21/02/2024

A strong crowd of 4893 was in attendance on Monday night for Macarthur vs Wellington at Campbelltown. Photo Credit: Poletti/The Inner Sanctum

With crowd numbers having long been a criticism of Macarthur FC, the answer may have been found in an unlikely place.

As Macarthur were in action against the Wellington Phoenix, losing 3-0, their second Monday night game of the season drew a season high crowd of 4893.

While both of Macarthur’s Monday games so far have been as a result of AFC Cup commitments and the travel associated, the Bulls could make Monday’s their own.

With crowds of 2596 vs Adelaide on December 4, and 4893 against Wellington, there is something special brewing in Campbelltown.

With the school holidays beginning, no other A-Leagues games on a Monday most weeks, nor events in Campbelltown or surrounding suburbs, Monday’s during the Christmas and January period could see more people come out to watch the Bulls.

The Bullpen continues to grow, getting more and more of the crowd involved with every game, and if strong crowds continue, it builds an atmosphere of people wanting to turn out, which grows stronger attendances. 

Macarthur coach Mile Sterjovski said it was difficult to say when asked whether Monday’s might be the answer to helping the crowd numbers.

“It’s school holidays, [but] we enjoy playing on a Monday,” Sterjovski said.

“It was good to have a big crowd here tonight.

“But disappointing with the way we played. It would have been nice to put on a good performance for them and get the win.”

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Wellington Phoenix coach Giancarlo Italiano was complimentary of Macarthur’s crowd and the team after the game.

“It was good. I think if they can get a consistent basis, I mean, they were top of the table, they were undefeated, Mile’s doing really well with this group, they’ve got some really exciting players.

“Uli (Ulises Davila) for me is one of my favourite players in the league. Clayton (Lewis) as well.

“I think in general, the A-League, it’s nothing without the fans. For me, the more turnout we get, the better the product. 

“So, that’s also an obligation on the coaches, making sure we play a good style so that people come and watch.”

Families packed onto the hill at Campbelltown to watch Macarthur take on the Wellington Phoenix. Photo Credit: Poletti/The Inner Sanctum

To pull off a “Macarthur Monday’s” sort of event during the holidays, it would require a buy-in from a lot of stakeholders, but it could prove fruitful in the long-term.

“It could be [the answer], especially on a summer night like this,” Italiano said.

“It was actually perfect weather. I was a little worried it might be a little bit too humid.

“[It’s] a good time to come as well. A lot of people aren’t working because it’s the Christmas period.”

It would be unrealistic to expect a Bulls home game every Monday during this period of time, but a four games out of six style of scheduling could be the solution. 

If the matches are scheduled against non-NSW based teams, the bigger crowds of a Sydney, Western Sydney, or Mariners fixture which have traditionally been high for Macarthur by comparison can be sprinkled in throughout the earlier and later months of the season.

It is a win-win solution for the club, the league, and other stakeholders to raise the crowd levels for the long-term health of the league.

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