If a crowd of over 20,000 fans is not enough to suggest that Perth and Western Australia need a team in the NRL, then perhaps the chance to get such crowds for future games is an option – with officials meeting to discuss the possibility of playing more games in Perth.
As it stands, there is one to two games played in Perth, but under a possible new plan by the ARLC, we may see more regular Sunday games played, in order to broadcast them in all Eastern states on Sunday evening.
Shane Mattiske, who is the current interim CEO of the NRL, and Director of Development Andrew Hill were both in Perth for the clash at Patersons Stadium, and met with numerous WA officials and Government figures, to discuss the possibility of more frequent Perth games.
Western Australian Rugby League chief John Sackson, confirmed that there are plans in place to see Perth host at least three NRL games next season.
“The networks are looking at how they can best leverage the time difference and I have heard that they are looking at the prospect of twilight games on a Sunday,” Sackson said.
“The NRL are already talking about the likelihood of three fully fledged NRL fixtures over here next year. They have identified Western Australia as a real key, priority market and they are looking at ways and means they can continue to develop the game here.
“One of the ways they are looking at it is to get at least three games into Perth next season and perhaps the year after. Hopefully that will lead into us having a West Coast Pirates team running out every second week.”
The 20,095 fans in attendance for the Manly v Warriors clash, was the highest crowd attendance that Patersons Stadium and Perth have seen in recent times – with Sackson pleased that both sides took the gamble to play in the area.
“David Perry and Scott Penn from Manly rolled the dice, and I guess it took a bit of a gamble to play here, but they were very happy with the game financially, and obviously the icing on the cake was the result,” Sackson said.
The Bunnies still have one year remaining on their existing 5-year deal to take a game there, with teams like the Melbourne Storm, the Brisbane Broncos and Wests Tigers, teams that the ARLC are eager to see play in Perth.
“We had a couple of Government departmental meetings with Shane and Andrew on Friday, and all of those Government departments reflected their support for the game, and the prospect of an NRL franchise in Perth,” Sackson said.