Perth to host an Origin game in 2019

Discussion in 'Rep Footy' started by rhugh89, Jul 15, 2016.

  1. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Aug 12, 2012
    State of Origin to play in Perth in 2019 as NRL looks for growth

    PAUL MALONE, The Courier-Mail
    July 15, 2016 8:04am

    [FONT=&amp]THE NRL will take an Origin match to Perth’s new 60,000 seat stadium in 2019, putting Brisbane and Sydney on starvation rations with one game each a year in 2018 and 2019.

    The Western Australia Government’s multi-million dollar deal to secure the wild west’s first Origin match will be confirmed at an announcement in Perth on Friday.

    Brisbane will host two matches at Suncorp Stadium next year but the NRL is keen to maximise revenue from Origin, from which it is estimated to have earned $100 million this year, by taking one match each year to a neutral state.

    Melbourne has been guaranteed an Origin match in 2018.

    It is the first year after which the current roster of Origin venues, including two matches in Brisbane in 2014 and 2017 and two in Sydney in 2013, expires.

    In May, Queensland captain Cameron Smith backed the NRL’s move to sell State of Origin games interstate or overseas, but stressed it should not be on an annual basis.

    The NRL reportedly netted $12 million last year from the Victorian Government and ticket sales at the Melbourne Cricket Ground watched by an Origin record of 91,513 tickets.

    When NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said he intended to sell one Origin game a year to a neutral state from 2018, Smith warned against moving too many games, saying the sale of one game every three years to Melbourne was the best outcome.

    “I think primarily we need to keep the games in Queensland and NSW,” Smith said.

    “You don’t want to tamper with it too much.’’

    NSW and Qld fans might miss out — but at least it’ll be an early kick off at nib Stadium.

    The 2019 season will be one of sweeping changes in rugby league, with The Courier-Mail reporting this month that the NRL grand final will be played at Suncorp Stadium that year provided the State Government stumps up a competitive hire fee.

    Unless the State Government is willing to compete aggressively with other states, it is hard to see when Brisbane will again stage two Origin matches in a series, something which will expose the showcase less frequently to the supporters who give it most passion.

    Greenberg said yesterday that Origin was the sport’s showpiece event and deserved to be showcased to a new market.

    “We saw Melbourne embrace State of Origin in 2015 and we expect Perth to do the same in 2019,” Greenberg said.

    “By then Perth will have a state-of-the-art facility which will be a fitting new venue for the biggest sporting event in the country.’’

    NSW fans did not help the cause of Origin’s two competing states retaining the right to a second game every second year when 61,267 — 22,000 short of a sellout — attended the third match of this year’s series in Sydney on Wednesday.

    Perth will become the fifth city to stage an Origin match, joining Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Long Beach, California.

    Auckland has also flagged a serious bid to host an Origin match.

    It will be minor consolation only to Origin’s most fervent fans in Queensland to learn that WA Premier Colin Barnett had in hailing his state’s football coup labelled Origin “arguably Australia’s biggest sporting rivalry’’.

    Perth will also host its first rugby league Test match on October 15 this year, when Australia play New Zealand at nib Stadium.

    “We are expecting thousands of fans to make the trip across the Nullarbor to be at the (Origin) game,’’ Barnett said.

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