Perth set to host historic State of Origin clash
THE NRL’s golden egg State of Origin has become such a sought-after sporting event that Sydney and Brisbane may have to share interstate games around more regularly.
League officials have confirmed Perth has successfully weighed in with a multi-million-dollar bid to host game two of the 2019 Origin series at its $1.2 billion new Perth Stadium.
The Western Australian Government pulled off the coup with the Australian Rugby League Commission, which owns and runs State of Origin.
In a major break from its Wednesday night tradition, the game in Perth will be played on Sunday in prime time.
It’s hoped NSW and Queensland fans will use the Sunday time slot to travel for a weekend in the west.
The going price for an Origin game is about $10 million.
It would be the first time one has been played outside Australia’s eastern seaboard and heightens speculation New Zealand could soon hook an Origin game at one of its major stadiums.
Queensland Rugby League managing director Rob Moore said his organisation wasn’t selling out Queenslanders by supporting a game in the west.
“The QRL agrees we need to find a balance and there is no doubt about the value and the economics of a game going to Perth,” he said.
Sydney got just 62,000 fans to Wednesday night’s third Origin game, which was captain Paul Gallen’s farewell, so there is an argument to take its game rather than one in Brisbane, which is a guaranteed sell-out.
“That would be up to the Queensland Government and if there was a time where NSW didn’t want to hold its second game I am sure that would be an option,” Moore said.