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NRL is expected to receive $ 8 million from the Queensland government after Townsville is granted the right to host the inaugural State of Origin series on June 9.
The $ 290 million Queensland Country Bank Stadium was announced today as the new venue for the opening of Origin after the original MCG match was canceled due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne.
The Queensland Government bid overcame the eleventh-hour movement by the NSW government to hold the opening match at Sydney’s Bankwest Stadium, and the stadium by ACT to keep it in neutral pitch at GIO Stadium.
This means that Blues Brad Vetter will now have to play the first two games of the series north of the border, and if things go wrong, it could all be over before they have a chance to play on their home turf in the third game on July 14.
While the NRL said in its statement announcing the venue change that Townsville was chosen because it was the city least likely to experience another outbreak that could threaten the league’s main event, it has since been revealed that a lucrative payday was a motivating factor behind it. the decision.
While there were early whispers that the Anastasia Palaszczuk government had bid for $ 6 million, Sydney Morning Herald columnist Andrew Webster told Nine 100% Footy that the number was closer to $ 8 million, which is believed to be a dwarf NSW show.
“The deal with the Victorian government was $3 million,” Webster said.
“Reports tonight is that the deal with the Queensland government was $ 8 million. So, NRL won the jackpot there.
Abdo announces the origin of the move to Townsville
“They try to say it, and coat it with sugar, saying the reason it is in North Queensland is that it is out of any possible risk of an outbreak. And that’s their biosecurity advice.”
“However, I think it is a fundamental mistake that the first two games of the series are in one instance. It does not make sense.”
Phil Gould, the NRL expert and Origin legend, thinks a lot has been done about the opening match location, but he’s baffled about why traditional stadiums at Australia Stadium and Suncorp Stadium are being overlooked in favor of new ground.
“I don’t care. Play on the Anzac Parade, use a brick in soccer, it doesn’t really matter,” Gould told 100% Footy.
“My Origin locations are ANZ Stadium in Sydney and Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. So, I would go to either of those two stadiums, those are the Origin venues.
“I’m not keeping Townsville in mind, and I’m not saying we shouldn’t go there. It would be a great experience that would be nice for Townsville residents to see. But for me, as someone who has participated in Origin and the people who know Origin, Suncorp and ANZ Stadium are the Origin places .
“Why didn’t we just pick one of them, I’ll never know. I think the 80,000 or 50,000 crowds aren’t financially strong enough for any reason. But, I see you in Townsville.”
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