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Sydney seals new one-year deal to host NRL Grand Final

Featured image credit: Storm machine/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

An agreement has been reached for Sydney’s Accor Stadium to host this year’s NRL Grand Final, with discussions continuing over the future of the event.

Accor Stadium will host the NRL and NRL Women’s Grand Finals on October 1 after a deal was struck between the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) and the New South Wales government.

Sydney has hosted the Grand Final every year since the event’s inception, with the exception of 2021 when the match was moved to Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Last year, a late deal was agreed for Accor Stadium to host the Grand Final following reports that Brisbane could step in and host the match due to uncertainty surrounding an agreement between the NRL and the New South Wales government over the development of rugby league infrastructure in the state.

At the time, Peter V’landys, chairman of the ARLC, said that Brisbane was close to securing hosting rights for the 2022 game and also suggested that the Grand Final could move between venues from 2023 onwards.

However, another short-term deal has been signed for Accor Stadium to host this year’s match. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the deal will be worth more than A$10m (£5.3m/€6.1m/$6.7m) for the NRL.

Speaking today (Monday) following the announcement, V’landys said: “We have worked closely with the NSW government to reach an agreement for the 2023 Grand Final.

“We are respectful of the new Labor government’s priorities at the moment and their focus on the state budget, which is why we have agreed a short-term deal which gives all stakeholders certainty about this year’s Grand Final, and provides all parties the time required to continue discussions about a long-term partnership.”

John Graham, New South Wales’ Minister for Jobs and Tourism, added: “We all love a Grand Final, but this event has become so much more, making a big social and economic contribution to the state. This event attracts thousands of fans from interstate and overseas who also visit Sydney’s many attractions, enjoy shows and arts, eat and drink in our world-class restaurants, supporting jobs in the visitor economy.”

Tickets for this year’s Grand Final will go on sale on August 2.

Accor Stadium is currently serving as a host venue for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which Australia is staging alongside New Zealand.