NRL final in Sydney

THE NRL grand final is set to remain in Sydney until at least 2042 after the NSW government committed to redeveloping ANZ Stadium into a rectangular configuration.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian outlined details of a compromise deal in the Sydney stadium debate at a press conference on Thursday in which she admitted there had been a very real chance the state would have lost the NRL grand final to Brisbane without the upgrade of ANZ Stadium.

The former Olympic venue is home to Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Wests Tigers, is also Sydney’s venue for State of Origin and has hosted the NRL grand final since the stadium opened in 1999.

It will be reconfigured into a 70,000-seat rectangular stadium but will no longer be knocked down and rebuilt, enabling renovations to be completed two years earlier in mid-2021.

However, the Premier announced a new stadium would still go ahead at Moore Park, with Allianz Stadium to be knocked down and rebuilt at a cost of $730 million.

The $1.5 billion investment in Sydney’s two biggest stadiums honours a Memorandum of Understanding between the NRL and the NSW government to stage the grand final in Sydney for the next 25 years.

“I am also pleased to say that the grand final will still remain in NSW for the next 25 years,” Berejiklian said.

“That is a really big coup for us and we know how important that is … to making sure we retain all of those major events which we were definitely in risk of losing.

“I don’t want to underestimate that enough. Had we not invested in our stadiums we would have been at risk and in fact definitely lost events to other states.”

The NRL guaranteed the grand final would be played in Sydney for the next 25 years on the proviso a world-class rectangular stadium was built at Sydney Olympic Park.

More Stories