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So where will the NRL grand final be played? League still undecided but decision imminent

The NRL will wait until later in the week to make a call on which stadium will host the grand final as talks still continue with the Queensland government about a possible shift.

The ARL Commission met again on Tuesday morning to discuss the October 2 decider, with a decision deferred again by a few days.

Negotiations are continuing with both the NSW and Queensland governments, after the announcement two weeks ago that Sydney’s suburban grounds would not be upgraded.

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“The commission has deferred the decision but it will be made by the end of this week,” ARL Commission chair Peter V’landys said.

“We’re in good discussions with both the NSW and Queensland government.

“We’ll go through all the information and all the details, and then we’ll make a decision.

“It’s a big deal for us, and it’s commercially one of our big-ticket items.”

The NRL had initially hoped to make a decision early last week on the venue, before recommencing talks with the NSW government.

Generally, it was believed that NSW remain favourites to host rugby league’s showpiece event given the 82,500-seat capacity of Accor Stadium. But there is a thought a better commercial return is possible in Queensland through food and beverage deals, stadium hire and the overall push from the state government.

Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane remains a chance of hosting back-to-back NRL grand finals. Credit: Darren England/AAP

The league had initially struck a deal with the NSW government in 2018 to keep the grand final in Sydney until 2042.

However that had been contingent of the $800 million upgrade of Accor Stadium, which was pushed back due to COVID.

The NRL claims a verbal agreement was then reached that the money would be decreased and redistributed to suburban grounds, with $300 million to be spent on Penrith and upgrades elsewhere.

However, the league was left furious when told a fortnight ago the money for other grounds was no longer a priority, with Brookvale, Leichhardt and Cronulla’s Pointsbet Stadium all going without.

V’landys has met with new sports minister Alister Henskens since Stuart Ayres’ resignation from the position, and remains hopeful a deal can be reached on stadiums.

The Panthers celebrate victory in the 2021 NRL grand final. Credit: AAP

“I am (still hopeful of a compromise),” V’landys said.

“We have been impressed with the new sports minister Alister Henskens. Even if we get nowhere, the good thing about him is we know the detail.

“When you go in there he has read every document. He’s a senior counsel.

“So when we went in there at least the person we were speaking to know the subject, knew the manner and knew all about it.

“So that’s positive. We are in discussions.”

Bombers’ eleventh-hour play at Clarkson.

Bombers’ eleventh-hour play at Clarkson.



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