With Covid 19 re-emerging in Victoria ahead of State Of Origin game one the NRL has said it will look at possible contingency plans should the game not be able to be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Considering how much money the NRL would lose, it would be a huge blow to the game overall, but it does mean that the NRL would need to find a major stadium that could host a huge game on short notice.
For this exercise I am going to rule out moving the game to Perth or Adelaide (Which would be ideal) and also ruling out playing the game in Sydney or Brisbane (Which would make a huge amount of sense but that would give one team or the other a huge advantage).
So, what other venues would I look at?
1. Auckland’s Eden Park
With a ready to roll capacity of 50,000 Aucklands Eden Park would be amazing to play a State Of Origin game at. Could you imagine the incredible amount of publicity it would get the game in New Zealand? Kickoff in New Zealand would have to be very late to satisfy Australian broadcasters but I think the chance to attend an Origin game would still see a massive crowd turn out.
This would take some very quick work with the New Zealand Government and may need to see both teams do a Fly-In-Fly-Out game where they are not actually in New Zealand for that long, but I feel like it would take a bad situation and turn it into something pretty special.
With a maximum capacity of 33,000 Newcastles McDonald Jones Stadium would be a very cool place to hold a State Of Origin game. You would think they might be able to squeeze a few extra people in with some temporary seating, but wow can you imagine how Newcastle would go off for a State Of Origin game!
3. Townsville Stadium
25,000 screaming Queenslanders in Townsville’s new stadium would be incredible! The people of North Queensland would love the chance to cheer on the Maroons, and I have a feeling the new stadium would be super loud with the way it is built!
4 Canberra Stadium
Canberra Stadium has a listed capacity of 25,011 but you would once again guess there may be a way to bump that up to get more people in there. Could it be the coldest State Of Origin game of all time? People in Canberra would love it, and it is technically neutral ground although we all know that is not really the case.