With the NRL’s decision to re-schedule the remaining 2020 season due to COVID-19, plans for Adelaide Oval to host the first game of the State of Origin series were put into doubt.
In late May, the NRL issued a media release outlining their plan to restart the NRL Premiership for 2020. Among the plans, which included dates and key matchups, were confirmed dates for the NRL’s marquee State of Origin series. However, no hosting stadiums were confirmed.
The 2020 series opening game was set to be Adelaide’s inaugural hosting of State of Origin. Support was immense from both local and interstate fans with over 40 per cent of tickets sold within the first day of sale.
State of Origin is a three-game series played between New South Wales and Queensland, with both teams selecting players from NRL clubs. The series is the most popular program on Australian TV, with over 3.2 million watching the opening game in 2019.
Initially the NRL, in conjunction with South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC), planned to have Adelaide Oval host the first game on Wednesday June 3rd. Currently the three games are scheduled for November 4th, 11th and 18th.
Jenny Turner, SATC’s Senior Manager of Corporate and Government Communications, says that the SATC is in negotiations with the NRL to still host the first game in November.
“We are still in discussions with the NRL and we are both committed to getting the right result for rugby league and South Australia. At this point in time, the State of Origin is set down for November at Adelaide Oval.”
“We’ve got one of them, we just don’t know which one.”
She says if Adelaide did host the game, she isn’t sure if supporters will be allowed inside the stadium.
“We don’t know what it’s going to look like, if there’s going to be crowds or not. It’s still too early from November to say.”
However, she did say that the contract between SATC and the NRL to have regular season games at the Adelaide Oval has completed and there will not be another one for the foreseeable future.
“We have had normal NRL games but that was a 3-year deal that finished last year. We decided to go with State of Origin this year instead.”