The National Rugby League "can more than double the money it makes from the Sydney grand final and Origin matches if these big games are taken interstate," data which "demonstrates the value of major sporting events to rival cities" indicated, according to Roy Masters of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and New Zealand "are willing to pay the NRL to move the big games away from Sydney because their economic impact justifies the outlay." NSW Opposition Leader Michael Daley "declared he will not be bullied" by NRL CEO Todd Greenberg, who has said that he will "shift Sydney’s big games interstate if an incoming Labor government cancels plans for stadium rebuilds." However, two figures demonstrate Greenberg "is not making an idle threat." First, the NRL receives about A$4M ($2.9M) from the NSW government to stage the grand final in Sydney. Greenberg’s office "has already fielded bids from Queensland, Victoria and New Zealand to take the game" to their capitals or country. Their initial offers are around A$10M ($7.2M) to shift the grand final away from Sydney for the first time. Second, a Sydney grand final generates an economic benefit of about A$20M ($14.4M) to the NSW capital while a State of Origin match staged in Melbourne has a A$40M ($28.8M) impact on the Victorian economy. In "other words, if a state receives twice as much benefit in hotel, restaurant and transport use, as well as the jobs they create," then the government of that state "can afford to pay the sport twice as much to win hosting rights to these big games" (SMH, 12/10).
Events and Attractions
The Australian Football League is "set to announce a marked increase" in the amount of Victorian Football League "curtain-raisers" to be held before AFL matches during the '19 season. It is understood that while curtain-raisers "will definitely be played at Marvel Stadium, negotiations are still underway" for curtain-raisers to also be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The move "represents a significant increase" on the handful of curtain-raisers held in '18, three of which took place at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong (THE AGE, 12/8).
England and Scotland were drawn together in the Women’s World Cup in France next summer. Scotland is making its debut in the knockout stages, while England, now managed by Philip Neville, is looking to improve on its semifinal showing in Canada four years ago, when the U.S. beat Japan in the final (LONDON TIMES, 12/8).
The full routes for the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire and Tour de Yorkshire Women's Race were unveiled, with the fifth edition of the men's race scheduled for May 2-5. The race was upgraded to HC status by the Int'l Cycling Union (UCI). The women's race is scheduled for May 3-4, taking place on a Friday and Saturday for the first time (Tour de Yorkshire).