Monday, October 3, 2022

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South Sydney will remain at Accor Stadium next season as they abandon plans to move to Allianz Stadium

The South Sydney Rabbitohs will continue to play their home games at Accor Stadium next year, ending the ongoing saga of their future at the Olympic Park venue.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the Souths will play eight games at Accor Stadium next season, including one game at the newly opened Allianz Stadium and three away games.

Perth, Queensland and New Zealand have been identified as possible targets for the last three games.

A formal announcement to Souths members is expected before the end of the week.

The Rabbitohs and Venues NSW have been at odds over the Bunnies’ home ground for months, with the club expressing displeasure at having to play at Olympic Park.

Bunnies CEO Blake Solly has been vocal in demanding that the Bunnies be allowed to move from the Olympic Park venue to the brand new Allianz Stadium, which opened two weeks ago.

“We’ve always preferred to stay at the Accor stadium, but unless the government modernizes it, we should be allowed to move,” he said last week.

The new $828 million venue, built between 1988 and 2019 on the same site as Sydney Football Stadium, opened its doors late last month when Sydney beat Souths Roosters in the 24th round .

The Roosters are the main tenants of Allianz Stadium, along with the NSW Warathas and Sydney FC in Super Rugby or the A-League.

Souths had hoped to join the trio after the New South Wales government scrapped plans for an $810m refurbishment of Accor Stadium two years ago.

The Bunnies left the old Sydney Football Stadium for Stadium Australia – as Accor Stadium was formerly known – in 2005 to expand their membership and signed a memorandum of understanding pledging to stay at the venue long-term.

However, the agreement was conditional on the New South Wales Government’s commitment to permanently converting the Homebush venue into a rectangular stadium.

However, the state government has opted to use the funds to redevelop Sydney Football Stadium and other suburban sites instead.

The Souths have agreed to stay at Accor Stadium at least until the end of next season but have not committed to a longer stay for now.

Last week Solly reiterated the club wanted the New South Wales Government to refurbish the venue as originally promised.

“What we’re asking for is a rectangular stadium that brings fans closer to the action and renovated corporate suites,” he said.

However, the Daily Telegraph revealed that Solly was aware the Accor stadium would not be renovated and signed an agreement to change the hiring terms in favor of the club.

Solly reportedly signed an agreement in November 2021 that gave the Bunnies better terms as the government abandoned the plans.

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