Peter V'landys makes huge call on holding NRL grand final in Victoria

All options seem to be on the table for the NRL grand final, with Peter V'landys yet to confirm a venue for the 2023 decider.

Peter V'landys is pictured left, with the Penrith Panthers celebrating their 2022 NRL grand final win on the right.
Peter V'landys says hosting the NRL grand final is an option on the table, with a venue for the 2023 decider yet to be decided. Pictures: Getty Images

Rugby league boss Peter V'landys has opened the door for the NRL grand final to be hosted in Victoria at the MCG, in a move that has left many fans in uproar. The Australian Rugby League Commission boss has previously said the NSW state government would have to 'get the chequebook out' in order for the NRL decider to stay in Sydney.

The prospect of the NRL grand final being hosted in Victoria would have been ridiculous just a few years ago - but with the league successfully moving the 2021 decider to Brisbane thanks to the pandemic, everything seems to be on the table. V'landys threatened to move the 2022 NRL grand final before ultimately deciding Sydney would host the decider between Penrith and Parramatta.

HUGE: Nathan Cleary's eye-opening remark about potential rugby union switch

BOMBSHELL: Jack Wighton to test open market in Raiders blow

V'landys told the Sydney Morning Herald that Melbourne 'could be an option' for the match, following a public bid for the event from Visit Victoria chief executive Brendan McClements. The NRL could stand to make several more millions in any potential deal thanks to the significantly greater seating capacity of the MCG.

The rugby league supremo delighted in sending a brief shockwave through the NRL world last year when he joked the 2022 grand final would be held in Melbourne. At the time, Sydney had secured the event with a last minute bid, however V'landys said the Queensland government's bid to hold the event in Brisbane had been more financially favourable.

In addition to the NRL grand final, the McLements was also keen to secure matches in the state during the 2027 Rugby World Cup. Melbourne this weekend hosts the Australian Grand Prix, one of its signature events.

The 2022 NRL grand final.
The NRL grand final was held at Sydney Olympic Park last year, after a late bid from the NSW state government. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

NRL eyes off MCG decider as venue yet to be confirmed

McLements said from a 'purely commercial' perspective, moving the NRL decider to the MCG could prove lucrative for the league. Melbourne has previously hosted State of Origin matches to great success.

“Peter also said recently: ‘I haven’t got a deal for the NRL grand final.’ It’s a purely commercial decision. Our phone hasn’t rung. I have got 35,000 more seats for Peter," McLements said. "In a purely commercial decision, that is $4-5 million waiting for him. So, I would like to talk to Peter at some stage about that.

“That is a no-brainer - the best stadium in Australia [MCG] - in a city where history happens, and you are going add $40 million more than anywhere else.”

Though he was happy to crack jokes when announcing the venue for last year's grand final, it was clear that there would be more to play out. V'landys' displeasure at the then Perrottet government's backdown from a promised $800m suburban grounds revitalisation project has been a factor, as was the inference from the state government that the ARLC's push for the fund was obstructing efforts to aid flood victims throughout NSW.

Sydney would have held the rights to the NRL grand final until 2042 had the agreement, which was struck back in 2018, been put into effect. "It is really now put on the table for the future," V'landys said.

"It hasn't been because we were hoping we would have an exclusive arrangement with the New South Wales government. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. It opens the door for a Super Bowl type concept or, who can give us the best deal for the game."

Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.