The 25-year agreement between the NRL and NSW to host grand finals in Sydney may not begin until the NSW stadium network is complete, increasing the chances of the grand final being played outside of NSW.
Following this year’s decider, it looks as though the earliest ANZ Stadium would be able to hold the next grand final will be 2023, meaning the NRL will need to find venues for three grand finals between 2020-2022.
The original deal meant just one grand final – 2020 at the SCG – would be held away from Homebush, although there is a strong desire from the NRL to take a decider to Brisbane, given the money they would lose by keeping it in Sydney until 2023.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the NRL believe they would lose around $20m in gate and corporate takings if the 2021 and 2022 deciders were held at the SCG and/or Allianz Stadium.
Allianz hasn’t hosted a grand final since 1998, while the SCG’s last decider was in 1987.
Melbourne has put their hand up to host a grand final in either 2021 or 2022, although it looks like the NRL would prefer to host the game at Suncorp Stadium if they can’t agree a deal with the NSW government.
If the deal begins in 2023 when the stadium network is set to be complete, Sydney will be the home of the NRL Grand Final until at least 2048.