Ben, Holly, and Nicholas Barradeen celebrate another Melbourne Storm try at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
Ben, Holly, and Nicholas Barradeen celebrate another Melbourne Storm try at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

Coast stadium ‘not up to standard’ for finals: NRL

Sunshine Coast Stadium has been deemed not up to standard to host an NRL finals match in a bitter blow to the Melbourne Storm.

Despite Storm being based on the Sunshine Coast for more than three months, the club will be forced to travel down the Bruce Highway to play out of Suncorp Stadium.

Melbourne powerbrokers had been in talks with the NRL to secure home finals but the governing body said it was not feasible.

It means the Storm's Round 19 home game against the Wests Tigers on Saturday, September 19, will be the sixth but final game on the Sunshine Coast for 2020.

An NRL spokesman confirmed that Suncorp Stadium, and its 50,000-plus crowd, would be the venue should the Storm lock in a home final.

Who owns Ocean Street's 8 most expensive properties

How the humble spare room could end homelessness

"While we are grateful for the support of Sunshine Coast Council, Suncorp Stadium will host Melbourne Storm in all home finals matches in 2020," the spokesman said.

"Sunshine Coast Stadium is not a standard-venue suburban ground for the purposes of finals."

Kenny Bromwich of the Storm is tackled during the round 18 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at Sunshine Coast Stadium. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Kenny Bromwich of the Storm is tackled during the round 18 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at Sunshine Coast Stadium. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

The spokesman said several technical components of hosting a finals match made it an issue. It came a day after the Bokarina venue hosted the NRL's Sunday afternoon prime slot clash between Melbourne and the North Queensland Cowboys.

"In particular the stadium does not have DVN connectivity which means the NRL Bunker could not be operated remotely," he said.

"The alternative of establishing a temporary bunker at the venue is not feasible due to the current travel restrictions in place.

"Other considerations include biosecurity protocols, broadcast and corporate facilities as well as venue capacity."

Day thrilled by Scorchers return and eager to lift game

Both Melbourne CEO Dave Donaghy and Sunshine Coast Stadium general manager Simon Ball previously said it was disappointing.

In contrast, the Parramatta Eels, Canberra Raiders and Newcastle Knights will prepare for their respective finals campaigns with matches to be played out of their regular venues in Bankwest, GIO and McDonald Jones stadiums.

All of those venues are classed as "suburban" grounds.

When asked what the stadium and facility needed to do to host finals games in future years, the spokesman said the following: "We will continue to work with Sunshine Coast Council and the Queensland Government around opportunities in the future for Sunshine Coast Stadium."



MP: Four lanes north of Gympie ‘decades’ away

Premium Content MP: Four lanes north of Gympie ‘decades’ away

"We shouldn't be building it to a two-lane standard."

Desperate plea for plan to save Queensland

Premium Content Desperate plea for plan to save Queensland

Your Say 2020: Desperate plea for plan to save Queensland

What Queenslanders really think of our state

Premium Content What Queenslanders really think of our state

Sentiment survey: Queenslanders have their say