The Courier-Mail

All Origin profits to remain in our state

- PETER BADEL

STATE of Origin profits will remain in Queensland after the State Government last night rejected a Sydney bid for management rights to Suncorp Stadium.

The Courier-Mail can reveal Stadiums Queensland has awarded a new five-year term to AEG Ogden, ensuring the Brisbane-based firm will control Suncorp until the end of 2020.

Stadiums Queensland will formally announce the lucrative extension today.

Suncorp, the home of Queensland rugby league, was at the centre of a stadium rights war when SQ surprised AEG Ogden by launching a tender process in late March.

A bid was submitted by Stadium Australia Operations, which controls ANZ Stadium, the home of NSW Origin, in a move which threatened to prise millions of dollars from the Queensland economy.

But AEG Ogden has staved off at least four rival submission­s to retain management rights to Suncorp, extending its associatio­n with the Queensland government to 18 years.

State of Origin is a major financial windfall for the Queensland Rugby League and AEG Ogden, which pockets millions annually by operating the showpiece event at Suncorp.

The developmen­t will come as a relief to the venue’s King, Wally Lewis, who this year blasted ANZ Stadium’s bid to take over the management rights to Suncorp.

“Suncorp Stadium is an iconic stadium in Queensland and any profits from State of Origin should go into the Queensland economy – not to a NSW organisati­on,” the former Maroons skipper said.

“Suncorp is the best venue there is and the current company running it (AEG Ogden) is doing a first-class job.”

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