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NRL reportedly planning to hold two opening round fixtures in Las Vegas in 2024

NRL reportedly planning to hold two opening round fixtures in Las Vegas in 2024

It is being called 'the biggest event in rugby league history'.

The NRL is reportedly planning on holding two fixtures from the opening round of the 2024 season in Las Vegas.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the league is looking to kick off next year’s season with a huge double-header in Sin City.

Tele reporter Paul Rothfield described the move as ‘the biggest event in rugby league history’.

NRL boss Peter V’landys and chief executive Andrew Abdo are reportedly flying to Vegas next month to plan the event.

It would involve players from four NRL teams heading internationally in an attempt to sell the sport to the American audience in the week leading up to the game.

The report says the Rabbitohs, Storm, and Sea Eagles are three of the clubs who have so far been identified as potentially being involved.

Although there are multiple teams lining up for the opportunity, despite the taxing impact of travel on the first game of the season.

Allegiant Stadium, the home stadium of NFL side Las Vegas Raiders, is being targeted as a venue with a capacity of 65,000.

Allegiant Stadium.
Newscom / Alamy

The location was completed in 2020 and was the second most expensive stadium ever to be built at the time of completion.

It cost a mammoth $2 billion.

There is also the possibility of using the Sam Boyd Stadium, which has a capacity of 40,000 and has previously hosted the Rugby Sevens.

Sam Boyd Stadium.
Chon Kit Leong / Alamy

It’s a move that is part of the NRL’s increasing desire to expand the game overseas with the United States market considered one that could be tapped into.

In fact, the reports says the NRL had planned on opening the 2023 season with a game between South Sydney and Manly in Los Angeles.

However, those plans obviously didn’t come to fruition.

They also tried to make the jump to America back in 2019.

Rabbitohs boss Blake Solly said in August: “We had discussions a few years ago with the NRL about that potential game to open the season in the US.

“It didn’t come off then but we’ve always been interested in any opportunity to expand the game in the US provided its part of a long-term strategy from the NRL to continue playing in America.

“We also have the links to America with owners Russell Crowe and Mike Cannon-Brookes, who has sporting interests [as a part-owner of the NBA’s Utah Jazz] in the US.

“We’ve also played a game there against Leeds in Jacksonville. We’ve always been supporters of an expanded World Club Series, so anything to grow the profile of rugby league and the Rabbitohs we are willing to entertain.”

A State of Origin fixture was played in Los Angeles back in 1987, but that ultimately proved unsuccessful at the time.

Featured Image Credit: NRL/Supplied. trekandshoot / Alamy.

Topics: NRL, Rugby League, Australia

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