History will be made when Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium hosts the NRL grand final on Sunday, October 3.
For the first time, the premiership decider will be held outside of Sydney with the NRL announcing this year's match would be played in the Queensland capital due to the COVID-19 outbreak in NSW.
All matches in the Telstra Premiership finals series will be played in Queensland venues after the competition relocated to the Sunshine State in July due to the COVID-19 outbreaks in NSW and Victoria.
Mackay will join this weekend's hosting cities Sunshine Coast, Townsville and Rockhampton in staging playoff matches.
The ARL Commission has reached agreement with the Queensland Government to host the remainder of the finals after the NSW Government confirmed it would not be able to host the grand final or remaining matches because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys thanked the NSW and Queensland governments for their support.
"I’d like to acknowledge the NSW Government, in particular Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres for working collaboratively with us to reach an outcome that ensures the health and safety of NSW residents and allows the NRL to showcase the grand final live to rugby league fans," he said.
"This has been a long and enduring partnership and one that will continue into the future.
"I’d also like to acknowledge Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young for their support in ensuring the continuity of our competition which provides an escapism to so many fans dealing with lockdowns, but also injects a significant amount of money in to the Queensland economy.
"The Queensland Premier is a warrior for the people of Queensland and just keeps delivering for them."
The finals series kicks off on Friday with two elimination finals and two qualifying finals spread out over three days before the semi-finals and preliminary finals over successive weekends leading up to the premiership decider.
Mackay will host the semi-finals on Friday, September 17 and Saturday, September 18 with the preliminary finals to be played at Suncorp Stadium on Friday, September 24 and Saturday, September 25.
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said the decision to play multiple playoffs in regional Queensland rewarded grassroots fans who would not normally be able to attend finals matches.
"Rugby league is part of the DNA of regional Queensland. A number of towns have played a key role in keeping the competition going and we want to reward those fans and councils for their support of rugby league," he said.
"From every challenge comes an opportunity and this year has presented us with an opportunity to reward regional Queenslanders with finals games.
Don't blink: It's NRL finals time
"We have fans far and wide and our finals schedule acknowledges and rewards our fans in regional areas with live finals football as well as South-East Queensland which has been home to our teams."
Abdo said the NRL would continue to monitor the infection rate in Queensland and work closely with Queensland Health to keep the community healthy.
Sydney's ANZ Stadium hosted last year's grand final despite the COVID-19 pandemic with restrictions capping capacity to 50% of the 80,000-seat venue.
Premiers Melbourne will again be the team to beat in the finals series although last year's runners-up, Penrith, will be looking to go one better than 2020.
Souths, Manly, Parramatta, the Roosters and Knights booked their playoff berths before the final round with the Titans edging out Cronulla to fill eighth spot last weekend.
The Storm take on the Sea Eagles in Friday night's qualifying final at Sunshine Coast Stadium, which has already been sold out.
Melbourne are looking to join the Roosters of 2018-19 as being the only teams to win back-to-back titles in the NRL era.
Sydney Roosters take on Gold Coast in the first of the two sudden-death playoffs on Saturday at Townsville's Queensland Country Bank Stadium followed by the Panthers v Rabbitohs qualifying final at the same venue.
Sixth-placed Parramatta meet seventh-placed Newcastle in Sunday's elimination final.
With the expected high demand for tickets during the finals, fans are encouraged to join the waitlist to hear when tickets go on sale.
- Tickets to all Week 1 finals matches are on sale to the public through nrl.com/tickets
- Tickets to Week 2 games in Mackay will go on sale at 4pm Wednesday.
- Finals ticket prices start from $25 for adults
- Tickets to the grand final will be available to NRL club members from $45 on Wednesday 15 September and the general public from $49 on Thursday 16 September. Register your interest on the official wait list
- NRL Hospitality packages to the grand final are on sale now at nrl.com/hospitality* A one-off handling fee per transaction applies on all purchases. Until category allocation is exhausted.