2022 NRL Grand Final venue: NSW steps up bid to host decider
The 2022 NRL Grand Final could be ‘homecoming’ after the NSW government hit back at Queensland by offering a big cash incentive to the ARLC.
The NSW government are set to stave off a bold bid from Queensland after they hit back with a beefed-up package to secure the NRL Grand Final.
News Corp can reveal the NSW government has upped the ante to retain Queensland as the ARL Commission prepares to announce this afternoon whether Sydney or Brisbane will host this year’s NRL decider.
Well-placed sources say Sydney are set to secure this year’s NRL Grand Final with the ARL Commission to keep an open mind for 2023 and beyond.
Queensland have been handed a ’60-40 chance’ of sensationally stealing the grand final after they tabled a proposal to host up to three NRL decision-makers ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.
But the NSW government has returned to the table with an attractive offer that could clinch the NRL Grand Final and ease the pressure on Premier Dominic Perrottet.
It is understood the NSW Government has offered the ARL Commission $8million to keep the NRL Grand Final at Sydney’s Accor Stadium this season.
The NSW Government is desperate to keep the Grand Final in the port city until 2042 and it’s a deal that will be hard for the ARL Commission led by Chairman Peter V’landys to refuse.
The desperate battle for the NRL Grand Final remains up in the air after the ARL committee again delayed a decision on Wednesday night after a marathon three-hour meeting failed to reach a decisive verdict.
But a decision is expected on Thursday afternoon – and the NSW government is ready to deliver a fatal blow to Queensland.
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The NRL came under fire from furious league fans demanding an urgent response on Wednesday night as supporters try to book flights and accommodation for the grand final.
It is understood that a final appeal will be made within 24 hours as the ARLC mulls a charge of delay from the Queensland Government following a breakdown in talks between V’landys and the NSW Government.
Aware of the Mexican stalemate, Queensland had offered to host several NRL grand finals as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stepped up her plans to blow the NSW government out of the water.
Ahead of Wednesday night’s ARLC meeting, NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said the decision could still be delayed for another day as League Central assess Queensland’s furious late push.
“This is a really important decision and the Commission needs to look at all the elements,” he said.
“We are still in active negotiations. We want to fix the problem as soon as possible. I think everyone wants certainty now. The commission has important decisions to make.
“We will announce it when the Commission is ready and has all the information.”
Asked if he was resigned to losing the Grand Final, Perrottet – speaking of rivers in northern New South Wales where he was visiting flood-hit areas – said: “I’m not. , no way. I certainly pointed out to (ARL Commission Chairman) Peter V’landys…that this is a game that has always been in our state and that’s where it should stay.
“If the Queensland Government wants to offer more money than NSW, that’s really a question for them, but I have to make decisions based on priorities that are important in our state.
“As I said to the NRL, they should keep the NRL Grand Final where it has always been – at the heart of rugby league, here in NSW. At the end of the day you have to make decisions in this work on what is most important to the people of our state.
“Right now, where I am in the northern rivers, where I see a lot of people who are suffering and who have lost their homes…. I’ll tell you where I’m going to focus. It’s going to get people into houses rather than bringing them into a grand finale. »
Asked to name the favourite, Abdo said: “I am not in a position to say who is the favourite.
“We obviously have a strong interest from the Queensland Government – we’ve had that for a number of years.
“We are in active dialogue with the NSW government. The Commission must consider everything in front of it and issue an appeal. »
Perrottet revealed his government has offered more money than ever to retain the game’s flagship event.
“We have made a very fair and reasonable offer to the NRL regarding the continuation of the Grand Final,” Perrottet said.
“It’s commercially confidential. It’s probably not as much as Queensland offered, but it’s more than we’ve paid in the past.
“I’ve made it very clear that the game needs to stay in our excellent condition. It’s been an institution for our people and that’s where it needs to stay.
“The Grand Final has always been in NSW except last year during covid. Ultimately, I have to make decisions in the best interests of NSW. We have been through a very difficult time in our state over the past four years with bushfires, droughts, floods and the pandemic. »
On Wednesday morning, Premier Palaszczuk threw her support behind Suncorp’s bid as pressure mounts on the NSW government in the fight for the grand final.
News Corp understands the Queensland government has a “60-40 chance” of pulling off a $10million heist at Suncorp Stadium _ and if they pull it off, it won’t be the only NRL Grand Final in sight.
The Olympics are a decade away and meanwhile Queensland government leaders want a couple of NRL decision-makers to demonstrate their power of attraction in front of the biggest showpiece in world sport.
Palaszczuk confirmed in parliament on Wednesday morning that the Queensland government was officially a candidate for the decision maker.
“We all know Queensland is the place to find good jobs, better services and a great lifestyle,” she said.
“If that includes hosting the NRL Grand Final this year, then I say ‘your beauty’.
“It’s no secret that the NRL are considering a new home for this year’s grand final. Why not Brisbane for the second consecutive year?
“Big events fill hotels, cafes, restaurants and make taxi drivers smile.
“The economic boost from Magic Round, another Queensland innovation, has made it one of the most valuable properties in Australian sport, with benefits that ripple through the wider economy.
“The NRL know Queensland are a safe pair of hands and there are no bigger rugby league fans than the current home state champions – Queensland.
“What I remember of that night, other than the brave victory of the Maroons, are the streets and businesses filled with fans, hospitality and other workers earning a living.
“It’s a Queensland story since Covid. A strong health response that paved the way for the strongest economic recovery in the country. Events like Origin, including in Townsville, all played a role.
“The decision on where this year’s Grand Final will be is for rugby league, and rugby league alone. Peter V’landys is a Queensland friend, Queensland fan and man of his word. I have always found it very pleasant to deal with and I know that respect is given.
“My government is always open to opportunities that will help us provide good jobs, better services and a great lifestyle in Queensland.
“At the moment the scoreboard says – decision pending. Hopefully the Bunker makes the call we are hoping for…for Queensland, the heartland of rugby league.
Originally published as 2022 NRL Grand Final venue: NSW steps up bid to host decider