Rugby League


NRL: Canberra Raiders on track for 15,000 members after smashing round one record

The Canberra Raiders are on track to have more than 15,000 members this season after smashing their record for fans signed before round one.

The Raiders had 11,270 members as of Thursday afternoon ahead of the club's season opener against the Penrith Panthers at Canberra Stadium.

It is the most members the Raiders have had in the club's 35-year history before a game has been played, and surpasses last year's membership figure of just over 10,000.

The figures have been boosted by the 3500 registered players in the Canberra Region Rugby League senior and junior competitions receiving a four-game membership.

The initiative has been funded by a third party which has remained anonymous.

Raiders chief executive Don Furner was thrilled with the increase in membership and expected more fans to jump on board during the season.


"It's a huge positive for the club and we are working hard on increasing that number to 15,000 this season," Furner said.

"There's plenty of excitement around the team this pre-season and we've worked on making sure the game day experience and membership offerings are the best we've ever rolled out.

"We want our members to feel like they are part of the Raiders family."

The Raiders have had a surge in membership the past two years after seeing a decrease in 2014 when they only had around 8300 members. That was down by about 500 members from their 2013 figure of 8898.

The Raiders have implemented different membership packages this season to cater to different budgets.

They start at $30 for a baby/toddler membership and a one-game bronze membership for $40.

Memberships which include an adult ticket to all 12 home games range from $150 to $315, while the top of the line Club 82 package is $1260 and includes access to a private suite.

Optimism is high the Raiders can return to the finals for the first time since 2012 after the addition of several recruits in the off-season, including Titans halfback Aidan Sezer and English international Elliott Whitehead.

Raiders captain Jarrod Croker said the surge in membership would give his side a boost as they aimed to improve on last year's terrible home record where they won just three games.

"It's great, especially [since] we didn't play semi-finals football last year," Croker said.

"That's great trust from the fans and they believe in what [Raiders coach Ricky Stuart] is doing.

"We mentioned it all pre-season that we couldn't get those close wins at home last year."