Cronulla will take the majority of their home games into enemy territory at Kogarah after the club confirmed it will be forced out of the Shire for the next two seasons.
As revealed by the Herald in June, the redevelopment of the Cronulla leagues club will force the Sharks to move out of the adjoining PointsBet Stadium and into Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, the home ground of arch rivals St George Illawarra.
While members will be consulted about the options, it is proposed that nine games will be played at Kogarah, two at Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta and one at a regional venue, possibly Darwin. Unless there is a backlash from supporters, that configuration is expected to be locked in with the NRL by the end of the month.
The incursion into the Dragons den will further fuel the rivalry between the local neighbours, with the move seen as the least disruptive for Sharks fans.
Several other teams have been displaced due to the upgrade of Sydneys stadia network, although the Sharks wont have a new stadium to return to when the leagues club development is completed.
“We are here for the long term and part of that strategy is to have one of the most modern, successful leagues clubs in the game,” Sharks CEO Richard Munro said.
“Unfortunately, while those works are being carried out there will be a huge impact on PointsBet Stadium, with reduced parking and access and a reduced capacity at the ground.
“We want to give our members and fans a great experience every time they watch the Sharks, and we can only do that if we use other venues while the construction works are carried out.”
While its only a 10km trip to Kogarah, it will be a much longer commute to Bankwest in Parramatta. Another Dragons home ground, WIN in Wollongong, was proposed as an alternative but that option is set to be discarded.
“We are asking our members and fans to tell us directly where they want the Sharks to play because they are the key to our clubs future success,” Munro said.
“The next two years will present challenges for the club but we hope to take the fans with us and I have no doubt we will emerge in a great position when this redevelopment is completed.”
Munro met with the playing staff on Wednesday to update them on the latest developments.
“This is one of the most exciting projects in the clubs history,” Mr Munro said.
“We have a chance to emerge from this upgrade with world-class training and entertainment facilities.”
The news came amid confirmation that hooker Jayden Brayley will join Newcastle from next season on a three-year deal. BrayleyRead More – Source