Brisbane hosting the NRL grand final could signal a ‘new pathway’ for the league
Suncorp Stadium will host the as the NRL grand final, with NSW forced to give up the game’s showpiece with the worsening COVID-19 crisis.
The October 3 final will break a 114-year tradition of the final being played in Sydney.
NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said they were excited by the prospect and grateful to Queensland.
“Now we have got the opportunity for the first time ever to play the finals, it’s not just about the grand final, this month of September we will have the entire finals series played in Queensland in regional locations which is terrific,” he told Scott Emerson.
The NRL looked at a number of options to host the grand final, but settled on Queensland which means crowds will be able to attend.
“It is history in the making … we have a lot of gratitude for the people of Queensland for hosting us.”
As part of the deal, NRL premiership games will also be played in Queensland over the next few years.
He also flagged how the NRL expansion made sense in rugby league heartland.
“Queensland is part of rugby league history, it’s part of our fabric, and its an incredibly important market for us,” he said.
“Having four teams in Queensland will be great for local derbies, local rivalries, but equally for us, it’s opening up a new pathway for identifying talent and of course increasing participation in grassroots level which is important to us.”
Press PLAY below to hear Andrew Abdo discuss the historic announcement
Sports Minister Stirling Hinchliffe told Peter Psaltis on Wide World of Sports, it will give Queenslanders a front row seat over the coming weeks.
He said it will be like Magic Round but “bigger and better”.
“It will really help the Brisbane economy, as it will help those other economies where the games are going on,” he said.
“Brisbane CBD hotels for instance have been doing it pretty tough – they usually rely a fair bit on that business market.”
He said it was a “once in a lifetime opportunity” for many people.
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