Channel Nine and Fox Sports have had enough of broadcasting NRL matches at stadiums showing a plethora of empty seats, and have urged the NSW government to help sort it out.
The networks have labelled the empty seats a “bad look” for their broadcasts and the NRL, according to Fairfax, and are lobbying for the suburban grounds and Allianz Stadium to be upgraded before ANZ Stadium – an 83,000-seat venue that is barely ever filled by fans.
The view of Nine and Fox Sports is that smaller, suburban grounds such as Pepper Stadium (Penrith Panthers), Brookvale Oval (Manly Sea Eagles) and Southern Cross Group Stadium (Cronulla Sharks) deserve to be upgraded because they provide a more intimate atmosphere.
The broadcasters also reckon that Allianz Stadium – which is set for a new 50,000-seat stadium in the coming years – should be knocked down.
However, NRL chief Todd Greenberg shares a different view, urging NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to turn ANZ Stadium into a world-class, 70,000-seat rectangular venue, and is hoping for Allianz Stadium to get a refurbish down the track, according to Fairfax.