Queensland’s NRL grand final tilt goes into extra time
Queensland is back in the game to steal the NRL grand final from Sydney.
Just weeks after Brisbane's historic AFL grand final, and days after Queensland's rag-tag misfits humiliated the Blues in the State of Origin, the NRL has expressed growing frustration with the NSW Government's stadium redevelopment plans, again opening the door for a Queensland play for the code's showpiece game.
Last year, the governing body and NSW government butted heads over a long-term deal for the grand final in exchange for a complete overhaul of Sydney's biggest football stadiums.
That agreement was scrapped in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, with ARL Commission boss Peter V'landys instead pushing for the NSW government to commit to an $800 million redevelopment plan for Sydney's boutique stadiums in exchange for keeping the grand final in Sydney until 2042.
However, with that discussion also stalling, Mr V'landys yesterday left the door open for a Brisbane bid to host the grand final in 2021.
"I'm confident the (NSW) Government will see the light (but) we have to do what's best for the NRL and our game and if that means taking a grand final to Brisbane we will do that," he said.
"Brisbane is a massive market for us... so it's only fair that we do consider taking it (the grand final) to Brisbane."
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday jumped at the chance to bring the grand final to Brisbane in what would be a major victory over her NSW rival Gladys Berejiklian following their heated clashes over the state's border blockades.
"We're always happy to work with the NRL about the possibility of hosting a grand final in Queensland," she said.
"If NSW are unable to honour their commitments with the NRL, of course, we would throw our hat in the ring.
"Queensland is rugby league heartland and our reputation for hosting world class sporting events has grown strongly since the Commonwealth Games."
Queensland has a key ally in any renewed bid for a Brisbane grand final, with former tourism minister Kate Jones just appointed to the Australian Rugby League Commission.
Ms Jones was a key figure in bringing the AFL grand final to Brisbane and fought hard for a Queensland NRL decider when the last Sydney grand final deal was in danger of collapse.
She could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Mr V'landys met with Ms Berejiklian late yesterday, but no deal has been made on stadium funding.
Originally published as Queensland's NRL grand final tilt goes into extra time