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The NRL is still in talks over the venue for the grand final




The NRL will wait until later in the week to decide which stadium will host the grand final as talks continue with the Queensland Government over a possible change.

The ARL Commission reconvened on Tuesday morning to discuss the Oct. 2 decision maker, with a decision postponed again for a few days.

Negotiations are continuing with the governments of New South Wales and Queensland, after it was announced two weeks ago that land in suburban Sydney would not be upgraded.

“The commission has postponed the decision but it will be made by the end of this week,” ARL commission chairman Peter V’landys told AAP on Tuesday.

“We are in good discussions with the government of New South Wales and Queensland.

“We will review all the information and details and then we will make a decision.

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

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

NSW were thought to remain favorites to host rugby league’s showpiece event given the Accor Stadium’s 82,500 capacity.

But a better commercial return is believed to be possible in Queensland thanks to food and drink deals, stadium rentals and the state government’s overall push.

The league originally reached an agreement with the NSW government in 2018 to keep the grand final in Sydney until 2042.

However, that was dependent on an $800 million Accor stadium upgrade, which was pushed back due to the pandemic.

The NRL say a verbal agreement was then reached that the money would be reduced and redistributed to suburban grounds, with $300m to be spent on the Penrith stadium and improvements elsewhere.

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

V’landys has met new sports minister Alister Henskens since the recent resignation of Stuart Ayres and is hopeful a deal can be reached on stadia.

“I’m (still hoping for a compromise),” V’landys said.

“We have been impressed with new Sports Minister Alister Henskens. Even if we’re not going anywhere, the good thing about him is that he knows the details.

V’landys’ comments came as NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet insisted a resolution was close to being reached which would see the final big stay in Sydney.

“The Grand Final is an institution in our state. This is where he should stay,” he said.

“It shouldn’t be in Queensland, it should be in NSW. This is where the majority of clubs are located.

“It’s the heart and soul of rugby league here in our state, and it shouldn’t be taken out of NSW for any reason.”



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