Grand Final disgrace: Suncorp snubbed for cricket pitch
THE NRL has made a stunning decision to ignore Australia's best rectagular stadium for the 2020 grand final, instead deciding the distinctly round SCG is a better fit for the game's biggest match.
The NRL told club chief executives at a meeting in Sydney this week ANZ would be out of action after next year's Origin series.
It has been reported on the NRL's official website the SCG has been chosen for next year's grand final despite the fact that its capacity in the 40,000s, less than Suncorp's 52,000, a stadium rated by NRL boss Todd Greenberg this season as the best rugby league ground in the world.
"That's a disgrace,'' said Queensland minister for tourism and major events Kate Jones.
"It is about time the NRL showed the same respect and loyalty in Queensland that we show in them. We have delivered for them time and time again. We do the right thing by code and they do not show us the same respect.
"If there is an NRL grand final up for grabs it has to come to Queensland. What harm would it do to have one grand final in 20 years at Suncorp?''
Queensland fullback great Gary Belcher said the snubbing of Suncorp was another kick in the guts for Brisbane league fans.
"I played in the last ever grand final at the SCG, it's not a good rugby league ground," said Belcher, who played for Canberra in the 1987 decider against Manly.
"One more grand final at the SCG is one too many.
"I'm disappointed they didn't give Suncorp Stadium a chance.
"The SCG has a wonderful aura but the open spaces are too vast and the fans are too far from the action.
"Imagine a grand final at a packed Suncorp Stadium ... it's the best rugby league stadium in Australia."