Townsville to Host Historic State of Origin Opener - 96five Family Radio

Townsville to Host Historic State of Origin Opener

Following the Melbourne COVID lockdown, the NRL has moved Game 1 of the 2021 State of Origin series to Townsville's Country Bank Stadium.

By 96five Monday 31 May 2021NewsReading Time: 2 minutes

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has welcomed the decision to host State of Origin in Townsville, with the June 9 clash becoming the first Origin ever held in a regional city.

“To bring the game we love to the fans who love it most in their own stadium is truly special,” the Premier said.

“If the ‘Queenslander’ chant puts the frighteners into the Blues, just wait till they hear it from North Queensland.”

Operation Origin began last week when a COVID outbreak cast doubt on Melbourne being able to host Game One.

Negotiations with the NRL began and the Premier said she is delighted they have come to fruition.

“We saw what the NRL Magic Round did for Brisbane,” the Premier said.

“Hotels, pubs and restaurants were filled and cabbies reported their busiest weekend since COVID.

“That’s what we expect to happen in and around Townsville as fans flock to this historic event.”

Ten B-double trucks are already on standby to take temporary grandstands to Country Bank Stadium.

An additional 1872 seats will take its capacity from 25,455 seats to 27,327, turning the stadium into a mini-Cauldron.

Giant screens will be erected in Flinders Street to cope with the overflow with bands and entertainment for the entire family.

The Premier thanked the NRL and its chairman Peter V’Landys for the decision.

She noted it came as the Maroons announced its 20-man squad for Game One.

“Origin unites us like nothing else does,” the Premier said.

“Let’s paint the State Maroon and celebrate this great moment.”