ANZ Stadium could retain hosting rights for Sydney’s only State of Origin match next year as the NSW government closes in on finalising the business case for the redevelopment of the state’s largest venue.
The Herald understands key powerbrokers have left the door ajar for ANZ Stadium to stage the Blues’ 2020 home fixture as either game one or two of the series, given the delay to the original construction timetable.
It was previously anticipated work on the venue would start soon after this year’s NRL grand final, meaning this year’s Origin clash would be the last at ANZ Stadium in its current guise. But tickets to a Queen and Adam Lambert concert are now selling to a mid-February event.
The SCG had earlier been slated to host Sydney’s two biggest matches next year – Origin and the grand final – but, given ANZ Stadium would only need to be functioning for another three months after the Queen show, it is again in line to host the interstate rivalry.
“ANZ Stadium is our home,” NSW Rugby League chief executive David Trodden said. “We’ve built our state-of-the-art centre of excellence at Olympic Park and that’s where the Blues base is.”
ANZ Stadium’s main tenants, the Rabbitohs and Bulldogs, have been intently watching the situation as they try to bed down their home game structure for next season. Both could shift some games to the $360 million Bankwest Stadium at Parramatta if the government opts to expedite the makeover for the former Olympic venue.
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