The city of Wagga Wagga and the Canberra Raiders yesterday confirmed the club will play a 2022 NRL premiership game in the Riverina regional hub, in addition to the upcoming match in May.
Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga, Councillor Greg Conkey OAM, described the announcement as “an extraordinary coup for the city”.
“To see the Green Machine rolling back into Wagga Wagga this year, and now secured for next year as well, is a great thrill for us all,” he said.
In 2018, the Canberra Raiders signed a deal to host two NRL matches in Wagga Wagga over 2019 and 2020.
In May 2019, they hosted the Penrith Panthers in the pearl of the Riverina, pummelling them 30-12 in front of a 10,073 strong crowd on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
Their slated 2020 game had to be postponed due to COVID, and so the Raiders will play Newcastle Knights at McDonald’s Park this year instead, on Saturday 8 May at 3pm.
The match will go on sale to Raiders and Knights members from 9am tomorrow, Friday 19 March, with tickets for the general public on sale from 9am Saturday 20 March.
Under NSW COVID restrictions capacity for the match currently capped at 6,495 people. This number may change closer to game day if limits are altered.
Cr Conkey said the Raiders’ continued commitment to Wagga Wagga showed there was a genuine partnership between the club and the city which had potential to grow over “many more years”.
“Our city’s relationship with the Raiders continues to grow and strengthen which means Wagga Wagga, indeed the entire region, will once again be the big winners when top class rugby league lands on our doorstep.
“The benefits for rugby league and sports fans across the Riverina is just one component of this deal. There are major flow-on effects for local businesses who can capitalise on these major events.”
Raiders CEO Don Furner said the Raiders value their partnership with Wagga Wagga and welcomed the opportunity to play another game at McDonald’s Park in 2022.
“The facilities in Wagga are fantastic and keep getting better with the help of a very committed rugby league community in the city,” Mr Furner said.
“We value a very strong supporter base in the Riverina and it’s not a hard decision for us to commit to the Wagga game because everyone there wants to make it happen and can’t do enough for our club.”
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