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Sydney will host the 2023 NRL and NRLW grand finals on October 1 in a one-year deal that’s expected to draw about 82,500 NRL fans to Accor Stadium.

The decision was confirmed by the NSW government and Australian Rugby League on Monday, with tickets slated to go on sale from August 2.

Australian Rugby League Commission chair Peter V’landys thanked the government for taking a “pragmatic approach” to negotiations.

“We have a great partnership with the NSW Government and we are grateful for their support of rugby league,” he said.

Tourism and Jobs Minister John Graham commended the event for its “big social and economic contribution to the state”.

“This event attracts thousands of fans from interstate and overseas who also visit Sydney’s many attractions, enjoy shows and arts, eat and drink in our world-class restaurants, supporting jobs in the visitor economy,” he said.

Sports Minister Steve Kamper welcomed Sydney maintaining the grand final contract.

“Sydney is the nation’s birthplace of rugby league and the heart of its passionate fans, so it is fantastic the NRL and NRLW grand finals are remaining in their home place once again,” he said.

The Harbour City will also host the one of three UFC mega Pay Per View events over the next four years, with the first fight scheduled for September 10, and is hosting several matches for the Women’s Soccer World Cup.

Premier Chris Minns recently came under fire for not lighting up the Opera House in anticipation of the Matildas’ success.

On Monday, he said he didn’t want “to jinx” their success, however he promised to “roll out the red carpet as we hit the finals”.

“It’s one of the biggest sporting events the state and the country have seen since the 2000 Olympics,” he said.

“We don’t want to jinx them or put any undue or unnecessary pressure on these champions … They’re doing a great job on their own and I’ve got no doubt they’ll get through the to the final stages.”

While the 2022 grand final between the Parramatta Eels and Penrith Panthers drew a record streaming audience of 389,000 viewers for Nine, nationwide viewing numbers were a flop.

MediaWeek reported 2,367,000 viewers watched the event live, making it the least-watched grand final game in NRL history.

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By Rahul

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