The Parramatta rugby league team has reached a deal to play at the new $300 million Western Sydney Stadium, ending a six-month dispute over revenue sharing at the venue.
The Eels will play nine home games there starting from Easter next year, and will be the first side to play there.
Parramatta’s opening match at Western Sydney Stadium (WSS) is in round six of the 2019 NRL season against Wests Tigers on Monday, 22 April, 2019.
Eels CEO Bernie Gurr said the club had reached an “agreement-in-principle” with stadium operator VenuesLive, 10 days after he went public warning members that “the current proposal is unacceptable” and would harm the club financially, so the 2019 NRL season might be launched with a TBC beside the club’s home games. Today’s announcement came just an hour before the launch of the 2019 season by the NRL.
His comments had the potential to embarrass the NSW government, which built the 30,000-seat stadium on the site of Parramatta’s home ground. Western Sydney Stadium is owned by Venues NSW, on behalf of the government. VenuesLive also looks after the government-owned ANZ stadium at Homebush as well as Perth’s government-owned Optus Stadium.
A much happier Gurr said today the Eels board and management “are satisfied that all issues have been addressed”.
“We are extremely pleased to have reached this stage and to confirm Western Sydney Stadium as our new home,” he said, adding that the stadium “will also contribute to the club’s financial stability”.
The 15-year deal will see the club play 11 matches a year at WSS from 2020.
NSW Sports minister Stuart Ayres said VenuesLive, on behalf of Venues NSW, had now negotiated agreements with the Eels, Wests Tigers and NSW Waratahs.
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