Could State of Origin make its way to Canberra?

Dominic Giannini 5 August 2020 6
Canberra Stadium

Could Canberra Stadium become the new location for State of Origin game one? Photo: Dominic Giannini.

The NRL has canvassed the possibility of holding the first State of Origin game in Canberra as the scheduled Adelaide Oval fixture could fall foul of South Australia’s strict quarantine laws.

Although Origin making its Canberra Stadium debut is just speculation at this point – with no official talks between the NRL or Venues Canberra – the state of the Territory makes it an appealing destination for the 4 November game.

There have been no new cases of COVID-19 in the ACT for more than three weeks, and there are currently no active cases in the Territory.

While no one from the NRL has approached the ACT Government regarding the State of Origin, Region Media understands Venues Canberra has written to the NRL about setting up a meeting in the coming days to speak about the proposal.

The NRL will make a call on whether or not the game will go ahead at Adelaide Oval within the next four weeks. It may even go ahead without any fans present at the stadium.

However, the bigger problem is with South Australia’s border restrictions. People arriving from NSW or the ACT have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine, while Victorian residents – and even South Australians in Victoria – are not allowed into the state without an exemption.

However, the ACT has also closed its borders to Victorians, and the ACT Government has never indicated that exemptions would be granted for sports players, which could complicate the matter.

Should the game come to Canberra, up to 1,500 fans could attend Canberra’s inaugural Origin match under the current health guidelines. However, this is in contrast to the 5,000 spectators allowed at Adelaide Oval under the one person per two square metre rule with the option of expanding this to 50 per cent capacity – or 25,000.

The Government has postponed the easing of restrictions to stage three, which would allow 25 per cent of a stadium’s capacity, or around 6,500 fans in this case, due to the uncertainty of the situation in Victoria and the Greater Sydney region.

The ACT’s Chief Health Officer is set to make her decision on whether the Territory will move to stage three this Thursday, however, the Chief Minister flagged that any movement was unlikely in a health update last week.

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6 Responses to Could State of Origin make its way to Canberra?
Heavs Heavs 1:52 pm 05 Aug 20

Is there any point if people can’t go?

Where is the ROI (I assume you’d still be paying the NRL for the privilege of hosting the game). If people can’t come to the Territory to spend up (or even locals being able to attend the game) then what benefit is to the Canberra?

Paula Simcocks Paula Simcocks 11:55 pm 04 Aug 20

Not keen on lots of out of towners

Shaan Melling Shaan Melling 10:33 pm 04 Aug 20

Omg I would be there in a heartbeat

Paul Kelly Paul Kelly 4:05 pm 04 Aug 20

Would be great, but realistically wont happen. They could play 2 games in Sydney or Brisbane and make muliple millions more than having it here. I cant imagine the ACT government forking out a huge hosting fee to the NRL to bring the game here which would be needed

    Paul Kelly Paul Kelly 4:28 pm 04 Aug 20

    I get that, but with the loss of revenue this year, I would expect they would be looking to generate as much $$$$ as possible.

    Nikos Manikas Nikos Manikas 4:18 pm 05 Aug 20

    plus i also think it would be un realistic, the NRL try to get Canberra to avoid playing a game here if they can when possible, look at the whole move to Cambletown at the restart of the season while all the other teams played in their home towns, or when we have a big finals game how we have to move it to Sydney. so why would they purpose bring a game here if they can avoid it

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