Cronulla and Manly could be forced to move games to Allianz Stadium for the NRL to receive their proposed venue upgrade package from the NSW Government.
ARL Commission chairman John Grant will meet with representatives from the clubs on Wednesday as the NRL look to meet a 65-game commitment at Sydney’s major stadiums to ensure a $1.6 billion upgrade package for Pirtek, ANZ and Allianz Stadium, according to Fairfax Media.
Given Parramatta, Canterbury, South Sydney and the Sydney Roosters all use the stadiums as their home grounds, 23 games will need to be shared between the Wests Tigers, St George Illawarra, Penrith, the Sharks and the Sea Eagles.
The Tigers and Dragons currently each play four games a year between the stadiums, however the NRL – who provide financial assistance to both clubs – may ask them to up that figure to eight in order to help secure the funding.
It is understood the league would be unlikely to ask Penrith to move games away from their base at Pepper Stadium.
That is likely to leave both Manly and Cronulla needing to play a combined seven matches at Sydney’s big stadiums, which would most likely be at Allianz.
Manly, in particular, could prove a difficult case in the NRL.
Since their privatisation in 2004, the club’s constitution states they must play at least 10 games a season at Brookvale Oval.
That figure could only be decreased via a referendum of the district football club’s members, who hold a minority stake on the NRL club’s board.
The Sharks would also be unlikely to support a substantial move, given they only acquired a new naming rights sponsor for their Woolooware base earlier this month.
The NRL has until April 1 to achieve the 65-game commitment, and will then have until May 31 to decide how they want the funding split between Moore Park and ANZ Stadium.
Upgrades on Pirtek Stadium in Parramatta will begin this year.