors constantly on the road, they'll face the added expenses of accommodation, training facilities and food. Most sporting clubs around the world are likely to experience some sort of financial loss during this time of uncertainty, and staying abroad surely stretches that further for the Warriors. Had they chose not to compete, they'd also likely be facing a financial loss, so in that sense, it was a lose-lose scenario.