By Michael Chammas
29 September 2014 - Sydney Morning Herald
It has been 17 years in the making but Canterbury will finally return to Belmore Sportsground next season to celebrate the club's 80-year anniversary.
The Bulldogs have played several trial matches at the suburban venue but on Sunday they confirmed that a NRL match would be held at the venue next season.
While it's unclear when and against who, it is understood the match will be played against a non-Sydney team on a Sunday afternoon. The lighting at the ground isn't up to broadcast standard for night games, while the Bulldogs are reluctant to take a game away from ANZ Stadium against a Sydney team when they are guaranteed a bigger crowd at Sydney Olympic Park.
Bulldogs chief executive Raelene Castle revealed the news in front of the club's merchandise store at a buzzing Belmore on Sunday afternoon ahead of this week's grand final clash against South Sydney. "The excitement in the streets of Belmore last night and today really highlights how much the Bulldogs mean to this community, and I'm thrilled to announce that we're bringing a game back to Belmore as part of our 80th anniversary celebrations next year," Castle said.
"So many of the legendary games played at Belmore Sportsground inspired generations of fans and it'll be a great day for the Bulldogs to see it come to life again. Our membership for the 2015 season has gone on sale today and the bottom line is, if you want to guarantee a seat at Belmore Sportsground, you'll need to be a member.
"Whether you're born a Bulldog or bred to become one, it's an incredibly special family to be a part of and I'd really urge all our fans to show their commitment to the club by becoming a member."
The last time the Bulldogs hosted a regular-season game at Belmore was in 1998, coincidentally another year they made the grand final, before moving their home games to Sydney Showground and eventually to ANZ Stadium.