Townsville is on standby to hold the NRL grand final on Sunday with new cases of COVID-19 in Brisbane raising fears of an impending lockdown in south-east Queensland.
Suncorp Stadium is scheduled to host its first NRL decider on Sunday evening but those plans are now in danger after four locally acquired cases of coronavirus were detected in the Sunshine State.
Tickets for the premiership decider between South Sydney and Penrith at the 52,000 capacity stadium in Brisbane have already sold out.
At this stage the NRL is not overly concerned about a last-minute switch to Townsville, but the next 48 hours will be critical.
The Sheffield Shield cricket game between Queensland and Tasmania was postponed just minutes before the toss.
#SheffieldShield update | Today's match between Queensland and Tasmania at Ian Healy Oval, due to begin today, has been postponed.
The match will be rescheduled to a new date later in the season, following the Tasmanian team’s decision to fly home today.
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) September 28, 2021
It’s expected the Queensland government will hold fire on an immediate lockdown on Tuesday but any additional cases of community transmission could rapidly escalate the situation.
Should a lockdown be announced in the coming days the NRL would then pull the trigger and relocate the season finale to Townsville for the first time.
Townsville’s stadium has a maximum capacity of 25,000 people, less than half of the crowd that Suncorp will hold if the game is able to go ahead as planned in Brisbane.