Plans for another Brisbane-based club have been shelved by NRL CEO Todd Greenberg despite yet another sold out Suncorp Stadium game.
Greenberg gushed over Queensland’s support after being part of the 52,293 fans who witnessed the Maroons’ 26-16 State of Origin II win on Wednesday night.
“People want to play and watch football here – one of the things we never take for granted is the love for the game here in Queensland,” Greenberg said.
“It was a special moment attending a sold out Suncorp Stadium – it was a privilege to be there.”
Momentum had gathered again for a second Brisbane team last month, after Queensland great Gorden Tallis claimed May’s sold out Suncorp Stadium double header was further proof the city had enough support for another club.
There is a provision in the NRL’s new broadcast agreement that allows for the introduction of a new team, stipulating that it must be from Queensland.
But Greenberg said the NRL had no expansion plans.
“There are some pretty strong Queensland teams at the moment, that was evidenced last year in the grand final (between Brisbane and North Queensland),” he said.
“But I think we have made it clear our focus is on 16 teams and the sustainability of those 16 teams.”
ARL Commission chairman John Grant agreed.
“We have 16 teams, that is the right number for our competition,” he said.
“If you look at it from a participation base there could be more representation in Queensland but nothing is on the agenda on the moment.
“We haven’t a timeline – expansion is not on our agenda.”
Grant and Greenberg were at Thursday’s opening of new headquarters Rugby League Central, Queensland opposite Suncorp Stadium.
The office will feature more than 100 NRL, QRL, Men of League and Touch Football staff as well as historical and interactive displays, function areas and a media centre.
“We will look back at this day and say what a fundamental decision it was for the game – it’s a great day for rugby league in Queensland,” Greenberg said.