Queensland’s Magic offer to save NRL season

Suncorp Stadium has offered to save rugby league by playing multiple Magic Rounds in Brisbane following revelations the Queensland Government gave the NRL an exemption to bypass the border controls that have shut down the state.

The NRL suspended its 2020 premiership season indefinitely to combat the coronavirus pandemic that has crippled world sport.

The dramatic move will result in the biggest financial crisis in the game’s 112-year Australian history and threatens to send the NRL broke.

Could Suncorp Stadium answer the NRL’s prayers? Photo: Image AAP/Steve Pohlner)Source:News Corp Australia

Every week the NRL is paused will cost the game $13 million in broadcast revenue, with clubs already slashing staff to combat the dire financial circumstances.

The premiership is expected to be suspended until at least May, with the NRL canvassing options to recommence the league, such as moving the entire competition to Queensland.

The small town of Calliope, near Gladstone, has been touted as a potential home for all 16 clubs to play in an isolated environment and ARLC chairman Peter V’landys claimed that was still an option.

But Suncorp Stadium has emerged as another contender to host the league, following the success of last year’s Magic Round where all eight matches in one weekend were played at the Brisbane stadium.

Calliope’s Multipurpose Sports Facility could be fit to bursting …Source:News Regional Media

“We will do whatever we can to help the NRL. We’re happy to sit down and work with them,” said stadium manager Alan Graham.

“We could certainly host a number of games here. There are some logistical things to work through, having all those teams in one spot is certainly problematic so I won’t speculate on how the NRL would put it all together.

“But if they have a plan to relocate teams and they want to talk to us about it, we are certainly happy to work with the NRL.

“We showed with the Magic Round last year we had eight games over four days and the ground held up remarkably well, so it’s something we would consider.”

Relocating the whole competition to Queensland is a last-ditch tactic. Photo: AAP/Steve PohlnerSource:News Corp Australia

The NRL was gallantly marching on to Round 3 this weekend despite the AFL suspending its season on Sunday following the closures of state borders in South Australia and Western Australia.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the state would shut its borders from Wednesday night, presenting another hurdle for the NRL to overcome.

But the government informed the NRL its players would be exempt from the 14-day isolation order if they continued to fly on chartered planes.

V’landys said the border closure presented another logistical consideration, but Queensland could host the entire competition when it recommenced.

Peter V’landys can’t discount any option. Photo: AAP Image/Joel CarrettSource:AAP

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“We aren’t going to put a time period to the suspension, we will look at every available option as to how we can recommence the season,” V’landys said.

“Be it in other areas, northern Queensland, all the options are still on the table.

“That (relocation) was on the table today but it’s had a dramatic turn with Queensland closing its borders. It doesn’t give us sufficient time to do logistical organisation.”

The NRL’s immediate focus is on ensuring the game’s survival before plotting the format of the premiership recommencing.

Originally published asQueensland’s Magic offer to save NRL season

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