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NRL could welcome 100,000 to Origin series

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23rd September, 2020

The NRL could still have 100,000 fans attend the State of Origin series after they set their sights on filling Adelaide Oval to its COVID-safe capacity.

South Australia’s border from NSW was given clearance to open from Wednesday night, allowing for interstate travel for the first time in six months.

Queenslanders have also been able to move freely into South Australia since June 19, meaning Maroons and Blues fans will have free passage to the game.

The move could save the NRL from the tricky situation of trying to sell the Origin series opener to locals only.

Adelaide’s capacity was lifted to 25,000 last weekend, and there are still hopes it could go beyond that for the AFL finals and Origin.

“Absolutely, we hope (it can sell out),” ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys told AAP.

“We always were hopeful the border would open so there would be a lot of people from NSW and Queensland could go to the game.

“The whole idea of the investment the South Australia Government makes is on visitation.

“It’s going to be great for us.”


V’landys is particularly wary about the status of the pandemic, having learnt too often this year that it can change within an hour.

However at this stage their decision to move Origin to the end of the season looks set to pay off.

Last year up to 15,000 people were believed to have travelled from interstate to Perth for Origin I, and similar numbers could again be on the cards for Adelaide.

ANZ Stadium will now be able to hold 40,000 for Origin II, while the Queensland Government is eying a rise to 75 per cent capacity for its major venues.

If approved by Game 3 on November 18, it would allow for almost 40,000 fans into the stadium and slightly over 100,000 for the series.

“I’m very excited about State of Origin having three consecutive games,” V’landys said.

“Especially if they are competitive, you could have a massive game up in Queensland.”

Meanwhile, the opening of South Australian borders is also set to make life easier for both the NSWRL and QRL.


While still requiring NRL approval, it now means they will likely be able to avoid a fly-in, fly-out scenario on match day.

Instead the most likely scenario is that players will spend just a couple of days in the city before the match while still in a COVID-safe bubble.