SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 30: A general view during the 2018 NRL Grand Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

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.

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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.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Considering that 9 out of the 16 teams that make up the NRL are from Sydney and that the Newcastle Knights are just 2 hours drive north that of Sydney this means that 10 out of the 16 clubs that make up the NRL are within easy reach of a Sydney based GF. Added to that the history of the game and the headquarters of the NRL are also in Sydney, so it makes little sense to move it elsewhere.

    I would be in favour of moving the GF from Sydney on a rotational basis IF and ONLY IF Racing Victoria agrees to move the Melbourne Cup on a rotational basis between Royal Randwick Racecourse, Eagle Farm Racecourse/Doomben Racecourse and Flemington Racecourse. Until that day arrives then NO!

  2. If Suncorp had a similar seating capacity I’d say time for a change. MCG is a bloody round oval terrible idea for a rugby league game of any level it sucks to watch. If all states and NZ had 80k plus seating stadiums built I’d be happy to see it go to a bidding war highest bidder wins. It was stupid seeing an all Qld GF played in Nsw. Time to move on there is 5 teams outside of Nsw

    • So since the NRL needs to plan the GF venue a year in advance it would have been just as stupid to see the 2014 GF between two Sydney teams played in Brisbane. Storm vs Sharks and Storm vs Roosters would also have been of no geographic relevance to QLDers who only show up to support their own.

      Personally, I prefer a 10 in 16 chance of being geographically relevant. That and the fact that QLD and other states have been invited into OUR competition (i e. NSW). Do you honestly think that if it had been the other way around QLD would have ever let Sydney host a GF if there were 10 teams in QLD and just 1 in Sydney?

      No, there would be the same chance as Racing Victoria letting Sydney and Brisbane take turns hosting the Melbourne Cup.

      • @isdonisgood
        I understand your want for a different experience by taking the Grand Final to other states and possibly NZ. However, who exactly benefits by doing so. Don’t change things because it seems like a fun thing to do. It’s not broken so don’t try and fix it. And besides, who benefits from a bidding war to host the GF. Only one ….The NRL by lining their pockets with even more money just like the TV rights under a bidding war. Do you think the clubs will see any of this ;fit in revenue/money. Most defiantly not.

  3. Exactly, Rugby League in Australia was born in Sydney. ALL Grand Finals of Rugby League must always be played in Sydney. Players want the atmosphere of their fans attending the game. Brisbane with only a 50k capacity ground should never even attempt to host it while Melbourne will go close to filling the ground but half of the people in Melbourne that attend don’t even know what they are looking at. They would get drawn to the MCG for a game of marbles and thiose marble watchers don’t creat atmosphere but just sit there like stuffed dummies.💪🎱👍

  4. The grand final is a Sydney institution. The Comp is basically a Sydney comp with a few out of towners to make up the numbers. We are not all rich and can aford to fly interstate to watch our team in GF. If Souths make Grand Final than I am watching it live in Sydney. I find it such a joke that you people running the nrl think it is a business. It is not and never will be. It is supposed to be a nice Sunday arvo out to watch your footy team. It is not meant to be big business. It is aworking class game for the masses. That is mainly based in Sydney. You can have your manufactered teams like Melbourne but the real comp is in Sydney. The bafoons in the media who wanted Sydney Teams kicked out dont get it and they never will. They knock the crowds at Sydney games but if the games were played on a Sunday Arvo like for most of history the crowds would be much bigger. Now you have to go Thurs, Friday and if you very lucky the odd weekend game.

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