Discussions to take the biggest NRL matches to the biggest stadiums was the key item on the agenda at Thursday’s meeting of club chief executives in Sydney.
ARL chief executive David Gallop said there had been dialogue between clubs about ensuring supporters more supporters came through the turnstiles at the best stadiums, but denied that suburban grounds would ever be lost to the game.
“There’s a real wish to work together and drive benefits that leave fans in no doubt that the place to be is at the game,” Gallop said.
“At the same time the clubs recognise that they need to be actively looking at ways to grow their revenue opportunities by being more cost effective in what they do and in being more innovative in what they offer.
“It’s not about putting a total end to suburban grounds.
“There was no suggestion of people wanting that as an outcome, but it was about taking a game-wide approach to where the game is played, ensuring that the blockbuster games are able to attract big crowds in big venues.”
Adding extra support for the the Toyota Cup competition was also on the agenda in addition to plans to grow the NSW Cup and maintain the Queensland Cup competitions.
“The NSW Cup is an incredibly important part of the game and the clubs want to support the NSWRL in growing its profile,” South Sydney CEO Shane Richardson said.
“There have been some really positive steps of late and we need to continue to provide a strong second tier in both NSW and Queensland.
“Second tier competitions provide a great development program for players over 20 years of age, many of whom will have come from the Toyota Cup and continue to grow in the game.
“Rugby league is incredibly fortunate to have a unique platform such as the Toyota Cup as well as strong second tier senior competitions.”