The major redevelopment of Sydney’s ANZ Stadium will commence after next year’s State of Origin series, with the 2020 NRL Grand Final to be played at the SCG.
It means Sydney will be without a major rectangular stadium for around 18 months, with the redeveloped Sydney Football Stadium not due to re-open until 2022.
While the 30,000-capacity Bankwest Stadium will likely pick up some of the slack with the Bulldogs expected to play their home games at the new Parramatta venue, major events will need to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground until the new Moore Park venue opens, while the Rabbitohs will also be searching for a temporary home.
ANZ Stadium is then expected to re-open in early 2023, with the venue of the 2021 and 2022 NRL Grand Finals yet to be determined with the NRL in discussions with the NSW Government about locking them in. It’s anticipated the new Allianz Stadium will host the marquee game in 2022.
Confirmation of the construction timeline followed meetings between the NRL and its clubs in Sydney on Wednesday.
"We always knew there would be some challenges for our clubs and for the game with major works being done to the stadium network in Sydney," NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said.
"We will work closely with the clubs as we develop the Premiership schedule in coming years, knowing ANZ Stadium as well as Allianz Stadium will not be available.
ANZ Stadium will retain hosting rights for the NRL Grand Final until at least 2042 as revised plans were announced in March 2018 to redevelop the venue instead of demolishing and rebuilding it.
The NSW Government had at one time planned to knock down the 83,000-seat stadium and build a new one in its place, but backtracked on this decision in favour of refurbishing the existing venue.
The redevelopment will see ANZ Stadium reconfigured as a rectangular stadium seating between 70,000 and 75,000 fans. Work is expected to be completed in time for the 2023 NRL season.
The reconfiguration will bring 46,000 seats closer to the playing surface, the extension of the Stadium’s roofline to ensure all seats are undercover and delivering a better atmosphere and experience for all spectators with the intention of extend the life of the former Olympic Games venue by a further 40 years.