In what has been a contentious issue in the past two years, the venue for the first round in the finals has finally been put to rest, with the NRL deciding that the first round of the NRL finals will be played at ANZ and SFS.
The decision, which came from the National Rugby League chairman and the chief executives of the NRL clubs, means that all Sydney teams who get a home final, must play the game at either ANZ or the SFS.
The decision which was made at the NRL Annual Conference and agreed to by the clubs chief executives on the basis that clubs fans would become aware of where their team would be playing in the finals at the start of the NRL season.
â€œA big part of the growth in membership in the game has been the need for members to be assured of the chance to get the best seats at the big games at the end of each year,â€ NRL Chief Executive Mr David Gallop said today.
â€œThe commitment we have made to them all along is that we will not move matches at the last minute and this move allows them to buy their membership packages knowing what to expect.
â€œImportantly, the move will allow â€˜awayâ€™ team members greater opportunity and will be able to better accommodate those clubs that have memberships spread across multiple venues.â€
The conference, which serves as a medium for possible future changes to be made to the game had several points raised, including the length of NRL games, representative football, and new ways in which to generate more revenue for the NRL as a whole.
â€œThe CEOâ€™s have already been part of key sub-committees that have made significant enhancements to the structure of the NRL draw, to Collective Bargaining and to the Under 20â€™s and they have shown they can play a valuable role in policy development,â€ Mr Gallop said.
â€œProposals today ranged from lengthening the season significantly to reducing it.
â€œThere was a lot of focus on the impact of Origin and representative matches in the years ahead and on the future location of teams.
â€œIf the game was to expand to eighteen teams at some time in the future there would be strong support for adopting a conference style draw.
â€œThere was a strong message though that the profitability of the existing clubs needed to be ensured before expansion and that new teams had to be linked to new revenue.â€