Happens when I leave the city
But the interesting move is that they did decide to take a game to Perth, even without government backing, when they were seeking 3 games a year for South Sydney with the state government delivering the cash.
It does deliver a sign that the NRL are intending to make their hand known, that they want a base on the west coast. South Sydney do have a large supporters group...
Rusty's Rabbitohs coming to Perth
September 17, 2008 - 7:58AM
Russell Crowe's South Sydney Rabbitohs are coming to Perth next year, after confirming they will take on the star studded Melbourne Storm at Member's Equity Stadium as part of their 2009 campaign.
In a move backed by the NRL and the WARL, the Rabbitohs will bring Australia's elite rugby league competition back top Perth for the first time since 2005, taking on the Storm at the home of the Perth Glory.
Rabbitohs CEO Shane Richardson said extending the reach of the game was worth sacrificing a home game for.
"We are also looking at ways to spread the appeal of the Rabbitohs and to bring in new money to the club and the game, and that is the thinking behind taking a game to Western Australia next season," Richardson said.
"The sporting public of Western Australia are relishing the opportunity to see top class rugby league, and financially for the club this was an opportunity we could not refuse.
"We will be servicing a market that is currently not being serviced, we will be spreading the Rabbitohs brand across the country and we are also opening up a new revenue stream for the club.
"It will also provide national exposure for our corporate partners, which is important in helping them build their business.
"We are confident that we will be playing the Melbourne Storm in Perth in 2009 … again we await confirmation in the NRL 2009 season draw however the NRL and the clubs have been very helpful in assisting us with our plans.
"We want to thank the NRL and the WARL for their support and partnership in this project, and we'll be working hard to get everyone in Perth behind the Rabbitohs in 2009.
"We have a strong supporter base already established in WA through the Western Rabbitohs Supporters Club, and we will be doing our best to continue to grow that support.
"This is a positive move for the club as we look for additional ways to build our business and continue to push forward in a competitive national sporting market."
The deal came about after Rabbitohs former joint owner Peter Holmes a Court held talks with the WA government, with an original plan envisaging the Rabbitohs spending three weeks in Perth every year - playing two home games and using a bye round to spend a week at coaching clinics and sponsorship promotions.
(Does not say if there will be any government money delivered to the Rabbitohs:.
The WACA and Members Equity Stadium were venues considered in Perth.
Perth rugby league fans have been bereft of top class games since the Western Reds disappeared at the end of 1997.
The Reds returned to this season to the lower Jim Beam Cup, and hope the Rabbitohs' arrival will boost their bid to return to the top flight.