Parramatta's woes over new stadium deal

Scott Bailey

Parramatta home games will likely be marked with venue "TBC" when the NRL season draw is released next week, following a stalling of negotiations between the club and representatives of the new Western Sydney Stadium.

The Eels are expected to open the new $300-million venue next April, but believe an offer put forward by the stadium's operating group VenuesLive is "unacceptable" after months of negotiations.

A reasonable stadium deal has been a key sticking point for the Eels, who believe they have been financially hurt while playing out of ANZ Stadium for the past two seasons in an agreement reached by their previous management.

Parramatta have rejected the deal put forward by the venue's operating group. Pic: Getty

The club went as far as to seek the advice of a consultancy firm, who believe the offer made to the Eels is well below the benchmarks of other clubs across multiple sports with different stadiums across Australia.

The deal is also crucial for the future of the club, given they have built much of their 2019 marketing around a return home to Parramatta and the contract could be in place for as long as 25 years.

"Anywhere that long we want to make sure we get it right," Eels chief executive Bernie Gurr told AAP.

"We want to be fair and reasonable. Historically we haven't had great deals. Our deal at ANZ is not ideal and we just need to get a fair and reasonable outcome because this is the prime aspect of our business.

"The proposed deal we've been offered is not where we need it to be to get the financial outcomes we need.

The Eels are currently homeless for the 2019 season. Pic: Getty

"We need to make sure we get those reasonable outcomes so we can invest in our football program, our junior footy program and our community initiatives."

The NRL are aware of the issue with their season draw expected to be announced next week, while the Wests Tigers have already agreed to play four games at the state-of-the-art 30,000-seat rectangular stadium next year.

In a letter sent to members on Tuesday, the Eels said they were also negotiating event costs, food and beverage prices, expanded corporate opportunities and a clearer public transport plan.

Gurr said he was confident it could be resolved before the stadium's opening.

"It's still our objective to play there, we just have to make sure it's on the right terms," he said.

"We have an open mind to having dialogue around a fair and reasonable deal. It's all dependent on us getting what we believe is a fair and reasonable deal."

Comment has been sought from VenuesLive.