Photo: Rugby player. Image: Getty Images/Lorado
The NRL will expand to 17 teams in 2023, with the expectation the competition will further grow to 18 teams in the following years.
A cross-agency Government working group chaired by the Hon. Peter Tinley MLA has been established to help facilitate the development of a third-party bid and, where necessary, assist the bid through the potential bidding process.
Preliminary work has already begun with VenuesWest appointing consultants Freshwater Strategy to ascertain interest from potential third parties and determine the most appropriate bid structure.
The inclusion of a WA team would deliver significant economic and tourism benefits through the attraction of interstate visitors and exposure of the State to large television audiences on the east coast.
A local NRL team would also provide an opportunity to further grow participation in community rugby league which — with 4100 registered players — is the game's third biggest jurisdiction behind the traditional strongholds of NSW and Queensland.
While an 18th team would provide the NRL with an additional weekly fixture, a WA-based team has an added benefit of an additional TV timeslot given our time zone.
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