Sport: NRL still in talks on grand final venue

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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.

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

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.

"The commission has deferred the decision but it will be made by the end of this week," ARL Commission chair Peter V'landys told AAP on Tuesday.

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"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.

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

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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.

"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."

Single 'downfall' in 'ruthless' V'landys move .
Peter V'landys is onto a winner with his proposal to move the grand final around the country, writes Mark Levy.Admittedly, rugby league and American football are worlds apart, but why wouldn't the ARL Commission take a leaf out of the NFL's book by trying to secure a cash injection from the respective states, which they can reinvest into aspects of the game like grassroots footy, country rugby league and the elite clubs?

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