When the NRL resumes, it will use six stadiums to play all games from Round 3 to Round 8.
Round 9 might find a further easing of quarantine restrictions, so the NRL is leaving it for later to decide how to proceed after resuming for the first six games following the corona virus halt.
On the surface, it would seem that a league with 16 clubs would require just eight venues for every round, but the NRL is partial to shifting games around in order to get better exposure.
Two stadiums in Sydney and one in Gosford will suffice for New South Wales. There will be two in Queensland and one in Melbourne.
The Eels, the Dogs, Souths, Sharks and Roosters will all work out of Bankwest Stadium.
The Dragons, Wests, Panthers and Raiders will play in Campbelltown Stadium.
The Eagles, Knights and NZ Warriors will base at Gosford.
The Broncos and Titans will play at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
The Cowboys will stay in Townsville, despite the presence of a new facility. The Storm will play at their regular home ground of AAMI Park.
Since the games will be held without spectators, they could have been staged just about anywhere, but the stadiums chosen do offer advantages to broadcasters.
According to interim NRL CEO Andy Abdo, “Each venue requires customised infrastructure to meet our strict biosecurity requirements. We’ve adopted a phased approach for venues should restrictions be eased in the future.”
He could have said anything, anything at all.
We ceased listening as soon as we had the firm confirmation that rugby league will start again in just over a week’s time.
We’ve seen markets posted with the bookies, which is a vast improvement for many of us.
The first game will be between the Eels and the Broncos and for our view; they could play it in the car park.
The NRL website tells us that it will be up to the medical experts to determine when it is safe for games to be played in front of fans.