IMG are set to change the landscape of rugby league forever in this country in 2024.
After we saw them release illustrative grades at the end of 2023, at the end of 2024 they will release their first official scores to every club from Super League all the way down to the Betfred League One.
These scores will determine which 12 teams will be in Super League come 2025 and are dependant on a number of important factors.
These include on field performance, finances, supportership, social media presence but also facilities namely stadiums.
This is becoming an essential area for clubs to target which is why a number of clubs are doing work to improve their stadiums to boost their IMG scores.
Today we are looking at five clubs set to do this in 2024 and beyond.
The Castleford Tigers are the club who are most determined to get their stadium redevelopment underway. The West Yorkshire club have been working towards this for the better part of a decade and were granted funds by Wakefield City Council. They immediately made plans and are close to securing planning permission according to Mark Grattan. This will be a major step in the right direction for the club.
Hull KR are one of the fastest developing clubs in the Betfred Super League and have quickly developed into a top contender as well as one of the best run clubs off the field as well. Their fan base is exponentially growing and the club are looking at ways they can accommodate more fans. If finances permit, the club will extend their East Stand in 2024.
Another Super League club with plans to expand and improve their stadium, Catalans Dragons have confirmed plans to demolish one stand at the Stade Gilbert Brutus so that it can be redeveloped in time for 2026 or 2027 at the latest.
Though Wakefield completed some terrific stadium work in 2023, the club revealed plans under new owner Matthew Ellis to add to this in 2024. Work is set to be done around the ground so the aesthetic matches their brilliant new stand.
Despite opposing IMG, the Cougars are set to appease them with some work on their stadium and being one of many clubs in the lower leagues considering an LED screen which will also help to boost their IMG score.