The South Sydney Rabbitohs are on the cusp of unveiling their $57 million Centre of Excellence, but the club's CEO has confirmed that their other big investment – the contracts of Latrell Mitchell, Cody Walker and Damien Cook – is being held up by the wait for a 2023 salary cap figure.
The Heffron Centre, based in Maroubra, was unveiled to members of the media during the week and is expected to offer the team a significant advantage with its state-of-the-art set-up.
But while things are moving on schedule in that respect, the club's attempts to retain their star trio have been caught in the logjam as the RLPA and NRL continue to negotiate a new agreement.
There are currently 15 Rabbitohs players who will be able to talk to rival clubs from November 1.
“We are in discussions which are progressing nicely, but ultimately it would be helpful to have a salary cap figure,” Souths CEO Blake Solly told the Daily Telegraph.
Though the trio are yet to commit their future to the club, Solly was happy to use them as a selling point when speaking about the new cutting-edge facility. He also acknowledged the club's departure from their traditional base at Redfern.
“From an elite athlete point of view, this (facility) is as good as anywhere in the world,” Solly said.
“This secures our future for the next 20-40 years, it's a game changer.
“Redfern has been wonderful to us – and it will always be our spiritual home – but there are limitations about what we can do (there). We've grown out of it.
“This facility is purpose-built for an NRL team in 2023.
The club also revealed the extensive research they'd done in regards to establishing the facility, with a world-wide influence on the project.
“We've got consultants who have worked in basketball arenas and NFL stadiums in America who have come out here in different capacities to work on the project.
“We didn't want to imitate them, we wanted something specific to Souths.”
Redfern Oval will continue to be used by the club for local and junior finals, as well as NSW Cup games.