A small crowd for the opening day of the Brisbane Tens has underlined the tournament's precarious future.
Just 11,430 supporters turned out on Friday to watch the latest masterclass of New Zealand rugby at Suncorp Stadium.
The Chiefs, Crusaders and Blues finished day one as the only unbeaten sides left in the tournament while the only losses the Hurricanes and Highlanders suffered were to other Kiwi teams.
Home team Queensland Reds went winless while the other three Australian teams grabbed one win apiece.
A bigger turn-out - between 18,000 and 20,000 - is expected on Saturday.
And while the tournament is contracted to remain in Brisbane for another two years, it seems punters are voting with their feet despite a shift to a day-night format, designed to avoid the searing heat that plagued the inaugural edition.
Duco Events Australia CEO Rachael Carroll told AAP on Thursday a location swap with the NRL's Auckland Nines - due to move to Australia in 2019 - was a live possibility.
It is likely the promoters and the Queensland state government will now be assessing their options.
The paltry figure was not for a lack of trying.
Despite an absence of big names - with Will Genia joining Test teammate and headline act Kurtley Beale as a late injury withdrawal, and a host of Wallabies and All Blacks not risked by their Super Rugby franchises - the on-field product was entertaining and the tournament ran smoothly.
Those in attendance relished the carnival-like vibe and players gave it a resounding thumbs up.
"I think tens is a great game. It gives you a lot of space to work with," Reds winger Izaia Perese said.
"But when you're actually on the field, it closes up really quick."
The NSW Waratahs are treating it as a bonafide hit-out with coach Daryl Gibson's side keen to show supporters they have improved after a disastrous 2017 campaign.
The Tahs opened with a 26-5 win over French side Pau and came achingly close to a win over the Highlanders, but coughed up a last-gasp try to lose 12-10.
"Our main focus was just coming out here and having a go," said Curtis Rona, who moved to NSW in the off-season after the axing of the Western Force.
"It's just unfortunate we couldn't come up with the last win there."
Play on Saturday resumes at 1.08pm AEST with the Reds facing the Panasonic Wild Knights.
Australian Associated Press