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Sydney could lose 2022 NRL grand final to Brisbane within hours in fight over stadium upgrades

Sydney could lose this year’s NRL grand final to Brisbane TODAY – after NSW Government refused to blow billions building MORE stadiums the city doesn’t even need

  • Brisbane could host NRL grand final in October for second year running
  • Due to NSW government’s failure to upgrade suburban grounds in Sydney
  • Footy supremo Peter V’Landys is ‘exploring all options’ as tensions mount

Sydney could lose hosting rights for the 2022 NRL grand final to Brisbane on Tuesday – unless the NSW Government delivers on its long-standing promise to upgrade suburban grounds across the Harbour City.

Fed-up Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys wants assurances from NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet that the stadiums – believed to be Brookvale Oval, Shark Park, Leichhardt Oval and Penrith Stadium – will be revamped, otherwise ‘all options will be on the table’.

One of those options could be Suncorp Stadium hosting the NRL decider on October 2 – for the second year running.

V’Landys met with the NSW Premier in May and shook hands on a deal to spend $800million to upgrade the four ‘tribal’ grounds.

Once the deal is signed off, Sydney would host the NRL grand final until 2042. 

Sydney could lose hosting rights for the 2022 NRL grand final to Brisbane on Tuesday unless the NSW Government delivers on its long-standing promise to upgrade suburban stadiums

Sydney could lose hosting rights for the 2022 NRL grand final to Brisbane on Tuesday unless the NSW Government delivers on its long-standing promise to upgrade suburban stadiums 

Footy supremo Peter V'Landys met with NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet (pictured) in May and shook hands on a deal to spend $800million to upgrade the four 'tribal' grounds - but the deal remains up in the air

Footy supremo Peter V’Landys met with NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet (pictured) in May and shook hands on a deal to spend $800million to upgrade the four ‘tribal’ grounds – but the deal remains up in the air

Shark Park in Sydney's south needs a revamp, along with Brookvale Oval on Sydney's northern beaches

Shark Park in Sydney’s south needs a revamp, along with Brookvale Oval on Sydney’s northern beaches

Given it still hasn’t been formalised, V’Landys is said to be exploring all available options for the NRL. 

‘We are in delicate negotiations with the NSW government,’ V’landys said. ‘All options will be on the table if these negotiations fail.’

In a controversial move, the Panthers’ home ground has been guaranteed a $300million upgrade.

It is located in the electorate of under-pressure NSW Sports Minister Stuart Ayres.

On Tuesday morning, Ayres told 2GB Radio discussions with the NSW Premier and NRL are ‘ongoing’, but conceded the government has budget limitations.

He also stressed that ‘investing well in excess of $1.5billion’ on projects such as the soon-to-be-reopened Sydney Football Stadium should be enough for the NRL to lock down Accor Stadium in Homebush as the long standing grand final venue.

Leichhardt Oval is a favourite among many footy fans, but desperately needs an upgrade

Leichhardt Oval is a favourite among many footy fans, but desperately needs an upgrade

Penrith's home ground has been guaranteed a $300million upgrade. It is located in the electorate of under-pressure NSW Sports Minister Stuart Ayres (pictured)

Penrith’s home ground has been guaranteed a $300million upgrade. It is located in the electorate of under-pressure NSW Sports Minister Stuart Ayres (pictured)

Last year's grand final - won by the Panthers (pictured) - was moved to Brisbane because of the coronavirus pandemic

Last year’s grand final – won by the Panthers (pictured) – was moved to Brisbane because of the coronavirus pandemic

The NRL’s suburban ground strategy follows a previous agreement with the State Government to rebuild Accor Stadium, Allianz Stadium and Commbank Stadium, according to News Corp.

The $800million Accor upgrade was scrapped during the coronavirus pandemic, with the NRL believing that funding would then be allocated to upgrading the likes of Brookvale Oval, Shark Park and Leichhardt Oval.

With Penrith Park the exception, there are genuine fears the other three local stadiums won’t be upgraded. 

Besides Manly, Cronulla and the Wests Tigers, South Sydney will also be affected if the deal isn’t rubber stamped.

The Rabbitohs have a long-term deal with Accor Stadium but were leaning on the NRL to navigate a return to the Sydney Football Stadium as part of the stadia negotiations.

Sharks chief executive Dino and Tigers chair Lee Hagipantelis both hope V’landys and NRL CEO Andrew Abdo can salvage the deal.

The Tigers are also pushing for a new stadium to be built in south-west Sydney.


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