NRL hopefuls Redcliffe have blown fellow expansion rivals out of the water with a reported $100 million bid that would make them the richest club in the league, per The Courier Mail.
The Dolphins are set to unveil their new $6.5 million grandstand at Dolphin Stadium, taking the venue’s capacity to 11,500 and lifting to NRL standards.
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The Queensland club are looking to go head-and-shoulders above their Brisbane rivals in the Broncos, with a formal bid set to be presented to the NRL holding assets worth more than $100 million.
The Broncos are currently valued at $53.7 million and could be facing some heavy competition if Redcliffe are appointed as the 17th NRL side.
The ARL Commission will start their due diligence to expand the league in December, with the Dolphins’ latest flex now placing them in a strong position to become the next league club.
The Bombers, Easts Tigers’ Firehawks and Ipswich all remain within contention to join the NRL, but are now behind the eight-ball due to Redcliffe’s staggering finances and infrastructure.
Redcliffe chairman Bob Jones stated the club has what it takes to be the second Brisbane team in the NRL by 2022 or 2023.
“We’re putting in a bid – we’re as keen as anyone,” Jones said.
“We’ve been quietly working away for years and we’ve expressed our interest to the NRL.
“The important thing for the NRL is we have the infrastructure ready to go.
“While this COVID crisis has put a strain on everyone’s finances, we’ll be able to survive it, no doubt about that.
“We have a proud history and I’m confident we can stand up financially to be part of the NRL.”
Redcliffe are also in discussions with Suncorp Stadium, with the club likely to share home games between the Broncos’ ground and Dolphin Stadium.
The club will also play the occasional match at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
“Redcliffe is the way to go – they have a ready-made club for the NRL,” former Broncos coach Bennett said in February.
“Redcliffe are a very stable financial club, they have a huge junior base, they have a powerful state league club in the Dolphins, and they have all the infrastructure.
“The northern corridor of Brisbane is just getting bigger and bigger. The fan base there would be sensational.”
While fears remain surrounding the league’s expansion, ARL boss Peter V’landys is keen to add a new club to the league.
“I want a second team (in Brisbane) and I will give it my full attention at the end of the year,” he said.
“We have our Queensland partners up there so the last thing we want to do is hurt the Broncos, Cowboys and the Titans.
“I haven’t seen one iota of evidence so far to back up their case that the game isn’t ready for expansion.
“In business, competition brings excellence. The Broncos are not concerned about expansion. I believe a second Brisbane team would elevate everyone in the game, not just the Broncos.”