Despite nigh-on 200 milimetres of rain predicted to fall before Magic Round's final hooter sounds, NRL head of football Graham Annesley has claimed Suncorp Stadium's surface will hold up for the entirety of the showpiece event.
While ticket sales for the three-day footy extravaganza have continued to boom, the threat of a deluge looms, with as much as 100mm expected to lash the River City across Wednesday and Thursday alone.
In spite of the fact that the travelling cavalcade of league fans who will converge on the Brisbane-based venue and Caxton Street may need to trade jerseys and flags for ponchos and gumboots, Annesley was willing to give the 52,500 capacity venue's surface the green light.
“We’ll just keep monitoring the weather and Suncorp Stadium has got one of the best drainage systems in the league,” Annesley told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“It’s a major stadium with full-time ground staff.
“It usually gets brought up this time of year before Magic Round and people ask, ‘is the ground going to stand up to it?’ And it always does. From our point of view, we’re not concerned about it. It’s too early to tell if the weather is going to become a factor.”
Although the prospect of 640 minutes of first-grade football is enough to place strain on even the most pristine of surfaces, the stadium formerly known as Lang Park has proven resilient to recent weather whips.
In late February of this year, Suncorp Stadium appeared far more akin to a grandstanded lake rather than a sporting field after being clogged with a mammoth body of run off water collected from the Queensland floods.
— Adam Jackson (@AdamJackson_9) February 28, 2022
Still, in less than 48 hours, the venue's drainage system, manned by Grounds Manager Malcolm Caddies, had worked overtime to see green blades visible once more.
And with this ability to part bodies of water like Moses, it is little wonder why Annesley was of the view that the show could, and would, go on.
“That’s why they’re a major venue for major events," the administrator added.
"Magic Round is going to go ahead, it’s going to be a great event and it’s close to a sellout on all three days. It’s not going to be a drama.”
The opening kick-off in the festival of football is scheduled for 6:00pm (AEST) on Friday, May 13 when the Knights and Bulldogs face off in a genuine battle of the competition's cellar dwellers.