Belmore Sports Ground will be without an NRL match for an indefinite period after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the shutdown of the 2020 Telstra Premiership earlier this week.
The Round 10 fixture between the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles is the latest local event to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. The premiership match at the historic venue was due to be held on Friday, 15 May attracting thousands of visitors to the Canterbury-Bankstown district.
Back to Belmore President Luke Cevolani said the organisation felt for all stakeholders, knowing the decision would have wide-spanning ramifications.
"It affects not only locals but those who come from all around Sydney and interstate to watch the match," Mr Cevolani said.
"Major sporting events at Belmore Sports Ground inject thousands of dollars into the local economy. The games at the venue impact residents and retailers in Belmore. The cancellation also has significant ramifications for our local economy given visitors will not be utilising the cafes, eateries and restaurants on Burwood Road before and after the game."
Back to Belmore Patron Luke Brailey said the cancellation was a huge disappointment for the Canterbury-Bankstown district, particularly locals and Bulldogs fans who use the match as an opportunity to catch up with friends and celebrate the history of the iconic facility.
"While we are disappointed that the tenth NRL premiership match of the 21st century will not be proceeding at Belmore in May, the health, wellbeing and safety of all stakeholders – athletes, officials, staff and spectators – must always come first," Mr Brailey said.
"Tough times don't last but tough people do. We are tough people. Belmore Sports Ground will come roaring back as the top-class sporting facility we all know and love."