Inaugurating the 2024 NRL season in Las Vegas are the Brisbane Broncos along with Sydney’s Manly, South Sydney, and the Roosters. The inaugural US start for an NRL season was made official on Friday when the league announced the involvement of these four clubs.
The stadium of the Las Vegas Raiders in the NFL, Allegiant Stadium, will host a double-header match on the evening of March 2. The following afternoon, audiences in Australia can expect to watch the games broadcasted live.
Andrew Abdo, the NRL chief executive, stated that the Las Vegas encounters in 2024 will form a thrilling part of ‘Australia Week’, a promotional event showcasing Australia and rugby league to the American market. With the four clubs, the league is collaboratively working to arrange the Las Vegas matches and developing them into a landmark event by maximising fan attendance, travel, and enjoyment of an unprecedented rugby league experience.
“In future years, we are eager to extend such opportunities to other clubs as well”, remarks Abdo, highlighting the new platform that rugby league will be stepping onto, a stage unlike any before.
Following a competitive selection process, the four teams were picked with various other clubs, like Melbourne Storm, expressing interest in heading to the US for similar engagements. It is still undecided who will face off against whom in the two scheduled games.
Blake Solly, the CEO of Rabbitohs, spoke of his team’s eagerness to be a part of the Vegas experiment, owing to its prior experience of playing an exhibition match in the US in 2008. “We were excited to express our interest when the NRL asked for expressions to participate in the Las Vegas event”, shared Solly.
According to him, embarking on this exciting journey in the US will be an opportunity for the club’s players, staff, members, and fans. This match in the US will continue to elevate the club’s profile that began in North America with one of its investors, Russell Crowe, in 2008. And with the recent involvement of Mike Cannon-Brookes, who has ties with Utah Jazz NBA franchise, the growth is expected to soar even higher in 2024.
“Wherever we play, support for our club is always substantial”, affirmed Solly.