Calliope, near Gladstone, could become NRL headquarters during the coronavirus outbreak

Homeground Villages boasts 1392 rooms, which have been used predominantly as a fly-in, fly-out hub for transient workers in industries such as gas and oil. Powerbrokers at the facility have reached out to Rugby League Central to extend an invitation to house all teams and officials during the pandemic.

“These are some of the best facilities you will ever see,” said Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett.

An aerial view of Homeground Villages near Gladstone in central Queensland, a venue under consideration to host all 16 NRL clubs this season.

“If you’ve ever worked in fly-in, fly-out accommodation, this is the best bar none. It has swimming pools, each room has its own ensuite.

“We have the capacity to host every NRL team, plus (broadcasters) and offer them a quarantined, insulated facility away from COVID-19.

“I don’t believe anywhere else in Queensland, or Australia for that matter, could offer what we could offer.

“Marley Brown Oval has proven its ability to host the NRL.

“Two years ago during the Commonwealth Games we hosted the Gold Coast Titans versus the Manly Sea Eagles.

“Everyone had a fantastic time and wanted to come back again. Since then we’ve hosted the National Rugby Championships, the Queensland Reds and in terms of soccer the Brisbane Roar.

“We also have a significant regional airport, [runway] about 2000 metres long. We can host games at Marley Brown Oval and also act as a hub for games at Townsville or Brisbane. You could easily have a third of the games in Brisbane, a third in Townsville and a third in Gladstone.

“Between the three cities we could host this.”

On its website, Homeground Villages describes itself as “the logical choice for workforce accommodation that’s easy, convenient, cost-effective and complete with the all-important comforts to ensure a happy and productive team.”

NRL players are no strangers to Gladstone after the town hosted a Titans-Sea Eagles game.

NRL players are no strangers to Gladstone after the town hosted a Titans-Sea Eagles game.Credit:AAP

“Your workforce can rest and relax with four-star recreational facilities including swimming pool, tennis court, basketball court, indoor and outdoor gyms, recreation centre, theatre and relaxing BBQ areas,” according to a video on the website.

“Bookings include chef-prepared meals which are delicious and wholesome for balanced, healthy eating.

“If you can’t be at home, be at Homeground.”

South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett has floated the prospect of games being staged at one venue in order to minimise the risks of infection while travelling.

The idea is akin to Magic Round, where all teams are scheduled to play at Suncorp Stadium from May 1-3.

While the players wouldn’t be able to interact with the public due to infection risks, Gladstone Rugby League president Richard Duff said it would still be a boost to the area.

“They are more than welcome to come to Gladstone,” Duff said.


“It would provide a magnificent boost for our local economy.

“It’s rated the best accommodation for FI-FO workers in Australia and we are fully fenced (at Marley Oval) there too so no punters could get in.

“TV crews could set up there for the whole month and they could live out in the village as well so everyone is isolated.

“It makes perfect sense.”

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