The 2021 Back to Belmore Special Survey, conducted by research company Typeform, asked almost 400 rank-and-file members of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Rugby League Club their views about Belmore Sports Ground and its future between 9 June and 14 July. Of the 314 respondents who participated in the survey, more than three quarters believe that Belmore Sports Ground should be upgraded and/or redeveloped to facilitate multiple Bulldogs NRL fixtures at the iconic venue in the long-term future but almost one in two members polled are dissatisfied with just one premiership match being played at the historic facility each year.
The findings show that the issue of Belmore is considered important by only 47.13% of surveyed participants in determining voting preferences for the board of directors at the next Annual General Meeting in February 2022 but 75.16% of members believe that the relationship between the Bulldogs and Back to Belmore is important in safeguarding Belmore Sports Ground's future as a top-class sporting facility. In addition, 60.19% of respondents said they were satisfied with the Bulldogs' overall level of commitment in ensuring Belmore Sports Ground remains the spiritual home of the club. The poll also found that a whopping 78.66% believe that an upgraded facility would be a key driver of economic activity in the Canterbury-Bankstown area.
The exclusive findings come as the NRL last week shifted the Round 21 Belmore fixture between the Bulldogs and Wests Tigers to Moreton Daily Stadium in Redcliffe, Queensland in response to the extended lockdown and surging COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney. As late as mid-June, the Bulldogs had also intended on scheduling their Round 20 game against the Gold Coast Titans at their spiritual home, setting Belmore abuzz with two weeks of festivities and consecutive NRL matches at the historic venue for the first time since Rounds 1 and 2 in 1998.
Back to Belmore Patron Luke Brailey said the survey results were in line with Bulldogs member sentiment regarding Belmore Sports Ground.
“The results certainly don't come as any surprise at all. However, contrary to popular belief, the ability of playing more NRL games at Belmore is not determined by the Bulldogs or Back to Belmore. It is controlled by the NRL's boutique stadium strategy and the current TV rights deals with the Nine Network and Fox Sports which are up for renewal in 2022 and 2027, respectively.” said Mr Brailey.
“The venue is simply not at the required standard to facilitate multiple NRL matches at the present time. To be honest, the Bulldogs are fortunate to be allocated one premiership game there each year. A detailed business case is still needed for Belmore moving forward. Back to Belmore is in active and ongoing discussions with the Bulldogs to pursue avenues to lobby for more funding and work together in a collaborative manner to safeguard Belmore Sports Ground for future generations when the occasion arises.
“In late 2020 and early 2021, the Bulldogs refurbished and upgraded their NRL Centre of Excellence at Belmore and they are about to commence a major rejuvenation of their offices. Canterbury also play their NSWRL competition games, CBDJRL grand finals and pathway rep games (males and females) at Belmore. Suffice it to say, to any outsider looking in, the Bulldogs remain very much committed to Belmore Sports Ground as their home base and that commitment, I believe, is accurately reflected in these survey results today.”
2021 BACK TO BELMORE SPECIAL SURVEY - CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS VOTING MEMBERS
(1) Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the sole NRL premiership match currently scheduled each year at the Bulldogs' spiritual home Belmore Sports Ground?
49.68% Dissatisfied (156)
32.17% Satisfied (101)
18.15% Unsure/Uncommitted (57)
(2) Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the Bulldogs' level of commitment in ensuring Belmore Sports Ground remains the spiritual home of the club?
35.35% Dissatisfied (111)
60.19% Satisfied (189)
4.46% Unsure/Uncommitted (14)
(3) How important will Belmore Sports Ground be in determining how you vote for the Bulldogs board of directors at the next Annual General Meeting in February 2022?
47.13% Important (148)
28.03% Not Important (88)
24.84% Unsure/Uncommitted (78)
(4) How important is the relationship between the Bulldogs and Back to Belmore in safeguarding Belmore Sports Ground's future as a top-class sporting facility?
75.16% Important (236)
10.51% Not Important (33)
14.33% Unsure/Uncommitted (45)
(5) Do you believe that Belmore Sports Ground should be upgraded and/or redeveloped to facilitate multiple Bulldogs NRL premiership matches in the long-term future?
82.17% Yes (258)
12.10% No (38)
5.73% Unsure/Uncommitted (18)
(6) Do you believe that an upgraded and/or redeveloped Belmore Sports Ground would be a key driver of economic activity in the Canterbury–Bankstown area?
78.66% Yes (247)
8.92% No (28)
12.42% Unsure/Uncommitted (39)
Back to Belmore Inc. conducted a survey of randomly chosen eligible members of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Rugby League Club. Interviews were conducted via survey link sent by email from Wednesday, 9 June 2021 to Wednesday, 14 July 2021. Survey links were sent to 399 football club members of which 314 responses were received. Member numbers were randomly selected from the Back to Belmore database for inclusion in the survey.