The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) has today approved the first phase of a venue strategy for the resumption of the Telstra Premiership which begins on May 28.
Six venues - Bankwest Stadium, Campbelltown Stadium, Central Coast Stadium, Suncorp Stadium, QCB Stadium and AAMI Park - will be used during Phase 1 when the competition resumes on May 28.
The venues were selected on a range of factors including those best equipped to meet the NRL’s strict biosecurity protocols which have been formulated to keep players, staff and the general community healthy. Other factors included geographic location, rectangular rather than oval stadiums and commercial considerations.
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All matches will be consolidated into six venues with no crowds. These venues will be used for at least Rounds 3-9 before a review is conducted.
BANKWEST STADIUM - Eels, Bulldogs, Rabbitohs, Sharks, Roosters
CAMPBELLTOWN STADIUM - Dragons, Tigers, Panthers, Raiders
CENTRAL COAST STADIUM - Knights, Warriors, Sea Eagles
SUNCORP STADIUM - Broncos and Titans
QCB Stadium - Cowboys
AAMI PARK - Storm
The official draw, to be released on Thursday, will allocate venues until Round 9 of the competition but will not allocate venues for matches in Round 10 and beyond.
Acting Chief Executive Officer Andrew Abdo said the strategy was designed to ensure all venues provided the safest possible environment for players and staff, based on the NRL’s strict biosecurity protocols.
“The competition will begin with a consolidated approach to venues. Each venue requires customised infrastructure to meet our strict biosecurity requirements. We’ve adopted a phased approach for venues should restrictions be eased in the future,’’ he said.
“We’ve chosen three consolidated venues for clubs in and around Sydney to ensure there are no double headers at venues and in different parts of the region to meet the geographical challenges we face.”