Ex-stars call for more NRL games at SCG - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ex-stars call for more NRL games at SCG

By Ian McCullough 18/05/2009 01:22:21 PM Comments (0)

Former NSW Origin greats Steve Roach and Benny Elias have led calls for more games to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground following Sunday's successful NRL clash between South Sydney and Wests Tigers.

A crowd of almost 30,000 created a magnificent atmosphere at the ground and both Roach and Elias, who played for the Blues at the SCG, said they would love to see it used again for both representative and more NRL games.

"Some of my greatest memories are of match of the day at the SCG on a Saturday afternoon ... I'd love to see it happen again .. build it up and make it a blockbuster," said Roach.

"There is a great history at the cricket ground you just ask the players when they go into the members stand and see the names of all the old cricketers and footballers - it's the feel, the rugby league feel.

"In these economic times, would you rather 10,000 people at 30 bucks or 30,000 people at 10 bucks a head?

"Just looking from the sponsors point of view, they want to see packed crowds and the players want to play in front them."

Roach's view was shared by his former Tigers teammate Elias, who made his Origin debut at the SCG in 1985.

"Going back there yesterday you would get no qualms from me about State of Origin games being played at the SCG ... the match of the round was always played there on a Saturday and it was always a sell-out," Elias told AAP.

The former Tigers hooker also said the venue was an intimidating place for visiting teams and said it could have a similar effect for the Blues as Suncorp Stadium has for Queensland.

"It is a very daunting arena for anyone coming there, NSW players called it their home and if you come into my home you are going to make sure you show me respect and that is what the SCG did," he said.

Despite the calls ARL chief executive Geoff Carr said any move to play Origin matches at the SCG was "unlikely".

"It's got great tradition Origin at the SCG but we need to play it at the biggest venue we are contracted to play at ANZ Stadium until 2012," he said.

"Although it was great to see two of the foundation clubs play there in front of a great crowd on Sunday it is not where we are looking at for Origin.

"The facts are that there are only 40,000 seats and that includes members and even if you got 60 or 70,000 people at ANZ it still gives more people opportunities to go to the game .. and we can offer a tiered pricing system."

Chief executive David Gallop said holding more games at the SCG was something the NRL would look at but admitted it would be difficult.

"Sunday was a great walk down memory lane and while we can't play there every week we will certainly look to play there when we can," he told AAP.

"The game is loved by thousands and people want to celebrate the game on days like that.

"However, catering for your corporates and your members makes it difficult to have lots of games there."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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