Magic Round could be first step towards new Queensland team: Greenberg

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg says the hard work that went into establishing Magic Round in Brisbane could open the door for the establishment of a fourth Queensland club.

Speaking at the launch of Magic Round, which will take place at Suncorp Stadium from May 9 to 12, Greenberg said the league was keen to bring more matches to Queensland and said the state could be the location of any future expansion plans.

Greenberg dismissed the idea of relocating any existing Sydney teams to Brisbane, but said the potential of adding clubs in the future remained.

"Make no mistake about the fact we want to bring additional content to Brisbane, and Queensland more broadly," Greenberg said.

Greenberg described the introduction of the Magic Round as a "huge initiative".

"It's not easy, having 16 clubs playing in one weekend in the same venue. The reason it hasn't been done before is that it's difficult," he said.

"We've broken a number of obstacles to make this happen with our broadcast partners and our clubs. It's a huge initiative. There's not many sports outside of the UK Super League who I know have been doing it very successfully for a period of time.

"This is innovation at its greatest and primarily it is about the fans coming out to see quality rugby league ... eight games for less than $100.

"We have never done it before and I expect it to be very successful."

NRL players at the launch of Magic Round.
NRL players at the launch of Magic Round. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

Greenberg confirmed Magic Round had been secured for three years and would be held in Brisbane until 2021 due to the support of the Queensland Government, Tourism and Events Queensland and Brisbane Marketing.

Titans centre Dale Copley said the NRL initiative was one he was looking forward to with the Gold Coast kicking off the round against Cronulla

"I think it will be great. Brisbane will be absolutely abuzz that weekend and to be able to kick it off against the Sharks, in what will be a tough game, is exciting," Copley told NRL.com at the launch.

"Brisbane is my home and where I grew up. They love rugby league up here and hopefully we can see some pretty big crowds too."

While discussing the launch of the Magic Round in Brisbane on Tuesday, Greenberg was asked about the criminal charges facing star player Jarryd Hayne.

"I'm not going to talk about the issues with Jarryd," Greenberg said.

"Jarryd's got issues to deal with and it's got nothing to do with rugby league at the moment. They're issues with the courts and I'm not going to talk about it.

"It's a very serious issue. It's a matter with police. He's been charged."

 

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