The new chairman of the ARLC, Peter V'landys, has given his thoughts on the future of NRL suburban grounds, relocation of clubs and the possibility of a Grand Final in Brisbane.
Speaking to NRL.com, V’landys said he wants to ensure the tribalism of rugby league is maintained and he believes suburban grounds, and the upgrade of these traditional venues, is vital to that.
“Everyone knows my love for tribalism and suburban grounds,” V’landys said.
“We want suburban grounds and we want to have the must-haves ... all the things customers want. We will be looking very hard at suburban grounds and how do we fund suburban grounds.”
This is positive news for the future of the likes of Brookvale Oval, Leichhardt Oval and Shark Park, to name a few. This is despite the NSW Government heavily investing in the rebuild of Allianz Stadium and the upcoming major redevelopment of ANZ Stadium.
Still, V’landys has been deep in discussions with members of government to ensure the upgrade of grounds like Leichhardt Oval, Brookvale and Campbelltown Stadium.
“There’s been no resistance from government,” V’landys.
“There are buckets of money, and one in particular I’ve had discussions with the treasurer of NSW, in the point of consumption tax. It affects our revenues and one of the real growth area for us has been on wagering and by the introduction of point of consumption tax, it actually affects our pricing power on wagering. So the government has to compensate us for that. I think that compensation can then be used to fix up suburban grounds. That’s one bucket.”
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Meanwhile, V’landys has made a call on the topic of the relocation of NRL clubs.
“There will be no team in Sydney or Queensland that will be relocated,” V’landys said.
“If we pursue expansion, it will be a new franchise. Every brand of club in Sydney or Queensland is secure. We are not looking to relocate anyone. We will stress that. I can tell you from around the table there is no team that will be moved or relocated. Totally agree with Peter Beattie and the commission’s decision,” V’landys said.
Despite the NRL recently announcing a new agreement with the NSW Government locking in the Grand Final in Sydney until at least 2046, with the redevelopment of ANZ Stadium to commence mid-next year, all hope isn’t lost for Brisbane.
“It’s a possibility,” V’landys said.
“You never say never. We will honour all aspects of our agreement with government We expect government to honour all their parts of their agreement. If they don’t, well there maybe an option to go to Brisbane. I’ll put that on the record here and now.
“When you make an agreement, I’ll lose my right arm to make sure it’s implemented and that I honour my part. I expect the counter party to do the same thing. So if the NSW government doesn’t do the right thing and doesn’t honour the deal with us, then no problems going to Brisbane.”
“They have to build the $2 billion stadiums they have promised us. We support the government but they will have to implement and honour the agreement. If they don’t honour it we have recourse and our recourse is possibly moving the grand final to Brisbane.”
Quotes from NRL.com