NRL fans aban­don Syd­ney sta­dium

The Courier-Mail - - NEWS - CHRIS HONNERY

ANZ Sta­dium will be home to to­mor­row’s NRL Grand Fi­nal clash, but fig­ures show the ground is rapidly be­ing de­serted by Syd­ney fans.

Crowd num­bers for this year show the ground hosted eight of the worst 20 at­ten­dances for NRL games, adding ex­tra pres­sure on the league to move the de­cider north to Sun­corp Sta­dium.

It comes after The Couri­erMail re­vealed the NRL has been rocked by a crowd-fudg­ing scan­dal, with fi­nals se­ries at­ten­dance num­bers be­ing in­flated by 15 per cent.

Empty seats were a com­mon sight at ANZ Sta­dium, with crowds of as lit­tle as 6213 peo­ple (South Syd­ney Rab­bitohs vs. New Zealand War­riors on Au­gust 18) in at­ten­dance.

Only Brook­vale Oval (4189) recorded a lower crowd at­ten­dance this year for the Manly vs. New­cas­tle game on June 9.

The 83,000-ca­pac­ity ground has also not been able to draw in a crowd above 40,000 peo­ple all year, com­pared with three games at Sun­corp Sta­dium reach­ing 40,000+ fans.

The sta­dium’s worst crowd at­ten­dance aver­age (14,410) has again prompted calls to bring an NRL Grand Fi­nal to Queens­land.

Ne­go­ti­a­tions are still un­der way be­tween the NRL and Queens­land Gov­ern­ment after the NRL last year said Sun­corp Sta­dium was a se­ri­ous con­tender for the 2019 NRL Grand Fi­nal.

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