Game one of the 2021 State of Origin has been moved from MCG to Townsville due to the ongoing outbreak of Covid-19 in Victoria.
The June 9th game will now be held at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, with NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo saying the north Queensland city “has the lowest risk of a COVID outbreak impacting the game and the least financial fallout of the available venues.”
According to the ABC, the league were initially considering a more neutral setting like Canberra, Perth or Adelaide, for the game but, instead, yesterday announced Townsville as the first non-Australian capital city since 1987 to host a State of Origin game.
“I understand some fans will have wanted a neutral venue but the reality is we are working within a pandemic and we have to make decisions that ensure Origin proceeds as scheduled and with the lowest financial impact on the game,” Abdo said.
The capacity for the North Queensland game will be 27,327.
Last week it was announced that Brisbane’s own The Veronicas will be performing live at the opening State of Origin game on June 9th.
“It’s a dream come true to play at this iconic sporting event,” they said in a statement. “We know the vital role music plays in hyping and motivating audiences and players, so we intend to show Australia that two girls from Brisbane can do it loud and proud at the MCG.”
Sheppard will perform at Game II at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, 27th June.
And Game III is set to be massive, with both JK-47 and Lime Cordiale taking care of the pre-game entertainment on Wednesday, 14th July.