It is a match that holds special appeal and memories for those playing in it, and the inaugural match of the NRL season in 2013, the NRL All-Stars game, will see a change in venue – with the game to be played at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, instead of Skilled Park on the Gold Coast.
2013 will mark the 4th year of the annual NRL All-Stars clash, which will be held on Saturday, the 9th of February.
Shane Mattiske, who is the current interim NRL CEO, was quick to pay tribute to the Gold Coast and their community, for the nature to which they embraced the concept – and pointed out what was needed to ensure the event grows in stature in coming years.
â€œThe All Stars is a nationally significant event and it was always intended that it would grow and expand to new locations to allow other local communities to experience its atmosphere,â€ Mr Mattiske said today.
â€œThe Gold Coast has provided a spectacular launch pad for the event and the inspiration of Preston Campbell, the Titans club and the local community in making the All Stars concept what it is has paved the way for its ongoing success.
â€œCertainly we will be bringing the match back to the Gold Coast in the future and next year we will be maintaining a presence there with our community activity during the week.
â€œIt is also the right time for new communities to begin experiencing the excitement of the All Stars week and the move to Suncorp Stadium is a natural progression that will enable the event to grow even bigger.
â€œIt will allow more fans to attend and will provide an opportunity to generate more revenue for the Indigenous community programs that are funded from the event.
â€œAlready $4.5 million has been raised and invested in NRL and NRL Club programs and we are looking forward to broadening the reach of those community initiatives in the future.â€
For former rugby league player Preston Campbell, who is not only a Learn Earn Legend! Ambassador – it was his dream that inspired the NRL All-Stars concept 4 years ago – he says that whilst it is sad to see the clash leave the Gold Coast, he is excited about the endorsement of the game in more communities around Australia.
â€œI think the Gold Coast will always be the spiritual home of the event but we want to spread the positive messages and share the All Stars experience with as many communities as possible,â€ he said.
â€œI am excited that the Indigenous All Stars and NRL All Stars will spend time on the Gold Coast as part of the week.
â€œThis will acknowledge the work of the local Indigenous and Rugby League communities in founding the event and allow them to pass the baton of true reconciliation on to the broader Brisbane community.
â€œI look forward to joining NRL All Stars ambassador Darren Lockyer during the event to help ensure its continued success.â€