we should hang out more often then Melbourne was without semi pro/pro rugby for years In 2006, the ARC came about and the Rebels were drawing 3000 - 4000 people for their home games. It was the same year we lost the Super Rugby bid to the Force. The ARC was then cancelled and we were again without semi pro/pro rugby until 2011 The rebels got 24000 people to their first game and from then on got around 14000 to games against kiwi teams, 12000 to games against other Aussie teams and 10000 to games against SA teams. This has been the norm every year since 2011 up until this year. The strange thing is, if you look at NSW, QLD, ACT and WA, all their crowds have dropped dramatically too. Something has changed this year, and it's the expansion to 18 teams and the uneven 4 and 5 team conferences. SANZAAR messed this up! The problem is not with Melbourne, it's with the whole of Australia, we also saw low crowd number with all 3 of the June Wallaby tests. Cutting the Rebels will make NO difference. Fix the structure of Super Rugby, make it competitive again and the crowds will come back. lose the Rebels and you close the shopfront to one of the biggest cities and sporting capital of the country. it'd be a dumb move by the ARU.