The Canberra Raiders have signed a two-year deal with the Wagga Wagga City Council to bring NRL matches to the City of Good Sports as the Raiders look to reconnect with regional fan bases.
The Green Machine has agreed to play a match in Wagga Wagga during the 2019 and 2020 season and will still play 11 matches at GIO Stadium during the course of the season.
Raiders chief Don Furner said the club was looking forward to rewarding their Riverina supporters with an NRL game in their backyard.
“The Raiders are excited about taking a premiership fixture to Wagga for the next two seasons as we have always felt we are the club that represents NSW Country in the NRL,” Mr Furner said.
“The Riverina is a great rugby league region and we are proud to be able to take an NRL competition match there next season.
“We have an extraordinary number of members and fans that attend games in Canberra from the Riverina, so to commit one premiership game to Wagga in each of the next two seasons is a small club gesture to show our appreciation of their support.”
Wagga Wagga councillor Greg Conkey said it was an exciting announcement for Wagga Wagga and rugby league supporters right across the Riverina.
“We are delighted to be partnering with the Raiders. They are the local team for rugby league supporters in Wagga Wagga and the Riverina and provide development pathways for our talented young players,” Cr Conkey said.
“As well as boosting rugby league at a grassroots level, each game is estimated to inject $2M into the local economy and will add to the 1.3 million people who visit Wagga Wagga each year.”
Wagga has hosted many high-level sporting matches in recent years, including the sell-out Country vs City match in 2015, which attracted 9,127 fans to McDonald’s Park.
Further details of the 2019 game will be available when the NRL draw is finalised later in the year.
#This article first appeared on RiotACT