Suncorp Stadium will host the 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final and Preliminary Finals with Mackay rewarded for their support of rugby league, playing host to Week 2 of the Finals Series.
The Australian Rugby League Commission today reached agreement with the Queensland Government to host the remainder of the Finals Series after the NSW Government confirmed it would not be able to host the Grand Final or remaining Finals matches because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V’landys AM thanked both the New South Wales and Queensland Governments for their support of rugby league.
“I’d like to acknowledge the New South Wales Government, in particular Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres for working collaboratively with us to reach an outcome that ensures the health and safety of NSW residents and allows the NRL to showcase the Grand Final live to rugby league fans. This has been a long and enduring partnership and one that will continue into the future,’’ he said.
“I’d also like to acknowledge Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young for their support in ensuring the continuity of our competition which provides an escapism to so many fans dealing with lockdowns, but also injects a significant amount of money in to the Queensland economy.
“The Queensland Premier is a warrior for the people of Queensland and just keeps delivering for them.”
Mr V’landys said Queensland fans had long campaigned for a Grand Final and the Commission was delighted to reward that loyalty.
“This year we will create history, playing the Grand Final in Brisbane for the very first time. This will be an historic moment for the city and a reward for the support the Queensland community has given us throughout 2021. This year will always be remembered as the year Queensland hosted all of our major events; All Stars, Magic Round, 3 State of Origins and the Grand Final.”
NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said the decision to play multiple finals matches in regional Queensland rewarded grassroots fans who would not normally be able to attend finals matches.
“Rugby League is part of the DNA of regional Queensland. A number of towns have played a key role in keeping the competition going and we want to reward those fans and councils for their support of rugby league. From every challenge comes an opportunity and this year has presented us with an opportunity to reward regional Queenslanders with finals games,’’ he said.
“We have fans far and wide and our finals schedule acknowledges and rewards our fans in regional areas with live finals football as well as southeast Queensland who has been home to our teams.”
Mr Abdo said the NRL would continue to monitor the infection rate in Queensland and work closely with Queensland Health to keep the community healthy.
“Our priority is ensuring the health and safety of the community and we will continue to follow all public health orders and work closely with Queensland Health for the remainder of the series,’’ he said.
“I’d also like to acknowledge the people of New South Wales who are currently in lockdown. While you cannot attend matches to support your Club we hope the continuity of the competition has provided you with an outlet to rugby league enjoy during lockdown. I would like to thank the New South Wales Government who continue to be great partners and of course the Queensland Government for the role they have played in ensuring our season could continue this year.”