Sport Todd Greenberg's message to Queensland rugby league fans
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Queensland rugby league fans may have cause to feel jilted after the NRL came to an agreement with the NSW Government to keep the grand final in Sydney during the reconstruction of Allianz Stadium and ANZ Stadium.
News leaked early Wednesday of a reported $12 million carrot thrown the NRL’s way to keep the marquee event in Sydney.
Citing commercial confidence, NRL CEO Todd Greenberg refused to confirm that figure.
However, he did have a message for Queensland footy fans, who’d been hoping Suncorp Stadium’s 52,000 capacity, excellent sight lines and proven ability to handle major events would be enough to take the grand final on the road.
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Australia's heavy rotation at five-eighth during the Rugby World Cup has been designed to preserve the health and energy levels of Christian Lealiifano.Cheika has been criticised for failing to select the same player in the No.10 in successive matches since Lealiifano started both Bledisloe Cup Tests in August.
“When you’re dealing with a government who’s effectively spending $2 billion on infrastructure development, what goes with that is a promise of content, and that’s been a primary part of our discussion,” Greenberg said Wednesday.
“The other thing I would say is we have huge respect for Queensland fans; that’s why we take things like the Magic Round there, that’s why we’re continuing to take premium content like the All-Stars there.
“We won’t forget Queensland fans, I can assure you of that.”
The SCG’s usefulness as a rugby league venue isn’t in dispute – everyone agrees it’s average. But it’s serving its purpose.
“Part of me agrees with that [the SCG as a less than ideal rugby league venue], but it’s short-term decision-making now to secure our long-term future,” Greenberg said.
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“What that means is we’ll have some short-term pain to get through in the next few years but the ultimate prize is $2 billion of infrastructure development and three brand-new rectangular stadiums in Sydney.
“I’ve spoken directly to the Queensland Minister for Sport, Kate Jones, to understand our decision making. I can understand there’ll be some unhappy Queensland-based fans.”
Count the Queensland Minister among those ruing what could have been.
“Right now I feel like a Raiders fan from the grand final," the Minister told AAP.
"We believe we have the best NRL stadium in the world. I think it would have been great for the game."
According to a release from the NRL, the grand final will be held at the SCG for the next two years, with the 2022 grand final to be played next door at Allianz Stadium.
The grand final will return to ANZ Stadium in 2023, with the NRL grand final remaining in Sydney until at least 2046.
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