Bring the league final to Brissy: Bligh - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bring the league final to Brissy: Bligh

By Wayne Heming 08/10/2008 04:29:25 PM Comments (0)

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has again challenged NRL boss David Gallop to bring a rugby league grand final to Brisbane.

And Gallop has given the Queensland Premier hope Brisbane may yet host the first grand final played outside of Sydney by acknowledging Suncorp Stadium would be perfectly positioned to bid for the event once the NRL's agreement with Sydney's ANZ Stadium expires in 2012.

"I'm pleased to say that David Gallop indicated to me that he believes there is an opportunity for the NRL to reconsider the way they host grand finals and that he will be recommending they do that," Bligh told parliament.

"(Gallop) believes that Suncorp Stadium would be very well placed in a competitive bid to host the grand final."

Brisbane pulled 50,000 fans for its finals clash with Melbourne while the two Sydney finals attracted a combined attendance of 60,000.

"If I were sitting on the NRL board, those figures would be speaking for themselves," said the premier.

"As I said to David Gallop on the phone, `bring it to Brisbane'."

Broncos chief executive Bruno Cullen said on Tuesday Gallop had been talking up the possibility of Brisbane hosting a grand final since 2006.

"He was asked at a grand final breakfast, I think it was in 2006 when we won it, would Brisbane ever host a grand final," said Cullen.

"He gave a very positive response then. He didn't say no, he said it was very likely and he couldn't see a reason why not, or something like that."

Soon after, Gallop signed off on a deal for ANZ Stadium to host the NRL grand final until 2012.

"Maybe he is playing a political game but it would be absolutely fantastic for the people of Brisbane and Queensland if it happened," Cullen said.

One of the hurdles would be the gate the grand final generates with 80,000 fans paying up to $150 a ticket in Sydney.

Suncorp Stadium only holds 50,000 and a loss of up to $500,000 could be expected unless ticket prices were bumped up or the state government came to the party with some financial backing.

Another issue would be scheduling a grand final that could be played between Melbourne and New Zealand or even Cronulla playing Canberra which would not have the same appeal to fans of an Origin or Test with Brisbane players involved.

"They would have to make a decision on the grand final 12 months ahead so they don't know what teams would be playing in it," said Cullen.

"Brisbane have certainly embraced the Queensland sides and I'm pretty sure they would do the same no matter who was playing."

Cullen didn't want to put a negative spin on things but he said it was probably a little too early to be getting excited.

"We've got to play four more grand finals in Sydney yet," he said.

"It's an exciting concept and would be great for the Queensland public, but it's a long way away still.

"But at least they're not saying no, which is a good sign."

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