NRL Grand Final legacy kicking goals for Bundaberg

Tom Smith, Andrew Gifford and Jack Dempsey get ready for the Canterbury-Bankstown, and North Queensland Cowboys match this weekend. Image: Aaron Goodwin

Queensland’s hosting of last year’s NRL Grand Final continues to kick goals for the state’s

tourism and events industry, with the NRL Premiership returning to Bundaberg this

weekend.

As a legacy of the state hosting last year’s grand final, Bundaberg is set to host its first-ever

NRL Premiership match, with the Bulldogs taking on the North Queensland Cowboys match

at Salter Oval this Sunday, 7 August.

Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith said the matches would help shine a spotlight on the

Bundaberg region.

“Bringing NRL Premiership games to regional Queensland is a fantastic legacy of the state’s

first-ever NRL Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium last year,” Mr Smith said.

“Hosting an NRL Premiership game in Bundaberg was something that I had been discussing

behind the scenes with stakeholders for a while, so to see the partnership between the

Bulldogs, Council and the Bundaberg Rugby League come together has been a real thrill.”

“Having the Bulldogs commit to Bundaberg means a boost in our regional economy,

providing the foot-traffic that small businesses in regional Queensland rely on.”

“With Sunday’s fixture officially sold-out we are expecting a crowd of at least 8,000 people

and with this match being broadcast to hundreds of thousands of people in key source

markets, it puts our beautiful region in the spotlight and entices travelers to book their next

Queensland holiday.

“The match in Bundaberg and the match in Mackay earlier this year are part of an

agreement to bring more premiership games to regional Queensland in 2022 after we

hosted the NRL Grand Final last year.”

“This legacy has ensured the impact of that historic match is felt well beyond the state

capital, providing an opportunity to showcase and support our Bundaberg tourism industry

as we continue to build back better from the impacts of COVID-19.

“Queensland became the home of Australian sport during the pandemic and we will

continue to build on that legacy and our reputation as a world-class major events host as we

embrace the 10-year road to hosting the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey said Bundaberg’s home of rugby league Salter Oval

had already begun its transformation to cater for a crowd of around 8,000.

“They may hail from Canterbury-Bankstown but when they play at Salter Oval they’re the

Bundaberg Bulldogs,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“Council is pleased to be one of the sponsoring partners bringing an NRL game, playing for

premiership points, to the Bundaberg Region.

“It’s an investment that will bring top-class professional sport to Bundaberg, provide

national media exposure and inspire our youth.

“Outside of the game the benefits will be further reaching with the club keen to develop a

partnership with Bundaberg that includes community engagement and coaching clinics.”

Earlier in the year, Mackay hosted Sydney Roosters v Gold Coast Titans as part of the legacy,

an event which was expected to add hundreds of thousands of dollars to Mackay’s visitor

economy and Covid-19 recovery plan.

This weekend’s matches in regional Queensland follow the hugely successful NRL Magic

Round Brisbane, which was estimated to generate $22 million for Queensland’s COVID-19

Economic Recovery Plan.