SYDNEY has been forced to surrender the State of Origin match final to the Hunter, following the lockdown extension announcement this morning.
Next Wednesday’s State of Origin III was supposed to be played at Sydney’s Olympic Park, but will now be played at Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium for the first time ever.
Crowd attendance will be capped at approximately 23,000 and people living in the Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour lockdown zones are strictly not allowed to purchase tickets.
NRL Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Abdo called the decision a “reward” for the people of Newcastle and Hunter region.
“These fans are among the most passionate fans in our game. They turn out and support the Knights every week and we are excited to bring Ampol State of Origin to Newcastle,’’ Mr Abdo said.
“One of the positives to come from the pandemic has been the opportunity to give passionate rugby league communities like Newcastle and Townsville the chance to host Origin when they otherwise wouldn’t,” he said.
“They’ve nailed down that deal and the figure I’m hearing is that McDonald Jones Stadium may be 75 percent full for Origin. That’s 23,000 or so that will be allowed into the game,” he said.