Given the rapturous scenes that have accompanied each and every Warriors game this season, there's a very real case building to take more footy to Auckland.

There are talks of moving the game's show piece event, State of Origin, across the Tasman. I'm indifferent to this, despite the fact it would sell out very quickly.

My reason for this is simple. It's NSW vs QLD. I don't like when the game goes to Perth, or Adelaide, or Melbourne, and I don't like the chance it goes to New Zealand either.

That said, I have no doubt there will soon be discussions to move another of the NRL's major events to Mt Smart or Eden Park stadium in the future. That being the NRL Grand Final.

Would it work though? Could it work?

Below we look at both sides of a discussion I expect to intensity, in a big way, should the Warriors overcome the odds and qualify for next weekend's decider:


Biggest show in town
This is a game that would sell out the minute it went on sale. More on that later, but this would be the hottest ticket in town.

A guaranteed packed crowd, containing some of the game's most passionate fans, would be an incredible sight that would provide the mother of all highlights.

The last time the NRL Grand Final was shifted, albeit through need, Suncorp put on one hell of a show! I think you could turn that up to 11 in Auckland.

Although the Warriors are the main attraction in their home town, we've seen away teams supported extremely well at Mt Smart Stadium.

There's more than enough local fans, plus those willing to travel, to make this a destination Grand Final.

I'd be far more excited to head to Auckland for a Grand Final than a vanity trip to Las Vegas.

Neutral Venue (Unless...):
The flavour of the week seems to be "neutral venues" when it comes to Finals.

This week it was, laughably, suggested that the Broncos move their preliminary final away from QLD's premier stadium to either the already booked Gabba or the much smaller CBUS Stadium, to avoid the Broncos holding home advantage.

I'll leave that comment for you to mull over, but with a number of sides playing out of Accor Stadium, a shift almost guaranteed a neutral decider.

Unless of course the Warriors make it.

The Warriors are a 1/17th chance of making it a home grand final. Currently the Bunnies, Bulldogs and Tigers play home games out of the super stadium.

Plus add the Panthers, Sharks, Dragons, Sea Eagles, Roosters and Eels who would be "home" sides.

A move to Auckland would ensure these ridiculous discussions re "unfair advantage" are put to bed ... unless the Warriors 'ruin' it of course.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 06: Shaun Johnson of the Warriors passes the ball during the round 10 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and Penrith Panthers at Suncorp Stadium on May 06, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

They deserve it
Despite plenty of talk across the competition, only the Tigers committed a home game to New Zealand.

I'm not going to lean on this as a genuine talking point but considering what was given up over the Covid period, can we really not move a one-off Grand Final to New Zealand?


Stadium capacity
The big, and obvious, draw back is the lack of a stadium to truely make it worth the trip.

Mt Smart is a majestic stadium and generates an atmosphere few others can replicate, but it's only 25,000 seats. There's no way the NRL allows a Grand Final to played there.

Eden Park is the biggest stadium in Auckland, and New Zealand, with a capacity of 50,000. The NRL would be sacrificing 33,500 seats moving it from Accor Stadium in Homebush.

Although it would be a tremendous, special occasion, would it be worth over 33,000 seats worth of revenue special?

The only other stadium to host a Grand Final in recent memory was Suncorp Stadium, in the QLD-bubble year. Suncorp has a capacity of 52,500.

It would take something very special, perhaps a huge government investment, to overcome this massive gap in potential capacity.

Given the amount of money the NSW Government had to pony up to keep the Grand Final in the Harbour city, the money would have to be astronomical to even start the discussion.

Time difference
Despite fans calling for it to be an afternoon or early evening game, the NRL seems committed to its 7:30pm (AEST) time-slot.

This would mean a 9:30 local kick off in New Zealand.

I'm sure this wouldn't be the end of the world for players, officials and fans, but it is certainly not ideal.

We saw the NRL move the semi-final from the traditional 7:50pm (Sydney time) kick off to suit the New Zealand audience, but that was a game involving the Warriors.

NRL Rd 1 - Warriors v Knights
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 03: Adam Elliott of the Knights charges forward during the round one NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and Newcastle Knights at Sky Stadium on March 03, 2023 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

There would be no way to guarantee the Warriors would be there, right up until the week prior.

There is always the chance that the NRL could bring the kick off forward and host the NRLW Grand Final after, but I simply cannot seem them moving the golden goose.

Interstate Cup
Although I don't see this as any real issue at all, I couldn't see a NSW Cup vs QLD Cup game going ahead across the Tasman.

Hosting this at CommBank Stadium or Redcliffe Stadium would be a simple move, but it is something that would need to be considered.

Even if the Warriors were to win the NSW Cup, it would be tough going to convince the winner of the QLD Cup to make the trip.

I think it would be incredible. Great for the game. A real highlight. It would sell out in minutes.

Unfortunately though, the NRL - like any business, operates to the bottom line. Money-wise, this move would make absolutely no sense at all.

Although I would much prefer to see a Grand Final head across the Tasman than an Origin game, I don't think it's a plausible option at this time.