I have recently returned to the US from my second trip to Australia. My previous trip was in 1993. During that trip I came to believe these stylized facts:
- In Queensland and NSW, the sport of choice was Rugby League.
- Whereas in Victoria, the sport was Australian Rules Football. (I don’t remember learning much about the preferred sport in W.A., N.T., S.A. or Tasmania)
- Rugby Union was a New Zealand thing.
- The NRL teams were mostly from Sydney area
- The AFL teams are mostly from Melbourne.
After this trip, it seems to me that 4 and 5 are still true, but the Melbourne Storm is currently the leader of the NRL, and the AFL has teams from Brisbane (Qld) and Sydney (NSW).
I was in Sydney on Sat. night, July 28, and I wanted to watch the NRL game with the Auckland Warriors at Newcastle Knights. It was not shown on the TV channels carried by my hotel, but the next night an AFL game was shown.
I was in Auckland when the Wallabies came over to play the All-Blacks, and the downtown streets were full of people in Wallabies (Australia’s National Rugby Union) colors.
So I want to ask…
Has there been diffusion of these sports across state boundaries since 1993, with more people in Qld, NSW enjoying AFL and people in Victoria NRL?
Was I just misinformed earlier, and this was the case in 1993 the same as in 2007?
What demographic in Australia is most interested in the Wallabies? Is interest higher than usual because of the upcoming World Cup of Rugby?