New Zealand could be hosting the 2021 NRL Grand Final

Headlines 01/10/2019

The NRL will likely decide within six weeks whether to move the Grand Final from Sydney for the first time in history as negotiations continue over 2021.

Originally scheduled to be played at a refurbished ANZ Stadium as part of a 25-year deal, delays in upgrades mean it will be played at the SCG if it remains in NSW.

The league have requested a compensation package from the government over the move, but are ready to open the door to other states if a deal can't be reached.

If the NRL do look elsewhere, they have already had a long list of interested parties make contact.

It's understood New Zealand have now made enquiries to host the game, along with front-runners Queensland, as well as Victoria and Western Australia.

"We have had dialogue with other governments and phone calls," NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said.

"But out of respect, we have put them on hold until we complete discussions with the NSW Government.

"We're getting closer. I said at the start of the finals series we were getting frustrated.

"And since that time we have had some more dialogue with the NSW government.

"We're quietly working through that behind the scenes and we're hoping to wrap that up in a short space of time."

Asked how long that would likely be, Greenberg said: "I'd be surprised if we don't wrap it up in the next four to six weeks."

The NRL on Monday night lit up the Sydney Harbour Bridge and pylons to celebrate this weekend's decider between Canberra and the Roosters.

But the issue of the city's stadiums and the hosting of grand finals has been an ongoing matter for several years.

The league and NSW Government reached a deal last March that meant ANZ Stadium's refurbishment would start after Sunday's decider and be ready for the 2021 grand final.

However the beginning of work is now set for after next year's State of Origin series, and could rule out the venue for 2020, 2021 and 2022.

While the SCG will host 2020 and the final is unlikely to be on the line, the venue is not considered ideal for watching rugby league and has a much smaller capacity than ANZ Stadium.

If a compensation deal is reached with the NSW government though, it will stay there in 2021, before the redeveloped Allianz Stadium would be ready to host it for one year in 2022.

Credit to Newshub