Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The Sydney Roosters are set to return home next season, and not only home to Sydney from the Queensland bubble either, as since 2019, the famed Sydney Football Stadium, currently known as Allianz Stadium, has undergone a rebuilding process that is set to be completed around the time of the 2022 NRL finals.
While the tricolours will be returning to Allianz stadium, not all fans will be unless they have received their COVID-19 vaccination, as the Daily Telegraph has reported that the Sydney Roosters are looking to be the first professional sports organisation in Australia to ban unvaccinated supporters from attending their home games.
Last week the National Rugby League launched its “Let’s Tackle This Together” campaign, where players from most clubs appeared to urge fans to go and get vaccinated.
In terms of players being vaccinated themselves, Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V’Landys has spoken to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“We might even be in a position to do that [get players vaccinated] before they come back to NSW,” said V’Landys.
“If the vaccine is available, that’s what we’ll do, but we’re looking at all our options and we’re trying to do our bit.
— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) August 22, 2021
“We’ve started the community campaign and we’re aware western Sydney needs Pfizer more than anyone.
“We haven’t asked for any favourable treatment, we’re sitting in the queue and waiting our turn. But you don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring. Covid doesn’t work with you, you’ve got to work with Covid.
“Our view is 97 to 98 per cent are going to do it voluntarily.”
As players start to get vaccinated and the Roosters look to bring in a ban on non-vaccinated patrons, don’t be surprised if other clubs start to follow suit.
The Allianz Stadium redevelopment itself cost an estimated total of $828 million and is set to be completed in September 2022, and have a capacity of 42,500 seats.
Initial plans for the stadium were for it to include a retractable LED “curtain” that would close off the top tier of the ground and be in use when only smaller crowds were in the ground, to make the stadium look packed out; however, this will not be a part of the final design.