The promise by Wagga Wagga City Council and the Canberra Raiders to bring a National Rugby League game back to town next year was fulfilled today with the 2021 NRL draw with a Premiership game at McDonald’s Park in the next May.
The Raiders play on Saturday the 8th. May 2021 at 3 p.m. against Newcastle Knights. This means that after this year’s NRL game was canceled in April due to the pandemic, elite sporting events are returning to the city.
Wagga Wagga City Mayor Cr Greg Conkey said the return of rugby league at its finest to the city is a popular announcement for local sports fans who take every opportunity to sponsor major sporting events in Wagga Wagga.
Scheduled for the day after the Wagga Wagga Gold Cup runs, the game may offer the city a sporty weekend bonanza that is expected to attract thousands to the area.
« This is a huge step forward for the city, and indeed regional areas, to see the NRL again in Wagga Wagga next year, » said Cr Conkey.
« Of course it’s been a tough year, and I applaud this announcement from the NRL and congratulate everyone involved in ensuring that the Raiders return to Wagga Wagga in 2021.
« We have a strong relationship with the Raiders, and bringing one of their games to Wagga Wagga is indeed a significant boost to morale and the continued recovery of our city and surrounding towns after we see the effects of the pandemic for the most part endured this year. ”
Cr Conkey said the council staff will work closely with the NRL, Raiders and NSW Health to ensure that everything is done within the guidelines of the Public Health Order prior to and during the promotion.
« Being COVID-proof is part of everyday life today . . . people understand and we need to be aware of this and follow the health guidelines in place at the time of the game, « said Cr Conkey.
“What they will be at this time next year is unknown, but so far we have seen that everyone has done their part to keep the rules. The result is that borders are now opening again and people are back to normal.
« All of this bodes well for the future and now planning can begin for a promising sporting event that returns to Wagga Wagga … so well done for everyone. ”
This year’s NRL game between the Raiders and Knights was for the 18th. Scheduled April 1st until a decision was made to cancel the game in accordance with state and federal health guidelines.
In recent years, extensive work has been completed on the exhibition grounds and in the McDonald’s Park area. The Raiders have recognized the site as one of the state’s premier regional venues.
Don Furner, CEO of Canberra Raiders, said the club looks forward to returning to Wagga Wagga and rewarding its many Riverina supporters with an NRL game in their own backyard.
« The Raiders look forward to bringing a Premier League game to Wagga after the 2020 season hiatus, » said Furner.
“The Riverina is a great rugby region. We have a significant number of Riverina members and fans who have always participated in pre-COVID games in Canberra. In order to fulfill our commitment to Wagga after this year’s game was canceled, we really wanted to do this for our fans in the Riverina.
“We will encourage all of our members in Canberra to travel to Wagga, support the Raiders and make it a weekend. ”
Tickets for the game will go on sale early next year. The council will keep the public informed of when and how tickets can be purchased.
Canberra Raiders, Wagga Wagga, Newcastle Knights, National Rugby League
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