Singapore players go door-to-door to bring in crowds

Reuters, SINGAPORE

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 - Page 18

Fed up of playing in front of sparse crowds in Singapore’s poorly attended S.League, players from soccer club Balestier Khalsa are going door-to-door to try to drum up their fan base.

“The more often the players go knocking on doors, the higher the chances of them becoming familiar with residents,” Balestier chairman S. Thavaneson told Monday’s Today newspaper. “Who knows, they may become curious and decide to watch a game or two.”

While Singaporeans are huge soccer fans, they are far more interested in watching English Premier League giants Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal on television rather than going to see local teams like Balestier, Woodlands Wellington and Tanjong Pagar United.

Average attendances in the 12-team S.League fell to 932 last year and organizers are heavily promoting a “Support our S.League” campaign to address the concerns.

Thavaneson was hopeful that the door-to-door campaign could help Balestier sell out their small stadium in central Singapore throughout the current season, which began last week.

“There are 100,000 residents in Toa Payoh, if we can bring in just 3 percent of them to our stadium, we will have a full house each time,” Thavaneson said.