Could a future NRL Grand Final be coming to Suncorp Stadium?
THE State Government could know early next month which years the NRL grand final is up for grabs as a multimillion-dollar Suncorp Stadium blockbuster.
The next two grand finals have been allocated to ANZ Stadium under a contract the NRL has with the NSW Government.
The NRL is willing to fit in with whatever timetable the NSW Government decides but is confident any work on ANZ Stadium would not start before the new stadium at Parramatta is open in early 2019.
That would make the 2019 grand final the first possible title decider up in contention between the Queensland and Victorian State Governments vying to get the event for either Suncorp Stadium and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The Courier-Mail understands that on Monday week the NSW cabinet will further discuss a timetable of works and allocation of more than $1 billion in funding for redevelopments at ANZ and Allianz Stadiums.
It had been reported that as many as four grand finals might need to be played elsewhere while ANZ Stadium has works carried out, but an industry insider thought that no more than two grand finals would need to be played at another venue.
The NRL would take the grand final to more than one new city if there is two or more years in which ANZ Stadium is rebuilt to become a rectangular arena.
The NSW Government will fight any grand finals being played outside Sydney, but the Sydney Cricket Ground, at 46,000 seats, is its biggest alternative while ANZ Stadium is closed.
In July, Queensland's Minister for Major Events Kate Jones called on the NSW Government to set out its more detailed plans for developing the Sydney stadiums so Queensland could proceed with final lobbying of the NRL for its bid to secure a grand final for Suncorp Stadium.
NRL clubs using ANZ Stadium as a home ground would not want it unavailable for club matches while the new $360 million Western Sydney Stadium at Parramatta, which began construction last week, is yet to be opened.
The NRL has re-emphasised to the NSW Government its support for as lavish a redevelopment as possible of ANZ Stadium, having picked up on rumours that its funding would be reduced in favour of Allianz Stadium.