Queensland Out To Steal NRL Grand Final From New South Wales

Queensland Out To Steal NRL Grand Final From New South Wales

Queensland Minister for Major Events Kate Jones

Queensland Minister for Sport Curtis Pitt

Queensland Opens The Door To NRL Grand Finals 

Victor P Taffa

An NRL (National Rugby League) Grand Final would bring up to 40,000 interstate visitors and inject more than $30 Million to our economy, Major Events Minister Kate Jones said today.

Ms. Jones said the Palaszczuk Government has begun talks with the NRL to secure 2018 and 2019 Grand Finals in Queensland.

“Queenslanders love rugby league and our fans deserve to see finals on our home turf.” Ms. Jones said.

“We know Queensland has the best stadium, the most loyal fans and the best teams in the NRL.”

“That’s why we will be fighting hard to secure one if not two finals here in Queensland.”

Ms. Jones said Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) would lead the negotiations to ensure the best outcome for Queensland fans.

“Queensland has a long and enduring relationship with the NRL.” Ms. Jones said.

QLD Minister for Major Events Kate Jones

QLD Minister for Major Events Kate Jones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We have secured regional fixtures, the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars and next month’s double-header at Suncorp is set to be a sell-out.”

“TEQ are also in negotiations to secure the best games in 2017 Rugby League World Cup games in Queensland.”

“We know a Grand Final would attract up to 40,000 visitors from interstate and inject more than $30 Million into our economy.” Ms. Jones said.

Treasurer and Minister for Sport Curtis Pitt said while securing grand finals would be good news for league fans, the Government was determined to capitalise on the potential economic spin-offs.

“We won’t be pursuing this just to deliver sporting spectacles or just to gain short-term boosts in terms of visitors and tourists.” Mr. Pitt said.

“We will be doing all we can to ensure there are permanent benefits for Queensland.”

“The corporate interest and involvement in major sports like NRL grand finals presents a golden opportunity to leverage the exposure they offer into a platform to entice business and industry and new jobs to our State by promoting our economic strengths, our lifestyle, and our human and natural resources.” Mr. Pitt said.

“I have had discussions with senior NRL officials and have told them we are interested in pursuing this opportunity and that Queensland has a great product in terms of our teams and we have a great facility in Suncorp Stadium.”

“We see it as a chance to showcase our State and its attractions, not only as a tourism destination but also as the best place in Australia to live, work and do business.” Mr. Pitt said.

 

QLD Minister for Sport Curtis Pitt

QLD Minister for Sport Curtis Pitt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Of Rugby League

The home of Rugby League is in Sydney and the State of New South Wales following the inception of the code in 1908. After the successful breakaway of the code from Rugby Union Queensland quickly followed suit.

Finals and Grand Finals were held at the Sydney Cricket Ground and then Sydney Football Stadium which was the site of the old Sydney Sportsground, until the completion of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Finally Sydney had a Stadium large enough to hold the Grand Final. Before the Olympic Stadium opened, people camped outside Grace Bros. Department Store on George Street, Sydney for 2 days waiting to get tickets.

For Queensland to try to steal the Grand Final from New South Wales is galling. ANZ Stadium is the home of the NRL Grand Final as the MCG is the home of the AFL Grand Final.

 

ANZ Stadium

ANZ Stadium was built and opened for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games by then New South Wales Minister for Olympics Bruce Baird.

Following on from a dispute with follower of AFL Football and leadership rival Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres, Premier Mike Baird (son of Bruce Baird) abandoned plans for a new rectangular stadium at Moore Park and instead announced plans to reconfigure ANZ Stadium to a rectangular stadium.

Furthermore former Premier Barry O’Farrell sits on the board of the SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground) at Moore Park and was responsible for construction of new stands at the SCG.

 

NSW Premier Mike Baird

NSW Premier Mike Baird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plans to reconfigure ANZ Stadium are completely over the top and a waste of money. Queensland is getting carried away with itself in wanting to steal the NRL Grand Final from New South Wales.

The worst aspect of this plan as announced by Premier Mike Baird is to kick the AFL (Australian Football League) off ANZ Stadium and end any chance that GWS Giants (Greater Western Sydney) can ever get to use ANZ Stadium when their next door home Sydney Showground is too small for crowd attendances.

ANZ Stadium is a great ground to watch AFL matches. Sydney Showground was also built at the same time as ANZ Stadium in time for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games on the old State Government Brick Pits site.

Ability to fit crowds into a ground is a very important factor in the development of GWS Giants. GWS Giants joined the AFL in season 2012. However Sydney Swans AFL came to Sydney following relocation from Melbourne as South Melbourne in 1982.

Crowd attendances for the Sydney Swans in 1982 were around 11,000 people and were hardly the talk of the town or media. The same currently applies to GWS Giants. The AFL is committed to having two teams in New South Wales.

Premier Mike Baird has ignored the AFL which is Australia’s most popular and best football code.

ANZ Stadium can be refurbished. This refurbishment can occur without the need to stop football matches from being played there at all with stands providing higher viewer seating. Closing off portions of the ground at a time enables stands to be replaced and football matches to continue safely. Ground capacity would be reduced during refurbishment although as different areas of the ground were completed other areas of the ground would be worked on.

The SCG or MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) did not close entirely as different stands were replaced and matches continued.

 

NSW Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres

NSW Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complete closure of the ground simply stops revenue stream to the ground that pays for the ground refurbishment. A roof can be installed after the Grand Final. By all means we need to refurbish ANZ Stadium but as a round ground.

Reconfiguring ANZ Stadium as a rectangular ground will mean that either the Sydney Showground is doubled in size or Premier Mike Baird builds a purpose built stadium for the AFL at the expense of new Heavy Railway Lines elsewhere in Sydney and New South Wales.