NRL expansion hopefuls table $100 million bid

NRL expansion hopefuls table $100 million bid

The monster bid would place them as the richest club in the league.

BY

MITCH KEATING

DEPUTY EDITOR
SEPTEMBER 22, 2020

NRL hopefuls Redcliffe have blown fellow expansion rivals out of the water with a reported $100 million bid that would make them the richest club in the league, per The Courier Mail.

The Dolphins are set to unveil their new $6.5 million grandstand at Dolphin Stadium, taking the venue’s capacity to 11,500 and lifting to NRL standards.

The Queensland club are looking to go head-and-shoulders above their Brisbane rivals in the Broncos, with a formal bid set to be presented to the NRL holding assets worth more than $100 million.

The Broncos are currently valued at $53.7 million and could be facing some heavy competition if Redcliffe are appointed as the 17th NRL side.

The ARL Commission will start their due diligence to expand the league in December, with the Dolphins’ latest flex now placing them in a strong position to become the next league club.

The Bombers, Easts Tigers’ Firehawks and Ipswich all remain within contention to join the NRL, but are now behind the eight-ball due to Redcliffe’s staggering finances and infrastructure.

Redcliffe chairman Bob Jones stated the club has what it takes to be the second Brisbane team in the NRL by 2022 or 2023.

“We’re putting in a bid – we’re as keen as anyone,” Jones said.

“We’ve been quietly working away for years and we’ve expressed our interest to the NRL.

“The important thing for the NRL is we have the infrastructure ready to go.

“While this COVID crisis has put a strain on everyone’s finances, we’ll be able to survive it, no doubt about that.

“We have a proud history and I’m confident we can stand up financially to be part of the NRL.”

Redcliffe are also in discussions with Suncorp Stadium, with the club likely to share home games between the Broncos’ ground and Dolphin Stadium.

The club will also play the occasional match at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

Former Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has backed the Dolphins’ bid.

“Redcliffe is the way to go – they have a ready-made club for the NRL,” former Broncos coach Bennett said in February.

“Redcliffe are a very stable financial club, they have a huge junior base, they have a powerful state league club in the Dolphins, and they have all the infrastructure.

“The northern corridor of Brisbane is just getting bigger and bigger. The fan base there would be sensational.”

While fears remain surrounding the league’s expansion, ARL boss Peter V’landys is keen to add a new club to the league.

“I want a second team (in Brisbane) and I will give it my full attention at the end of the year,” he said.

“We have our Queensland partners up there so the last thing we want to do is hurt the Broncos, Cowboys and the Titans.

“I haven’t seen one iota of evidence so far to back up their case that the game isn’t ready for expansion.

“In business, competition brings excellence. The Broncos are not concerned about expansion. I believe a second Brisbane team would elevate everyone in the game, not just the Broncos.”

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Huge bid and wouldn’t surprise me if they get it.

It will be very interesting through with recruitment who they target.

Coach wise as well.

Redcliffe are a great club and now obvious way they wouldn’t let gold coast use the dolphins mascot

I hope they get a licence and stick it right up the broncos .

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I reckon there is enough room in Brisbane for at least two more sides, they have a good reserve grade comp up there so they can develop more players and have a healthy competition in Qld with Gold Coast, Bronco’s, Nth Qld, Redcliffe and another team.

Brisbane’s 2nd team needs its own identity to succeed

The Redcliffe bid sounds good on paper but how many fans are they going to attract?
Dolphins fans yes, Falcons fans maybe!
That is it!

It isn’t that simple as I can’t see the majority of fans from the other clubs jumping on board.
I really can’t see the fans of other Brisbane teams… Norths, Souths-Logan, Easts Tigers, Ipswich Jets, Wynnum-Manly supporting them just to be opposed to the Broncos.

I really can’t see it happening!

If the NRL was the other way around where we had 1 Sydney club in the NRL…
Then a 2nd Sydney club came in, say the Roosters OR the Panthers OR the Bulldogs as an example.

Would Rabbitohs fans support that? NO WAY!
How about Eels or Sharks fans? NO WAY!

I doubt it will work unless it is a completely new franchise!

There has also been talk about relocating a Sydney Club as the second Brisbane team, would that work?
NO WAY!

There are already diehard Redcliffe fans, sure not as many as NRL clubs but they wouldn’t be starting from scratch.

The Dolphins becoming the expansion team won’t convert the diehard other QLD teams, but the ones looking for a new team support will find the Dolphins as appealing as a new franchise with no history.

The QLD Cup should be represented in the NRL and probably should have two sides added when the game expands.

We already have that setup in the NRLW

And it is a PR disaster

Only 2 clubs can realistically step up

  • Easts
  • Redcliff
    Ipswich is nice but might not be ready

As for Easts I expect they may takeover the Broncos licence if News Ltd pullout

Which must be on the cards with all of the Brisbane 2 talk

Whoever is the strongest bid will get an NRL licence because Vlandys has made it clear that a 2nd Brisbane team is the priority.

Geez I wonder which club sounded out WB to be their coach…a little obvious

The biggest stumbling block is that they want to play a certain number of games at Dolphin Oval. All games wiil be played at Suncorp.

It only holds 10,000 so would have to be against a team that supporters don’t travel. I would think the NRL would like a minimum 15k seat Stadium given there recent views on suburban grounds.

no V’Landys likes the boutique stadiums. It would be the big drawing games that would be moved.

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Capacity is only 11500.

Don’t think Dragons will be impressed sharing the club colours
I think the Bombers brand new club and identity is a better option

There are literally three clubs that use some kind of blue and yellow in the comp

What do you think the pros and cons are for a brand new club vs an established club regarding supporter base?

My view is Redcliffe already would have a level of support and potentially people who live in region could convert across. Further the league’s club has over 30,000 members. Not sure how many of those are genuine rugby league supporters or just leagues club locals. Bombers have nothing to identify with and would be manufacturing a brand.

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I hate the name Bombers. I can’t tell you how much I hate it. I don’t know what it is about it, but if there’s a team called the Bombers, they’ll become my least favourite team based on their name alone.

I live near Redcliffe, my 9 year old BIL lives in redcliffe. If they get promoted, they will have not just a strong fan base, but they’ll have a young fan base. This is huge for junior development and for the future of the club.

It 100% should be Redcliffe introduced to the comp. They’re ready to go - they have the money, the support, the location, the name, and the desire to be there.

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I’m with out on all that. Also “Brisbame Bombers” is a terrible name.

But like the Titans. I think GC stuffed up with that branding. The AFL got it right with their respective GC club branding (colours/name). There is a reason GC wanted Dolphins as there logo but rightfully lost it.

This new incoming club should learn from that.

Bigger issue for me is, do we want a 17 team comp?
There will be a bye each week, when there is a bye week, could a team get stuck with 2 in a row?
There obviously needs to be another team in Brisbane, but how best to achieve it. Redcliffe are obviously very capable.
Is a Sydney team made to merge with them to keep to 16 teams, I doubt Redcliffe would agree to it.
Are 2 teams made to merge? I would have thought the Roosters and Knights are obvious, save moving players and coaches there.
Is an 18th team brought in, probably Perth, maybe the Perth Bears .

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