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NRL makes biggest game change in 14 years by adding 17th team in Brisbane, Australia

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NRL is making the biggest change to the game in 14 years by adding a 17th team in Brisbane that will host an additional 12 games a year and $20 million more money – but what does this mean for your club?

  • NRL To Announce Its 17th Franchise After Reporting Huge $50 Million Surplus
  • Redcliffe Dolphins confirmed as new team – beats Jets and Firehawks
  • League to announce new broadcast deals with Channel Nine and Foxtel










The NRL will make its biggest change in 14 years with a new club to be listed within two years and the game will make a profit of $50 million.

Rugby league powerbrokers will announce the Redcliffe Dolphins, in the north of Brisbane, as the league’s 17th franchise starting in 2023.

Foxtel has pledged an additional $20 million in TV rights to the inclusion of a second Brisbane team, with clubs demanding an equal share of the $50 million profit transferred by the NRL.

The NRL will make its biggest change in 14 years with a new club set to be incorporated within two years – as the game’s power and popularity rises with a $50 million surplus

Queensland Cup team the Redcliffe Dolphins become the 17th franchise in the NRL after winning a bid to become Brisbane's second team

Queensland Cup team the Redcliffe Dolphins become the 17th franchise in the NRL after winning a bid to become Brisbane’s second team

Redcliffe will beat the Jets and Firehawks to be the newest expansion team, having been the frontrunners throughout the process, given the club’s already high membership, established fan base, and purpose-built stadium.

The NRL reported the $50 million surplus, a figure that would have been even greater had the $30 million in Covid payments not been handed out to prop up the competition.

An additional $15 million per year will be needed to fund another team, and Foxtel will offset that money by pledging $20 million as part of the broadcast deal, given the marketability of a second Brisbane team.

The NRL reported the $50 million surplus, a figure that would have been even greater had the $30 million in Covid payments not been handed out to prop up the competition (Photo: NRL CEO Peter V'ladys)

The NRL reported the $50 million surplus, a figure that would have been even greater had the $30 million in Covid payments not been handed out to prop up the competition (Photo: NRL CEO Peter V’ladys)

The Dolphins must have a $10 million bank guarantee every year for the next five years to ensure it stays in the NRL

The Dolphins must have a $10 million bank guarantee every year for the next five years to ensure it stays in the NRL

Redcliffe is located just outside Brisbane, but the team will play some or all of their matches at Suncorp Stadium from the 2023 season.

Their current ground, Moreton Daily Stadium, can accommodate 11,500 fans, which will likely need to be expanded to consistently host NRL matches.

The Dolphins must have a $10 million bank guarantee every year for the next five years to ensure it stays in the NRL.

It doesn’t get any extra money to help it function in the league.

The Dolphins' current grounds, Moreton Daily Stadium, can accommodate 11,500 fans which will likely need to be expanded to consistently host NRL matches

The Dolphins’ current grounds, Moreton Daily Stadium, can accommodate 11,500 fans which will likely need to be expanded to consistently host NRL matches

The inclusion of Redcliffe will add another 12 NRL games to the schedule each year, with each side having two byes.

The NRL also plans to announce another new broadcasting deal with Channel Nine, which is expected to last more than five years.

More than $376 million was split between the clubs in 2021, but teams claim they deserve a bigger slice of the pie to help their brands grow and ensure future stability.

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