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NRL grand final to stay in Sydney this year despite stadium stoush

NRL announces NRL Grand Final to be held in Sydney

Rugby league's showpiece will remain in Sydney this year, the game's boss says, after a deal was struck to keep the NRL grand final in NSW.

Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chair Peter V'landys has confirmed the decider will be played at Olympic Park on the first weekend of October.

Mr V'landys has been locked in a battle with the NSW government for several weeks after it abandoned plans to upgrade suburban stadiums.

He had threatened to move the decider interstate in revolt, claiming the government had backed out of a deal to revamp ageing infrastructure.

"After extensive negotiations we have made a decision which we believe is in the best interests of our fans and that is to hold the game in Sydney this year," Mr V'landys said.

The ARLC supremo said the state government had come to the table with an "additional investment" to secure the 2022 event.

However, he stressed the agreement was only for this year and floated the idea of a "Super Bowl-type concept" where the decider could be moved around the country.

Peter V'Landys (right) and NRL CEO Andrew Abdo (left) said the decision was in the best interests of fans. (AAP: Dean Lewins)

The Queensland government was eager to bring the event to Brisbane, where the match was held in 2021 due to pandemic restrictions in Sydney.

"It is really now put on the table for the future," Mr V'landys said. 

"It hasn't been because we were hoping we would have an exclusive arrangement with the New South Wales government. 

"Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. It opens the door for a Super Bowl-type concept or, who can give us the best deal for the game."

Mr V'landys said negotiations with the NSW government had gone down to the wire, with Queensland's bid coming close to success.

"Up until last night's commission meeting, if you asked me then I would say it would go to Queensland," he said.

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said it was important to draw a line in the sand to give fans certainty about where this year's game would be played.

But he said the concept of taking the grand final around Australia was "exciting for our fans across the country".

Last year's grand final between Penrith and South Sydney was held at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. (AAP: Dave Hunt )

The home of the grand final was cast into uncertainty earlier this month when Premier Dominic Perrottet announced the government would no longer honour a pledge to upgrade suburban stadiums.

Mr Perrottet said funds promised to revamp historic grounds, such as Leichhardt and Brookvale ovals, were instead needed to support the victims of NSW's flood crisis.

Mr V'landys criticised the move as an "excuse" at the time and today said it was unfair for the game to be "pitted against flood victims".

"The New South Wales government has $123 billion infrastructure spent. Ours was 300 million. 

"It was hardly a drop in the bucket, not even a rounding error. To say they need that for flood victims is a bit rich.

"There was a deal on the table, there was an agreement."

Mr V'landys said he considered himself "friends" with Mr Perrottet, who he said was a "good Premier", but couldn't resist a dig at his expense.

"He is a good human being. But don't have a bet with him because if you win he won't pay you."

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