The NRL announced on Wednesday that it would take six games to regional NSW next season.
Hours later, the ARL Commission chairman confirmed it is closing in on a deal to create a “mini-Bankwest Stadiums” in the harbour city, per The Sydney Morning Herald.
Peter V’landys held talks with state Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet on Wednesday, hoping to convince them to spend the $800-million that is planned for the redevelopment of ANZ Stadium, to instead build four state-of-the-art venues in outer Sydney.
Each stadium would hold a capacity of 20,000 people at each venue.
“It was a very positive meeting and we’ve got a way forward,” V’landys said.
“I think the big winners will be the residents of NSW because they will have facilities they can be proud of.
“This is not just about rugby league, this is about so many other sports. You will have cricket, soccer, rugby union, netball, basketball … and at top-line facilities.
“It will be a community asset which can be used for theatre and mini pop concerts. The most important thing is the money will stay in the local economy.”
Berejiklian said the NRL “approached us” to say they saw greater value to upgrade suburban grounds over ANZ Stadium.
“When the pandemic started we evaluated what projects we felt would be good for NSW and also adopted the general strategy that it was better to invest in suburban stadiums than it was to invest in ANZ and those discussions with the NRL and other sporting codes are ongoing,” she said.
“We adopted that as a government, we would invest progressively, not all at once, in upgrading suburban stadia as opposed to investing taxpayer dollars in upgrading a large stadium,” she said.
V’landys, NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo and the NSW government will meet in the coming weeks for a formal announcement.