Brisbane will host this year’s NRL grand final with Suncorp Stadium confirmed to be the first venue outside of Sydney to hold the event.
Some 33 years after the Brisbane Broncos entered the competition, Queensland’s capital has landed rugby league’s end-of-season showpiece.
The state has only 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 Queensland hosts the season finale in a unified competition.
“This year we will create history, playing the grand final in Brisbane for the very first time,” ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys said.
“This will be an historic moment for the city and a reward for the support the Queensland community has given us throughout 2021.
“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 south-east 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.
Brisbane had always been favourite to host the grand final given the Queensland hub, despite interest from Melbourne and the NRL towards New Zealand.
“Depending on COVID-19, that can be to a packed stadium of 52,000 people,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“Never in my lifetime did I think we would have an NRL grand final here in Queensland, and finally that has happened.”
The announcement came after the NSW government confirmed on Wednesday that they would not be able to hold the event.
It means Suncorp Stadium will be the sixth venue to host a decider, with the ground largely considered the best for atmosphere in the NRL.
“The way the stadium is set up, it’s unbelievable,” South Sydney and Maroons centre Dane Gagai said.
“When you get a packed house there and you got the flames going and the crowd is roaring it’s one of the best things you can play at.
“I do enjoy playing there but I’m sure some of the other boys do too.”
Meanwhile the Queensland government will also trial vaccination hubs at Rockhampton’s qualifying final between Parramatta and Newcastle on Sunday.