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Fantastic for fans: Stadiums to be half-capacity for finals, Origin

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed crowds of up to 50% capacity will be allowed at some venues for the Telstra Premiership finals.

In more good news for rugby league fans, Adelaide Oval will be allowed to be half full for the State of Origin series opener on November 4, which would mean up to 26,750 spectators can attend the historic match.

ANZ Stadium will host Origin II on November 11, with the series finale a week later at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.

Ms Berejiklian's announcement means 40,000 spectators can watch fixtures at ANZ Stadium from October 1, including NRL finals matches and Origin II. Suncorp Stadium is permitted to host crowds of up to 25,000 for the finals and Origin III.

An NRL spokesman said a decision on where the October 25 grand final would be played has yet to be determined.

The 2020 grand final was initially slated for the SCG as work to revamp ANZ Stadium had been due to commence in July but the $800 million project has now been cancelled.

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Bankwest Stadium, the SCG and ANZ Stadium have been approved for 50% capacity, while the NSW Government is assessing Penrith and Newcastle's venues to determine capacity for NRL finals matches.

"Our number one priority is the health and safety of the people of NSW, however it is no secret we’re also focused on firing up the economy," Ms Berejiklian said.

"Safely allowing more fans at in-demand major sporting events will bring enjoyment, employment and help stimulate the NSW economy."

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It is hoped McDonald Jones Stadium would be permitted to hold up to 15,000 fans if the Knights qualify for a home final in the opening weekend of playoffs, while Panthers Stadium is expected to be capped at about 8000. 

Canberra are in negotiations with the ACT Government about the capacity of GIO Stadium, which was this week increased to 6000.

Penrith are assured of a home final and will claim the minor premiership if they defeat the Cowboys in North Queensland on Friday night or the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium next week.

If they finish first, Penrith officials have requested the JJ Giltinan Shield be presented after the match against Canterbury as more Panthers fans are likely to be in attendance than at their home final, which could be against arch rivals Parramatta.

Penrith are likely to play finals matches in week two and/or week two at Bankwest Stadium, unless they are taking on the Eels, with the greater capacity of ANZ Stadium favoured for a clash between the western Sydney clubs.

The Roosters will play home finals matches at the SCG, while South Sydney will host an opening week playoff fixture at ANZ Stadium before a potential 40,000 crowd if they finish fifth or sixth.

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NSW Chief Health Officier Dr Kerry Chant said spectators who attend major sporting events were expected to wear a mask when not sitting at their seat.

Melbourne, who are the only other club with a chance of winning the minor premiership but could also finish as low as fourth, will play their home finals at Suncorp Stadium.

The Brisbane venue, which could also potentially host the Broncos' NRLW matches, has been permitted to fill to half capacity, meaning 25,000 fans will be able to attend NRL finals and Origin III.

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.