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Five potential homes for the Grand Final with Old Trafford contract up for negotiation in 2024

Fans packed into Old Trafford to watch the Grand Final

With international rugby league now wrapped up for the year following England’s impressive series win over Tonga, attention turns to the domestic game once again and forecasting who’ll be playing in the pinnacle of the sport next year – the Grand Final.

Whilst there’ll be time for pre-season predictions and outrageous suggestion as to who will make the big game, there are actually bigger questions at hand including where will the Grand Final be held? For the upcoming season the answer is Old Trafford, as it’s always been, however the RFL’s licence with the stadium runs out at the end of this season meaning that from 2025 there’s no known destination for the sport’s biggest domestic game.

In June when speaking to BBC 5 Live, RL Commercial’s Rhodri Jones said: “Our contract runs to the end of 2024. Clearly there’s ownership changes there potentially and with that stadium development.”

Manchester United still haven’t changed owners and therefore the stadium hasn’t changed ownership but Jones referenced potential development as being something that may alter the current situation.

“The contract at the moment actually does talk about stadium developments and what have you. So we have a level of comfort that if anything were to happen in the next 18 months, we are safe and we are covered and stay there,” Jones explained.

“But again, just because we’ve done it for the last 25 years doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for us right now.”

With that last comment in mind it appears that there’s certainly a possibility that the Grand Final changes venue, so we’ve compiled a list of five possible destinations for the game instead.

Etihad Stadium – Manchester

Perhaps the most obvious choice would see the Grand Final just cross the city and relocate to the Etihad, home of Manchester City and also where the RFL have their base. With a lesser capacity as well, sitting at 53,400, then the stadium would undoubtedly fill which would make the sport look far better commercially.

St James Park – Newcastle

Magic Weekend may be coming off the calendar with IMG but there’s no reason to abandon such a good venue as St James if that is the case. Newcastle’s home ground could serve as host for Magic Weekend with a similar capacity to the Etihad at 52,305.

Anfield – Liverpool

Liverpool’s home ground has hosted a Magic Weekend before back in 2019 with the attendance across both days clocking in at just under 57,000. Outside of Murrayfield in 2010 that was the worst attended event which would be concerning for the RFL and may rule it out of contention.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – London

Tottenham’s stadium is the most modern in the country and it’s already hosted a Challenge Cup final, however moving the Grand Final beyond the heartlands and down south could be a truly controversial move.

Everton Stadium – Liverpool

Whilst Tottenham’s stadium is currently the most modern in the country, Everton are actually building their own state of the art facility that is set to be read for the 2024-25 season, just in line with when the RFL would need a new stadium. It’s set to have a capacity of 52,888 meaning it will likely be a sell-out too.

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