NRL 2022: Cronulla Sharks could lose finals hosting rights over stadium

Cronulla will face off with the NRL in which its hopes of hosting NRL finals games this year — and into the future — will go on the line. FIND OUT WHY.

The Cronulla Sharks are in danger of losing the right to host home a final at PointsBet Stadium because the rundown old venue fails to meet NRL standards.

Should the Sharks finish in the top two or in fifth or sixth position which guarantees clubs the home ground advantage, the Sharks may have to move to either the new Allianz Stadium or CommBank Stadium at Parramatta.

The NRL’s head of football Graham Annesley contacted Sharks CEO Dino Mezzatesta to arrange a meeting at the venue next week.

Shark Park has ticketed seating for only 7000. Another 4500 tickets can be sold in other parts of the venue.

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Sharks fans crammed into PointsBet Stadium last week. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images
Sharks fans crammed into PointsBet Stadium last week. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

The Sharks have to prove to the NRL they can meet the finals-hosting criteria around corporate facilities, ticket sales, food and beverage outlets, dressing sheds and broadcasting facilities.

By moving the match to another venue, the NRL could potentially get three times the revenue in general ticket and corporate sales.

“No decision has been made at this stage,” Annesley said.

“We will meet with the Sharks to discuss all the issues.”

Cronulla is in third position on the NRL ladder, just two points behind the second-placed North Queensland Cowboys. Their run to the finals features matches against sides who are all outside of the top eight — St George Illawarra, Wests Tigers, Manly, Canterbury and Newcastle — putting them in prime position for a top-four finish.

The Sharks are bitterly disappointed with the State Government backflip on funding for suburban grounds which would have brought Shark Park up to scratch to host finals football.

At the same time Minister Stuart Ayres, who was forced to resign on Wednesday morning, has allocated $450 million to build a new stadium at Penrith to buy the support of locals in his own seat in the build-up to the state election.

That’s $450 million for one NRL side to play just 12 home games a year.

The ground will not be used by rugby union, soccer or AFL.

Originally published as NRL 2022: Cronulla Sharks could lose finals hosting rights over stadium

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