The decision to switch Championship rugby league’s Summer Bash from Blackpool to Headingley proved a flop.
Only 10,763 watched the matches on offer over the two days which was the lowest total in six years of the event. The 4,011 who watched Sunday’s games was the lowest ever crowd for a Sunday.
The Bash had always been played at Bloomfield Road, the home of Blackpool FC where it had proved a popular venue enabling fans to take the family for the week-end.
The west Cumbrian derby between Whitehaven and Workington, as well as Barrow’s clash with Widnes, were part of the Sunday attractions in front of the low-key crowd.
Organisers were criticised for putting on both Bradford and Halifax, as well as Leigh and Featherstone, on Saturday as they were the four best-supported clubs involved in the Bash weekend.
Now, following confirmation of the attendance figures, it appears as though the majority of fans are wanting a switch back to Blackpool for 2023.
As far as the Cumbrian clubs are concerned it looks very much as though Workington Town won’t be involved in the Bash next year as they look destined for a quick return to League One.
Whitehaven are nearly safe and probably need another win from their last six games to be sure, although they will want to finish their injury-hit season on a high with a few more victories to celebrate.
Barrow have higher ambitions as they are almost certain to be involved in the Championship play-offs and the outside hope of going all the way through to the so-called Million Pound game with Super League’s bottom side.