Brisbane now favoured for NRL Grand Final

Penrith Panthers players celebrate their 2021 NRL Grand Final win at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Brisbane is now the front runner to host this year's NRL Grand Final with Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk making a final public pitch on the state's behalf.

The ARL Commission is set to meet on Wednesday evening in Sydney to discuss the October 2 decider, after negotiations with both the NSW and Queensland governments.

NSW was expected to host rugby league's showpiece event at the 82,500-seat Accor Stadium but an announcement two weeks ago that Sydney's suburban grounds would not be upgraded gave Queensland an opportunity to snatch the hosting rights.

ARL commissioner Kate Jones said a report saying the decision was now 60-40 in Queensland's favour was accurate.

"Obviously we've continued to negotiate in good faith with the NSW government around this long-term standing agreement we had ... we're continuing to do so right up until today," Jones told ABC Radio in Brisbane.

"But also the chairman's made it very plain that for footy fans we need to have a location so we can get tickets out to the market and people can come along and secure their place to be a part of what will be a really thrilling Grand Final."

Palaszczuk spoke about the situation in Queensland's parliament on Wednesday, highlighting Brisbane's successful hosting of last year's grand final and the good relationship her government shares with ARL Commission chairman Peter V'Landys.

"It is no secret the NRL is considering a new home for this year's Grand Final, why not Brisbane for the second year in a row?," Palaszczuk said.

"The NRL knows Queensland is a safe pair of hands and there are no greater fans of rugby league than the current State of Origin champions Queensland."

The league had initially struck a deal with the NSW government in 2018 to keep the Grand Final in Sydney until 2042. However, that was contingent on an $800 million upgrade of Accor Stadium, which was pushed back due to the pandemic.

The NRL claims a verbal agreement was then reached that the money would be decreased and redistributed to suburban grounds, with $300 million to be spent on Penrith's stadium and upgrades elsewhere.

However, the league was left furious when told a fortnight ago the money for other grounds was no longer a priority, with Brookvale Oval, Leichhardt Oval and Cronulla's Pointsbet Stadium all going without.