Should This Stadium Be The Site Of The NRL’s First Team Based In The United States?

With the NRL’s recent commitment to playing games in Las Vegas looking like a reasonable success, some have speculated that we could one day see an NRL team based in the United States on a permanent basis.

I have felt that the best step towards that goal is having an NRL team based in Honolulu, Hawaii, that would be a true team of the pacific region and give the NRL its first footprint into the United States.

Honolulu is only a 10 hour flight time to the east coast of Australia, making travel much more reasonable than the 15+ hour flight time to destinations such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas or even Dallas. While Honolulu is a smaller market, it is also one with far fewer sporting distractions to fight against. There are no professional sporting teams based in Honolulu, with the biggest sporting team there being the University of Hawaii football team.

Plans are currently underway for the University of Hawaii to build a new stadium to host games at. These are the artists impressions of the stadium which they aim to have completely in 2028:

Would this be the ideal place for the NRL’s first expansion club in the United States? One to service the pacific region and no doubt attract a number of quality players to live in Hawaii?

Having a team based in Hawaii would very much be a vanity project for the NRL. The game has the money to do something like this right now, but at the same time you want to make sure that if you set up an expansion club that it has a strong long term future.

I think if done correctly Honolulu is a great stepping stone for the NRL. It’s a smaller market, but one you can make some noise in. This would be a true team for the pacific, and with the right amount of investment you could quickly make an impact in the sporting scene there and look to get local athletes playing the game.

As someone that loves talking about the expansion of Rugby League, I always enjoy thinking about the best places Rugby League could look towards to get a foothold and start to show the world the sport we love.

So, what do you think? Would Honolulu work?

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