NRL grand final crowd capped at 75 per cent, match will stay in Brisbane despite increase in COVID-19 cases

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The NRL grand final is still set to take place in Brisbane, despite growing fears of a COVID outbreak in south-east Queensland, but attendance will be capped at 75 per cent.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk acknowledged the reduced capacity of 39,000 would be “disappointing” for fans.

The NRL has already declared the decider between Penrith and South Sydney to be a sell-out, with more than 52,000 tickets allocated.

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The NRL said it would automatically refund tickets to the final 25 per cent of fans who ordered tickets in each allocation.

NRL boss Andrew Abdo said this was the “fairest way” to determine allocation.

“We had two allocations of grand final tickets. The first was to the general public and the second was aimed at fans of both grand final teams,” he said.

“The fairest way to determine who can attend the game is by prioritising the first 75 per cent to purchase tickets in each allocation.

He said that anyone who now no longer wants to attend will also be able to access a refund by contacting Ticketek.

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The Panthers are due to meet the Rabbitoh’s on Sunday.(

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“I want to acknowledge fans who will now miss out on attending the grand final,” Mr Abdo said.

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The NRL said ticket holders impacted by the reduction in capacity will be advised on Thursday.

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Queensland recorded six new locally acquired COVID-19 cases today, with restrictions to be tightened in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Moreton Bay, Logan and Townsville from 4:00pm today for two weeks.

“It is going to be disappointing for people, but we have to take the health advice,” Ms Palaszczuk said. 

“Health advice is to move to stage 2 [restrictions]. Stage 2 is 75 per cent capacity. That is what it will be.”

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Mr Abdo said the NRL had a “great” relationship with the Queensland government and acknowledged the Premier and Chief Health Officer “for the way they have managed the pandemic and worked with [the NRL] to ensure the continuity of the competition”. 

Ms Palaszczuk warned the next 24 to 48 hours would be “very critical”.

She said there was “absolutely” no truth to claims lockdown was being delayed to account for the grand final.

“Let me make it very clear that the health of Queenslanders comes first, and as soon as [Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young] says we need to move into a lockdown, we will.”

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Dr Young said it was “critical” that people wore masks at the grand final.

“In those larger venues, whether they are cinemas or theatres or sporting events, keep your mask on unless you are seated and eating or drinking,” Dr Young said.

“We know masks work.”

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