Suncorp Stadium ready for more big events
Suncorp Stadium general manager Alan Graham has urged the NRL to consider more event-style marketing opportunities while confirming the venue's interest in hosting the annual Nines tournament should it move from Auckland.
Graham was joined by representatives from the four NRL clubs participating in the Suncorp Stadium double-header in Round 10 which sees the Storm taking on the Titans and Manly 'hosting' the Brisbane Broncos.
In launching the double-header that will be played during Indigenous Round, Graham paid tribute to officials from both the Storm and Sea Eagles for seeing the opportunities associated with such a promotion and taking a home game away from their traditional bases.
Last year's double-header attracted a sell-out crowd of 52,347 and injected more than $8 million into the local Brisbane economy and Graham is adamant that such promotions add significantly to the overall NRL offering.
"There is so much competition around these days and while you have got your bread and butter, which is the NRL competition, you've got to look at how you can make that more attractive and how you can build on that," Graham told NRL.com.
"You've got a really good base there but things like the double-header are just one example of what you can do to make your product that much more attractive, that much more invigorated and appealing for the fans."
The English Super League launched the 'Magic Weekend' in 2006 where every Super League club plays at the same venue over the course of two days and the past two years at Newcastle's St James' Park have attracted the largest attendances to date.
England international Dan Sarginson's last game of football was for Wigan at Old Trafford in the Super League Grand Final and he can't wait to grace the Suncorp Stadium turf as a Titan first against the Broncos in Round 7 and then three weeks later as part of the double-header against the Storm.
"This is pretty much Old Trafford in Australian terms," said Sarginson, who watched on from the sidelines when England played Samoa at Suncorp Stadium in the 2014 Four Nations tournament.
"I think there's probably a lot more history here and probably a lot more rugby league talent been out here than Old Trafford but if you're coming over to Australia this is the pinnacle.
"This is where you want to be playing your games and for us to be involved in this double-header will be unbelievable."
In between now and the double-header on Saturday, May 13, Suncorp Stadium will host the Broncos' blockbuster home opener against the Cowboys in Round 2, a Justin Bieber concert, rugby and soccer matches and potentially a world title fight between Brisbane boy Jeff Horn and boxing legend Manny Pacquiao.
The venue also hosted the inaugural Global Tens rugby tournament and with speculation mounting that the Auckland Nines is headed for a new home in 2018 Graham expressed his interest in bringing the tournament to Suncorp Stadium.
"We need to have some discussions around all that," Graham said.
"I know there's been a lot of speculation. The Tens was a great introduction and I think there is so much potential around that event.
"There are probably some discussions that need to be held around the future of both of those and that will probably take place over the next couple of months."