Carl Hall interview: Doncaster RLFC make lots of noise about Challenge 1000

Carl Hall talks to Club Doncaster's Robbie Andrews.
Carl Hall talks to Club Doncaster's Robbie Andrews.

Doncaster RLFC are making plenty of noise about Challenge 1000.

And driving the innovative season ticket idea - which see prices reduced as more tickets are sold - is the desire for a better atmosphere at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Dons' players show their support for Challenge 1000.

Dons' players show their support for Challenge 1000.

“The thinking behind it is the biggest thing that’s letting the club down has been the attendance and the atmosphere, we keep reverting back to that,” said Dons chief executive Carl Hall.

“We thought if we can get the attendances up, the atmosphere will take care of itself.

“We discussed this Challenge 1000 and we got to this point. If we can get to 1000 sold we can afford to offer the season tickets for £30. And all under 16s go free.”

This year saw the Dons disappointingly miss out on the League One play-offs as they continue their efforts to reclaim Championship status.

“We’re not using it as an excuse (the atmosphere) for the results at all but it does help,” continued Hall.

“Everyone knows that when you run out on the field and there’s a bit of music and a good atmosphere it does get you going.

“So if we can get that going and generate some good rugby, the way Richard [Horne] wants to play, it should excite the fans.

“The first phase is to complete this Challenge 1000 between now and Christmas.

“We then need to sit down and work out what we can do to make people’s day better, other than just a game of rugby.

“If you look at teams like Bradford Bulls, they all got success from everyone coming along and having a fun day.

“The ethos here at Club Doncaster is all about working together. We want to include the whole of Doncaster in this.”

An adult season ticket this year would have cost £150. Next year that price will be between £30 and £60, depending on how many are sold.

That is a substantial drop, but Hall is keen to stress that the club are in their best ever financial shape and ‘want to give something back’.

“We’ve got a budget line for season tickets and that’s fine. If we get to where we want to be there’s no problem,” said Hall.

“We’re probably one of the only rugby league clubs that doesn’t owe anyone a pound, so from where we’ve come we thought we’d give something back.

“The commercial team brought in over six figures for the Dons last year.

“We’ve got the off-field right so we can do these sort of initiatives.

“The club’s financially sound and I have to make sure there’s a club here to watch for years to come.

“If something was to happen to me tomorrow the club have a model and could carry on no problem.

“We can focus a little more on things on the field because we’ve done it the right way, the foundations are right.

“I’ve said to numerous people it’s no good winning every game and then, at the back end of the season, not being able to pay the boys. We’re not in that position and we’ve not been in that position for a long time but it’s taken a while to do this.

“Of course, we all wanted to get promoted in the last two years but we have to put the club first.

“It’s the first time in ten years we’ve paid a transfer fee for a player [Liam Harris from Hull KR] so we’re in a good place. The club’s financially sound.”

For more information about Challenge 1000 visit www.doncasterrugbyleague.co.uk.