The NRL is poised to announce the venue for this year’s grand final on Thursday after calling a press conference for 1:30pm AEST.
CEO Andrew Abdo and ARL Commission chair Peter V’landys will front the media at the league’s Moore Park headquarters to reveal whether NSW or Queensland will host the event.
Both state governments have submitted their final pitches for the event that will either take place at Accor Stadium in Sydney or Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on October 2.
NSW premier Dominic Perrottet says he expects the NRL grand final to be played in Sydney despite offering less money than Queensland to host the event.
The ARL Commission finished lengthy discussions on Wednesday night with no resolution on the four-month stalemate that clouds rugby league’s showpiece event.
Perrottet conceded on Thursday morning NSW’s offer did not match what Queensland were throwing at the league.
But he believes the NRL will stick with tradition and play the match in Sydney, with last year’s game only moved to Queensland due to COVID-19.
“The discussions are commercial in confidence, but (the financial bid) is less than what they’re offering in Queensland,” Perrottet told Seven’s Sunrise program.
“But as premier of the state I have to make decisions in relation to the priorities that we have in front of us.
“We have many people up here in the Northern Rivers that are still not in homes (after the floods).
“But ultimately the NRL grand final has always been in NSW, it’s great for people of our state and my expectation is that is where it stay.”
The venue of the grand final was first plunged into doubt in April, when the NRL grew concerned a suburban stadiums deal was yet to be put into writing.
ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys and Perrottet then emerged from meetings confident peace had been brokered, with the match to be played at Accor Stadium.
However that was turned on its head a fortnight ago when the NSW premier confirmed suburban stadium upgrades were no longer a priority, with money to instead go to flood relief efforts.
That angered the NRL, who claim the government has now gone back on a deal to keep the match in Sydney until 2042.
Queensland had emerged as marginal front-runners to host the event earlier this week, but any call is still far from certain.
“We put a reasonable offer to the NRL,” Perrottet added.
“Ultimately I appreciate in relation to suburban stadiums that NRL takes a different view to us, but there are different commitments we have to meet every day.
“I’ve got to make those decisions and set out the priorities for the government.
“But the offer we have made NRL is completely reasonable, it’s a fair offer and it’s a great event for our state, great event for Sydney, that’s where it should remain.”
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