The Penrith Panthers will play an NRL match in Bathurst each season until at least 2028 after signing a new ten-year agreement with Bathurst Regional Council.
The agreement continues a partnership that began in 2014 and has already seen the Panthers play three NRL fixtures at Carrington Park in Bathurst.
Panthers Chairman Dave O’Neill said the partnership delivers significant benefits to the Panthers, the people of Bathurst and the game of Rugby League.
“Panthers has developed a strong and productive relationship with Bathurst Regional Council and their local community,” Mr O’Neill said.
“We are passionate about supporting grassroots Rugby League and in return the people of the Bathurst region have truly embraced our club.
“Each year our players and staff are blown away by the support they receive as they undertake school visits and coaching clinics across the region.”
Panthers Executive General Manager Rugby League Phil Gould AM reiterated that the relationship between Panthers and Bathurst Regional Council is about much more than just an annual NRL fixture.
“We are delighted to now enter into this agreement to continue the association for another ten seasons,” Gould said.
“Our coaching and development staff have been outstanding in providing junior league coaching clinics and Panthers coaching programs to the Bathurst area. Kids and parents have come from miles around to take advantage of these clinics.
“It’s our intention to improve and expand these Panthers Academy programs over the next decade.”
Bathurst Mayor Graeme Hanger OAM said the long-term agreement is great news for the city and the supporters of the game.
“We are building on our city’s strong reputation as a destination for major sporting events,” he said.
“Council has played a key role in investing in the sporting facilities to ensure they attract premium events such as the NRL.
“Rugby League has a large and loyal following in the region and the opportunity provides immense benefits not just for sporting fans, but to everyone in our community.”
The Panthers face Canberra Raiders at Carrington Park on Saturday June 10.