Queensland GF hangs on Sydney suburban bid
Queensland's only hope of poaching the NRL grand final rests on the NSW Government rejecting a bid for five new stadiums in Sydney.
The NRL is lobbying NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to build four or five new rectangle venues worth up to $1 billion in Sydney following the government's decision to abandon a $800 million redevelopment of ANZ Stadium.
The NRL had an agreement with the NSW Government to play the grand final in Sydney every year until 2042 provided it invested heavily in redeveloping stadiums at Homebush (ANZ) and Moore Park (Allianz).
That contract is now up in the air following the government's decision to abandon the Homebush redevelopment to save money following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Queensland Government had made public its desire to pinch the NRL's showpiece event from Sydney and play it at Suncorp Stadium.
The ANZ Stadium backflip was thought to have opened the door for Queensland to pounce, but that will only be a chance if Berejiklian knocks back the NRL's suburban stadiums proposal.
ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys confirmed Queensland was at long odds to snare the NRL grand final any time soon.
"It's too early to say," he said.
"We've got an agreement with government and we're confident the government's going to come good.
"At this stage I don't think it (shifting grand final to Queensland) is on the cards.
"We've got an agreement with government and we've got to explore that agreement. We need to have discussions with government.
"Our preference is to have suburban grounds in Sydney, four or five of them similar to Bankwest (Stadium at Parramatta). Complete rebuilds, not refurbishments.
"That brings back tribalism. That's our focus. We want community stadiums that can be used for other purposes than rugby league.
"We want to have the best spectator comfort and technology. We want to have them at 20,000 so they're always full."
The Queensland Government launched a new bid to pinch this year's grand final after it was moved back to October 25.
That is unlikely to come to fruition now given ANZ Stadium will now be available given the redevelopment was due to begin next month.
Ipswich-born Luke Keary has played in three NRL grand finals for the Rabbitohs and Roosters and said Queensland deserved to host a premiership decider.
"I reckon it would be awesome, I can't believe we haven't played it there," he said.
"What they do in the NFL is pretty cool - taking it around everywhere. Obviously we have a lot of teams in Sydney.
"You could have it in Brisbane, north Queensland, Perth or Adelaide. The more we can get those showcase games in other places is beneficial.
"I understand there's a lot of financial stuff and politics that go into it, but it'd be awesome for the game and states that get it.
"Not just Brissy, we should look at taking it everywhere."
Originally published as Queensland GF hangs on Sydney suburban bid