Queensland has made an audacious bid to host multiple NRL grand finals following the success of last year’s event at Suncorp Stadium.
The Sunshine State got a taste when the 2021 rugby league decider was shifted to Brisbane after COVID-19 forced it to be moved away from Sydney.
Now Queensland wants more.
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It has reportedly put an offer on the table worth millions of dollars to host several grand finals over the next decade, leading up to the 2032 Olympic Games in Brisbane.
Queensland league legend Wally Lewis says it would a wonderful thing for the Sunshine State.
“Certainly everybody north of the border here thinks it’s an outstanding idea. No one was aware of the suggestion this time yesterday but certainly, there is a little bit of excitement in Queensland at the possibility of the grand final returning to Brisbane,” Lewis told Channel Nine.
But Lewis has cautioned that other states are likely to put their hand up as well if the NRL engages them in a bidding war.
“I really do believe it’s going to be judged by the finances available and if I’m saying the NRL is chasing the biggest bidder then it could possibly go to Victoria.”
The MCG of course hosting 100,00 fans is going to be very difficult to knock back.”
The offer has caught the New South Wales government off-guard with officials there now scrambling to lock in the decider for years to come.
The NRL did have a deal with New South Wales to host the grand final until 2042 but that is now null and void after the government backflipped on an agreement to refurbish the Olympic Stadium in Homebush.
New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrotet is due to meet with ARL Commission Chair Peter V’Landys later this week.
It’s understood league bosses will now push for the funds that had been earmarked for the Olympic stadium upgrade to be used to refurbish suburban grounds instead.