T he spiritual home of the Canberra Raiders, Seiffert Oval is no closer to hosting an NRL game for competition points in the near future according to the club and Queanbeyan City Council (QCC).
Despite hosting a Raiders pre-season game for the second time since 2015, the ground’s facilities do not meet the standard expected by the NRL.
Nathaniel de Hoog of the QCC said in a statement that although the council will continue to invest in holding trial matches in the future, the cost to upgrade Seiffert Oval to be suitable for NRL matches would be too much.
“The stadium and ground guidelines from the NRL indicate that a level of investment in the tens of millions would be required to be able to successfully host a competition NRL game at Seiffert Oval,” said de Hoog.
“One of these requirements include more than doubling the capacity of the covered and numbered grandstand seats available.”
Further details about Seiffert Oval’s unsuitable conditions for competitive games were clarified in an email from the Canberra Raiders.
“There are a number of factors [preventing Seiffert Oval from hosting a match] including event control, corporate facilities, seated ticketing for members, food and beverage outlets, toilet facilities,” the email read.
It’s discouraging news for those who held hopes about the possibility of the Raiders returning to the ground they called home from 1982 to 1989.
In 2015, after Canberra’s trial game against Newcastle at Seiffert Oval attracted a crowd of more than 7000 people, Queanbeyan mayor, Tim Overall, announced that the council’s next priority would be to bring a premiership match to Queanbeyan.
Raiders CEO, Don Furner also strongly supported the idea in 2015, telling the Canberra Times the club “would absolutely entertain” the idea of bringing a competitive game back to Seiffert Oval.
However, for now, it appears that Raiders NRL home games will not make a return across the border in the foreseeable future.
By Aaron Palazzo