ARL Commission Chairman Peter V’landys says the NRL grand final will stay in New South Wales “at this stage” following talks with the Premier today.
- Queensland and Victoria were keen to stage the NRL decider
- The match is traditionally held in Sydney
- The NRL is keen for the NSW government to spend more money upgrading suburban stadiums
Mr V’landys earlier threatened to move the final to Queensland if the NSW government failed to deliver on a promised suite of multi-million-dollar stadium upgrades.
Premier Dominic Perrottet smacked down the threat, saying the match “is not going anywhere”.
Mr Perrottet and Mr V’landys met on Friday afternoon to discuss the 2022 NRL season and the government’s stadiums package.
Mr V’landys told reporters the ARL and the state government were still deliberating about the future of the promised upgrades.
Ashed whether the grand final would stay in Sydney, Mr V’landys replied: “At this stage, yes.”
The NRL grand final is traditionally held in Sydney.
It’s understood Victoria was also keen to host the match.
“It’s all this little theater that Peter V’landys is creating, it’s not happening,” Mr Perrottet said this morning.
“The grand finale is not going to Queensland or anywhere else. Peter knows that, I know that.
“Let’s have the dance but we know where this is going to finish and we’re going to have the grand final in Sydney.”
Mr V’landys is keen to see a swathe of suburban stadiums upgraded, which could cost the NSW government hundreds of millions of dollars.
Earlier, Mr V’landys told Channel Nine the Premier “needed to show leadership”.
“Keep the rugby league grand final in NSW, honor what you’ve promised, build those suburban stadiums for those communities and everyone will be happy,” he said.
Brisbane staged the NRL grand final last year amid the COVID-19 Delta outbreak and extended lockdown in NSW.
Queensland had since flagged its interest in hosting the match again.
But Mr Perrottet said the NRL risked alienating its base if the grand final moved north.
“Peter knows all too well where the majority of NRL clubs are — they’re right here in Sydney,” he said.
“So if he wants to turn his back on rugby league clubs based in Sydney and head to Queensland, that’s not going to end too well for him.”
The NSW government committed more than $730 million to knock down and rebuild the Sydney Football Stadium, in what became a politically charged issue in the 2019 state election.
The Moore Park venue is due to open later this year.
But in a plan that has since been abandoned, then-premier Gladys Berejiklian had announced more than $800 million to demolish and rebuild Stadium Australia.
The NRL is keen to see that cash spent on upgrading smaller, suburban grounds.
The state government spent $300 million to rebuild Parramatta Stadium, which opened in 2019.
It has also committed to rebuilding Penrith Stadium at an estimated cost of about $300 million.
That development is due to finish in 2025.