The NRL may have to stage a second grand final at the SCG in 2021 or shift it interstate to Brisbane or Melbourne due to delays in the reconstruction of ANZ Stadium.
The opening event at Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta’s emphatic 51-6 victory over Wests Tigers, was hailed a spectacular success for Sydney’s newest venue. However, uncertainty remains over the delivery of the rest of the NSW stadium network, raising the prospect of a second grand final being taken out of the Homebush Bay precinct.
The 2019 decider is locked in for ANZ Stadium while the SCG will host it in 2020. The initial plan was for ANZ to be renovated and ready in time for the 2021 grand final, but it is increasingly unlikely to be completed in time. Instead of beginning works at the end of the year, the timeframe has now been pushed back. In anticipation of delays, the Olympic venue will now host the Queen and Adam Lambert Rhapsody Tour on February of next year, while ANZ may not have its business case to the state government until May or even June. The hold-ups will likely mean the ground can’t host the 2021 grand final, which would force the NRL to look at alternative options.
That could result in a second consecutive decider at the SCG. The venue will host the traditional Anzac Day match between the Roosters and St George Illawarra on Thursday, one of the marquee events on the rugby league calendar. However, there has been negative fan feedback when the SCG has been used to host Roosters games while the premiers await Allianz Stadium to be rebuilt. Those demolition works are already underway and Allianz is expected to be back online for the start of the 2020 season.