NRL boss reveals deadline for second Qld team
NRL boss Todd Greenberg says Queensland is "in the box seat" for a new team as the expansion debate continues.
Speaking at The Courier-Mail's NRL launch in Brisbane on Monday, Greenberg revealed a decision will be made by the end of the year as the ARL Commission work on the next broadcast deal in 2023.
It comes as the NRL chief executive broke his silence on the expansion debate, revealing he was not ignoring calls from north of the border.
Greenberg said the ARLC would be discussing the issue throughout the year, but a second Brisbane team seemed likely.
"They're certainly in the box seat, that's for sure," Greenberg said.
"The open question on the table of the (ARL) Commission is do we consider expansion and where do we go?
"It's been made very clear to us that there's an appetite up here.
Give or take there's the best part of a million people in Brisbane who are rugby league fans but only half of them go for the Broncos.
"We know there's an enormous market and appetite for rugby league in Brisbane.
"We've got six or nine months to answer them to give us the runway to 2023 but we're perfectly poised to make some of those decisions."
Earlier, The CourierMail reported that NRL boss Todd Greenberg has listened to the pleas of Queensland fans calling for a second team in Brisbane as Wayne Bennett urged the game to land a blow on the AFL.
The expansion debate will ignite in Brisbane on Monday when Greenberg speaks publicly for the first time following revelations a new NRL team is destined for the River City in 2023.
Greenberg will be one of the key speakers at the star-studded The Courier-Mail NRL season launch at Howard Smith Wharves.
Greenberg has remained silent since ARLC chairman Peter V'landys outlined his vision for the NRL to expand to a 17-team competition with a new Queensland franchise. Until now.
The NRL's chief executive told The Courier-Mail on Sunday night that he was not ignoring the calls from league heartland to deliver Queensland a fourth club.
"We continue to analyse and assess the options for the game's future footprint," Greenberg said.
"We have listened and we know you want a second team in Brisbane.
"But we have a lot more work to do before the Commission makes its decision."
With only 11 days until the season kicks off, expansion is the hottest topic in the NRL.
It is widely believed the introduction of a new club for the 2023 competition is a fait accompli, with the Commission to officially green-light a bidding tender in the coming months.
A host of the game's key stakeholders, including the influential broadcasters, have supported the push for a second team in Brisbane.
FOOTY TIPS! Join Australia's best footy tipping competition for your chance to win big. Add our experts to your league and join now at TIPS.COM.AU.
Broncos powerbrokers have accepted they will no longer be the only NRL club in town and are ready for an intracity rivalry.
While the successful franchise is a long way from being decided, at least five bids have registered interest in becoming the NRL's newest club.
Expansion has been touted for the best part of the last decade, but former Broncos coach Bennett said now was the time to fight back against the ever-growing AFL.
"The AFL is always growing and another team in Brisbane can strengthen our brand along the eastern seaboard," he said.
"It's all about putting in the right infrastructure and having the right coaches to create the momentum to win over the public."
Greenberg will be joined at Monday's season launch by the coaches of Queensland's three NRL clubs - Anthony Seibold (Broncos), Paul Green (Cowboys) and Justin Holbrook (Titans).
League legends Darren Lockyer, Gorden Tallis and Immortal Mal Meninga will also speak at the third anniversary of the event.