Reader: 'future’s bright for Dolphins’ fans'

Published 3:00pm 29 August 2023

Reader: 'future’s bright for Dolphins’ fans'
Words by Kylie Knight

The Dolphins NRL club has smashed the 30,000-member mark this week.

It comes as more than 35,000 people are expected to be at Suncorp Stadium for their last game of the 2023 season against the Warriors on Saturday.

Dolphins NRL CEO Terry Reader today thanked the club’s massive supporter base in Brisbane and South East Queensland.

He said the Dolphins had set new membership and attendance records for a club in their first year in the NRL, achieving an average crowd of more than 32,000 in their seven matches at Suncorp Stadium.

In their other five home games, the Dolphins have produced three sell-outs at Kayo Stadium at Redcliffe, a match at Sunshine Coast Stadium where tickets were sold out in just 90 minutes, and co-hosted a 46,000-crowd for the double header in Perth.

Suncorp Stadium was sold out with more than 51,000 people there to see the Dolphins take on the Broncos for the first time in the inaugural ‘Battle For Brisbane’.

Reader said it was the 30,000 people who had joined as members that was most impressive, earning the Dolphins a spot in the NRL’s top three for membership numbers after just one season.

“We thank the NRL for taking the brave decision to bring the Dolphins into the competition because they believed that Brisbane and Queensland could sustain another club,” Reader said.

“But what is really important is that through sheer weight of numbers, the people of Brisbane and Queensland have shown that they actually wanted another club.

“To have 30,000 people join as members and to average over 32,000 at the home of rugby league in Queensland, while being part of sell-out after sell-out at our smaller venues, is an amazing achievement for the Dolphins.

“We have also hit some impressive markers off the field within our sponsorship and commercial areas that will underpin the success of the Dolphins for years to come.

“While we were disappointed to miss out on the finals in our debut year, we have exceeded expectations both on and off the field, and with the new players we have arriving for next season and our continued growth in the commercial area, the Dolphins are set up for the brightest of futures.”

Reader: 'future’s bright for Dolphins’ fans'

Exciting times ahead

Reader said despite having the No.1 coach at the helm, recruitment had been a biggest challenge.

“Now people can touch it, feel it and see it and get behind it but that initial stage, when there was a bit of uncertainty and no one could actually see it … recruitment was the most challenging thing,” Reader said.

The club will welcome Herbie Farnworth and Tom Flegler in 2024 along with Jake Averillo and still has room in the salary cap to add more players when they become available.

Reader said players had seen the support behind the club, the big crowds, and wanted to be part of it.

“We were never all about (20)23, we always said if we had to wait to get the right player, we would and we did that,” he explained.

“The future’s bright for Dolphins’ fans.”

The club, including Head Coach Wayne Bennett and assistant coach/successor Kristian Woolf, are looking ahead to beyond 2024 to ’25 and ’26 in signing players and developing pathways.

Dolphins, the numbers:

  • More than 30,000 members
  • Average crowd at Suncorp Stadium to be in excess of 32,000
  • Five home game sellouts – Raiders, Broncos, Dragons, Eels, Panthers
  • No.1 in the NRL in on-field apparel sales (jerseys etc)
  • No.2 in the NRL in sponsorship revenue
  • The documentary Dawn of the Dolphin was the most downloaded show in streaming service STAN’s history


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