The 2020 decider is set to be played at the SCG, and the league may have to keep it there for 2021 or look interstate with ANZ’s renovations taking longer than expected.
The SCG is the obvious answer, with the venue set to host Thursday’s Anzac Day match between the Roosters and Dragons. However, the SCG has received mixed feedback from Roosters fans amongst Allianz Stadium’s rebuild, which is expected to be back up and running for the 2022 season.
Moving the Grand Final interstate is another option, with Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth looming as potential hosting zones. But it does seem improbable that the decider would be moved outside of the game’s heartland, given the state government agreed to keep the Grand Final in Sydney under the $1.5 billion stadium renovation.
ANZ Stadium’s delays will also affect the Bulldogs, Tigers and Rabbitohs, who will be made to make contingency plans, with Bankwest Stadium a potential solution.
Eels forward Tim Mannah said Bankwest Stadium would always be Parramatta’s home.
“We understand there are going to be a lot of teams that want to play here, it’s a facility that everyone wants a piece of,” Mannah told the Sydney Herald.
“But at the end of the day we’re in Parramatta. As much as people want to claim it’s their home, it’s always going to feel like our home.
“It’s hallowed turf. We were listening to some of the old boys this week talking about the old Cumberland Oval.
“This very spot has a lot of history going back a long time now.