The NRL grand final might have a historic change of venue if an incoming Labor government does not honour plans for stadium rebuilds in Sydney, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Rival states have offered $10 million to lure the big match to their cities, far outweighing the $4 million that the NSW government gives the NRL every year to host the match in Sydney.
Despite these lucrative offers, the NRL has said that they will continue the tradition of hosting the match in Sydney as long as the plans to rebuild and revitalize Allianz Stadium are honoured, accepting the lower amount for the sake of seeing Sydney’s stadiums remain competitive with more advanced facilities around Australia like Melbourne’s MCG and Perth’s new Optus Stadium.
If the stadium repairs are not upheld under a new government, then the NRL have said they will seriously consider moving the grand final interstate or to New Zealand.
A State of Origin match in Melbourne brings $40 million of economic benefit to the Victorian capital, while a Sydney grand final only impacts $20 million on the NSW economy.
The higher economic benefit of interstate games ensures these states are more likely to pay big money for the matches, which means if a Labor government under Michael Daley refuse to rebuild Allianz Stadium then NSW might just lose the NRL decider.
The grand final is contracted to ANZ Stadium until 2022, which was meant to coincide with the completion of the Homebush rebuild. If the traditional home of rugby is still closed to business at that time, then it’s anyone guess as to where the final will be played in 2023.