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Never in doubt: Suncorp Stadium wins right to host NRL grand final

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Brisbane will host this year’s NRL grand final for the first time in the league’s history with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirming Suncorp Stadium as the venue.

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Some 33 years after the Brisbane Broncos entered the league’s elite competition, Queensland’s capital has landed the sport’s showpiece game.

The state has only ever hosted one competition decider, with Brisbane beating Cronulla in the breakaway Super League in 1998.

However, the October 3 NRL grand final will be the first time Sydney will not host the season finale in a unified competition.

“This will be an historic moment for the city and a reward for the support the Queensland community has given us throughout 2021,” NRP chairman Peter V’Landys said.

“This year will always be remembered as the year Queensland hosted all of our major events; All Stars, Magic Round, three State of Origins and the grand final.”

The NRL also confirmed that week two of the finals would be held in Mackay, before bringing the preliminary finals back to southeast Queensland in week three.

Week one of the finals has already been scheduled for regional Queensland on the Sunshine Coast, Townsville and Rockhampton.

The deal to host the grand final also includes confirmation that Queensland will keep Magic Round until the end of 2023.

Palaszczuk said the NRL had also agreed that regional Queensland would be guaranteed at least two premiership games a year for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

“This state loves its rugby league,” the Premier said.

“It’s a tremendous gesture from the NRL and will provide an economic boost spread over our regional cities

“We have always said Queensland fans deserve a Grand Final and this year we’ve landed one.”

The NSW government confirmed on Wednesday that the state would not be able to host the grand final due to the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Sydney, paving the way for it to be moved north.

“Due to the current COVID-19 situation in Greater Sydney and across the state, the NSW Government has informed the NRL that unfortunately New South Wales is unable to host the 2021 NRL Premiership Grand Final on Sunday 3 October,” NSW minister for Tourism Stuart Ayers said.

“While it is very disappointing to miss out on this marquee event, it reinforces the importance of our community getting vaccinated so that events like the NRL Grand Final with crowds can safely return to our stadiums as soon as possible.”

Brisbane had always been favourite to host the grand final, with some interest from Melbourne and the NRL towards New Zealand.

However, coronavirus outbreaks in both those destinations have long made Queensland the most obvious choice, with the NRL’s hub already based there since July.

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