'More controlled': Protests pave way for bigger NRL crowds

The federal government is considering allowing bigger footy crowds in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests around the country. Pic: Getty

The federal government is considering "decreased capacity" for NRL games, according to deputy chief medical officer Dr Nick Coatsworth.

The NSW state government has already ticked off on corporate boxes, for one person per four square metres up to 50 people, being open from this weekend.

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However, discussions have begun about opening up the grandstands, with ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys aiming for a July 1 return for fans.

Dr Coatsworth said it would be easier to maintain social distancing in stadiums than protests, which were given the green light over the weekend.

The Black Lives Matter rallies attracted tens of thousands of people in cities across Australia, with an estimated 20,000 demonstrators attending the Sydney one on Saturday.

Health officials are arguing that it is much easier to control the safety of crowds inside a footy stadium, than at the rallies that took place across Australia last weekend.

"The important thing of course about the footy is you have a large number of people, like we saw on the weekend with the protests of course, coming together in different parts of the city and then dispersing into the city," Dr Coatsworth said on the Today Show on the Nine Network.

An estimated 20,000 people turned up for Saturday's BLM protest in Sydney. Pic: Getty

Stadiums could host fans at decreased capacity

"You can be a little more controlled in a stadium than you can in a protest.

"That's an important thing to note, and we could consider going back to situations of decreased capacity in stadiums.

"Ultimately that's going to be a matter for states and territories, but it is something we are considering now.

"Hopefully within before the footy season finishes, that'll be good."

At this stage, only NSW venues have been given the green light to open up their corporate boxes with Queensland considering doing likewise.