An article has opened up the question of the state of Rugby in the America. But instead of reiterating what Rugby does next, it has opened the question of whether or not university athletic departments invested in the correct sport between Lacrosse and Rugby.
“The opposing trends around these two sports’ championship weekends begs the question regarding where athletic departments have chosen to invest their limited resources.”
The argument bases on the instance that while both sports have had strongly invested championship tournaments, lacrosse has not seen the growth of viewership with an adult audience. Their growth has been strong in youth leagues of the sport.
Over the past two months, the city of Philadelphia has seen playoffs for two very different collegiate sports. This past weekend, PPL Park played host to the 6th Annual Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championships, a gathering of twenty teams from across the nation to compete in the “Sevens” format of rugby. Excitement around the tournament was palpable, with NBC coverage providing access and Mark Cuban tweeting about the rise of his former hobby.
Conversely, just one month prior, neighboring Lincoln Financial Field housed the NCAA lacrosse national championships to a disappointing turnout. Despite being hosted each year in hotbeds for the sport like Baltimore and Philadelphia, attendance at the national semifinals (also known as the “Final Four”) has declined the past seven years. As reported by the New York Times, the three-day event’s peak attendance hit over 120,000 in 2007, but when the Final Four returned to Baltimore last year, there was a drop of more than 36%.
This is a unique perspective on the direction that these very similarly begun sports are taking
Check out the full article at The Rising Tide of Rugby