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NRL grand final to remain in Sydney

The NRL grand final will remain in Sydney during the $810m rebuild of ANZ Stadium following an announcement by NRL CEO Todd Greenberg on Wednesday.

The 2020 and 2021 season deciders will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with the 2022 grand final scheduled for the revamped Allianz Stadium.

From 2023 the game will return to ANZ Stadium following completion of works at that venue. The grand final is slated to be played in Sydney until at least 2046.

Greenberg said it was important to give the NSW taxpayers good return on their investment – the $2 billion upgrade of ANZ and the rebuild of Allianz.

"By 2023 the NRL will be using three state-of-the-art, purpose-built rectangular rugby league venues," Greenberg said, adding that Bankwest Stadium was the third jewel in that crown.

"It will give our fans the very best game-day experience probably anywhere in the world."

But dropping from the current 80,000 capacity to the SCG is a difference of around 30,000 seats, which means a reduction in grand final ticket sales.

"The game is not going to go backwards commercially – that is the point I made strongly to the NSW government," Greenberg said.

"But in saying that, and despite you all wanting to know what the exact numbers are, as you can imagine with any deal like this I'm not going to give you the specifics – they are commercially in confidence.

"We've transacted a deal that provides short-term outcomes but protects the long-term interest particularly here in Sydney."

He said the NRL had spent the past 10 days negotiating with the NSW government and those talks intensified over the past 48 hours with the final deal signed at lunchtime on Wednesday.

Greenberg said he had spoken directly to Queensland Sports Minister Kate Jones.

"I can understand we will have some unhappy Queensland-based fans. But what I'd say is that when you're dealing with a government that is paying effectively $2 billion in infrastructure development, what goes with that is a promise of content."

He also said the NRL took Magic Round to Brisbane and would be taking the All Stars back to Queensland next year.

"We won't forget Queensland I can assure you," he added.

Greenberg admitted there had been frustration through the process but credited the NSW government for giving league fans long-term security.

He was confident they would deliver on having ANZ Stadium reconfigured in time to host the 2023 decider.

"That's part of the agreement. The time lines are now set for the infrastructure development at all three stadiums – and that includes 2023," he said.

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