Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
It has been over a year now since ARL Chairman Peter V’Landys announced that the NRL’s 17th franchise will be joining the competition in 2023 and that said the franchise will be based in Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.
Since then three multi-million dollar bids have come to the forefront, with the Brisbane Jets, formerly the Brisbane Bombers and Western Corridor Bid respectively before a merger in February, Brisbane Firehawks and Redcliffe Dolphins vying to have their application accepted.
The driving force behind having a second team in Queensland’s capital is the revenue that it would bring in for the game from television rights alone, with Brisbane Broncos games being the NRL’s highest-rated fixture on free to air television consistently on a week to week basis, especially when they are playing at Suncorp Stadium.
Adding in a second-team that plays out of Suncorp Stadium would hypothetically mean that whichever free to air network gets the rights to broadcast the NRL in 2023 would be receiving great ratings weekly instead of fortnightly, so a second Brisbane based franchise means that the NRL will make a lot of money in their next deal with a free to air network which will commence in 2023.
Breaking #NRL expansion news: Brisbane will get a second team to rival the Broncos https://t.co/24kQ0RitGq
— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) September 23, 2021
It seems we now have a clearer idea as to when we will find out which franchise will have their bid accepted to join the competition, with the Daily Telegraph’s Peter Bedel, Brent Read and Travis Meyen reporting that the NRL will announce the successful bid after the 2021 Grand Final.
“The ARL Commission is a fortnight away from formally announcing NRL expansion with a second Brisbane team to be added to the Telstra Premiership in 2023,” stated the report.
“In a landmark moment for rugby league, News Corp can reveal the code is ready to embark on its first expansionary move in 14 years following a high-powered ARL Commission board meeting on Thursday.
“It is understood ARL Commissioners heard an analysis of expansion, conducted by both League Central and external firms, showed the financial forecasting for a 17-team competition stacks up.
“The final step involves ARL Commission boss Peter V’landys presenting findings and funding outcomes to the existing 16 clubs, but after 11 years of expansion heartache, Brisbane will get a second team to rival the Broncos.”
The Herald’s Adam Pengilly has also obtained details of the modelling structure to be used and has reported that the new expansion club will allow for up 12 derbies per season among the Queensland clubs, all State of Origin matches to return to Wednesday evenings and a reduction in five-day turnarounds for teams.
Once the announcement is made, the new franchise will have all of 2022 to recruit and prepare its inaugural squad and staff, with super coach Wayne Bennett the favourite to take on the role of head coach at Brisbane’s second franchise.
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