Past and present Queenslanders are torn over the NRL’s decision to snub Suncorp Stadium as an emergency grand final venue with a pair of Origin stars calling for Brisbane to get its chance to shine.
The Courier-Mail yesterday revealed that the Sydney Cricket Ground had been handed hosting rights for 2020 and could potentially host the 2021 and 2022 deciders during the rebuild of ANZ Stadium.
The ruling came despite the ground’s circular layout and lower capacity (40,000 to Suncorp’s 52,000) and has already drawn the ire of State Government officials.
Current Maroons and Broncos winger Corey Oates added his support to Brisbane’s bid, noting the success of last month’s Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium.
I think having a grand final here would just be something next level,” Oates said.
It would be unbelievable, it would be huge. When you have that type of stuff here, it’s a massive thing for Queensland and for Brisbane.
“I think it would be great at the SCG but to have it here in Brisbane, why not?
“They have Origin here and it’s one of the biggest things in the year for Brisbane.”
The ANZ rebuild is expected to be finished for the 2023 grand final.
Former Maroons flyer Chris Walker is sceptical of the decision and insists Brisbane should be given the chance to host an NRL decider.
I’d love for the grand final to be at Lang Park,” Walker said.
“I think we could easily have the same atmosphere for a grand final that Brisbane generates at Origin time.
“It’s always fantastic and it’s the kind of atmosphere a grand final deserves.”
The six-Origin centre said while he’d obviously prefer to see Brisbane take hosting rights, he was willing to see rugby league’s showpiece return to the SCG for historical value on a trial basis.
At the same time, I’m a purist and I don’t mind it at the SCG,” Walker said.
“It’s where they played before the SFS and Homebush.
“Obviously it’s not the same anymore with all the stands and you can’t get close to the field but we could give it a year (at the SCG) and reassess afterwards.
“At the end of the day I’m a Queenslander though and I’d love to see Brisbane host.”