COMMERCIAL reality and gate takings impossible out of Brookvale Oval is the sole reason the Sea Eagles play a “home” match in Brisbane’s stunning Suncorp Stadium in front of a sell out crowd of 52,500 on Saturday night.
And rather than complain about playing away from home skipper Jamie Lyon and his side are embracing the challenge.
“It’s a great ground, the Broncos are a top side and it will be jam packed. The young players who haven’t been in such a cauldron are going to love it.
“The club needs to take a few games away and we understand that- besides we have thousands of supporters in south east Queensland and this gives them a wonderful opportunity to see their side up close,” Lyon said.
So what are the benefits of striking a deal with Suncorp Stadium and Queensland Tourism for what is the start of a three year deal?
* A $1 million plus guarantee at around $350,000 per game. It would take four well attended games at Brookvale Oval to reap anywhere near that return.
*A pre match corporate function at the ground which has attracted 250 sponsors and guests.
*Vital big match experience for young players like Matthew Wright, Brayden Wiliame, Matt Parcell, Jake and Tom Trbojevic and Blake Leary who will play in front a sell out crowd in Rugby League’s cauldron for the first time.
*Manly’s exposure in Brisbane this week has been priceless. The take over of the Broncos home ground has been on the front and back page of Brisbane’s biggest selling newspaper, the Courier Mail.
*The players were swamped at an autograph/ meet and greet session soon after arrival in Brisbane on Thursday when several thousand youngsters and fans turned out.
TURBO TO RETURN
TOM Trbojevic’s ankle injury has responded well to treatment and he will make a surprise return in Saturday’s huge clash with the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.
The youngster got through Wednesday’s training session without any problems and travelled with the side to Brisbane.
He had Captains Run with the side at Queensland University yesterday and providing he doesn’t pull up sore will take his place in the side.
Trbojevic was injured in the Anzac Day win over Newcastle and was expected to be sidelined for up to six weeks. Also injured in that match and not so lucky in getting back on the field is Brett Stewart.
Stewart was five minutes from finishing a training session on Wednesday when he felt a twinge in his troublesome hamstring and was ruled out of the Brisbane game.
Peter Peters is a sales and media consultant with the Sea Eagles