The Sunshine Coast has scored yet another hat-trick for footy fans to witness NRL action close-up with Melbourne Storm and Sunshine Coast Council today confirming the club’s last three home games of the regular season will be played at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
In the lead-up to the finals series, Storm will take on Manly in Round 16 on Sunday 30 August at 4.05pm.
The second-on-the-ladder premiership contenders will then battle it out against North Queensland Cowboys on Sunday 13 September at 4.05pm (Round 18), before facing Wests Tigers on Saturday 19 September at 5.30pm (Round 19).
Public tickets for the Manly game will go on sale from 9am, Monday 24 August and fans are encouraged to get in quick as tickets are limited. All tickets can be purchased through Ticketek and start from $30.
Tickets for the Round 18 and 19 games will be released on the Monday before each home game.
A buying window opportunity will also be available for Melbourne Storm members and those people who were issued automatic refunds to the Storm v Bulldogs match on 8 August. Those people will be contacted directly via Ticketek.
The Sunshine Coast Stadium site-specific COVID Safe plan has been reviewed and approved by the Queensland Health Public Health Unit.
The venue layout will be similar to the Storm v Bulldogs match with an overall approved capacity of approximately 4100, while the individual seating on the eastern and southern mounds will again be included as part of the approval.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said council was excited to secure three more home games and continue to be Storm’s home away from home.
“It’s been very difficult circumstances for the NRL this year to continue during the COVID-19 pandemic, but for every storm there is a silver lining and that has been a terrific boost for our Sunshine Coast to host six games for the 2020 regular season,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Our council has greatly valued its relationship with the Melbourne Storm and on behalf of our community, I want to thank the club for choosing our Sunshine Coast as their base at this time.
“I have no doubt that many members of our community will be cheering the Storm on as they prepare for the finals.
“Importantly, our partnership also includes the Storm promoting the Sunshine Coast destination throughout the 2021 season, which means we will see even more tourism benefits start to flow once borders open up again.
“Hosting the Storm home games this season has helped to put our region on the map nationally for an extended period of time and has also shone the light on the potential for the Sunshine Coast to one day host our own permanent NRL team.
“The lengths that we have gone to in hosting these games has also shown the need for both the State and Federal Governments to support council with its planned staged expansion of the Stadium.”
Storm CEO Dave Donaghy said the Sunshine Coast had proven to be a great home away from home in difficult times.
“This has been a very challenging period for Storm, but the wonderful assistance of Sunshine Coast Council and the great support we’ve had from the wider Coast community has helped us through,” Mr Donaghy said.
“It has really consolidated the close ties we already had with the Sunshine Coast.
“While our home will always be Melbourne, and we deeply miss our members and fans there, our players love running out onto Sunshine Coast Stadium, seeing all the purple in the crowd and hearing the cheers which are getting louder every week.
“This is an exciting time as we build towards the finals and we’re delighted to be able to share what is a unique experience with our members and fans here.”
Sunshine Coast Economic Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said hosting these events during a pandemic had delivered a much-needed boost to the region’s economy.
“Having Melbourne Storm temporarily live, train and play on the Sunshine Coast has generated millions for our region and local businesses,” Cr O’Pray said.
“It has also enabled our local community to witness elite NRL games locally, with the majority of spectators having been Sunshine Coast locals.
“A further three games will provide an unprecedented opportunity for locals to see the very best of rugby league up close.
“Delivering these game days has undoubtedly been a learning curve and our stadium management team is comfortable that we have the appropriate systems and layout in place to provide a safe environment for these games.
“However we continue to rely on patrons doing the right thing by adhering to social distancing and hygiene practices while attending the game and thank them in advance for their cooperation.”
For further information on the games and corporate packages visit www.sunshinecoaststadium.com.au