It's official. Belmore Sports Ground is the premier sporting precinct in the local area after it was confirmed the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs will host the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at their spiritual home in 2020. After the official NRL draw release today, the boys from Brookvale were confirmed as the Bulldogs' Round 10 opponents at Belmore on Friday, 15 May.
It is a huge coup for the Canterbury-Bankstown district to secure an NRL match after successfully hosting nine premiership games in the last five consecutive years. Big time rugby league first returned to Belmore in the 21st century after a 17-year absence when 16,764 spectators packed into the ground to witness the Bulldogs defeat the Melbourne Storm 20-4 in 2015. This year's match against the Storm on Sunday, 26 May attracted a crowd of 13,131. The sun may not have shone on Canterbury's fortunes that day but it was nothing but blue skies for Belmore and a major boon for local businesses. Much to the chagrin of the majority of spectators, the visitors downed the hosts 28-6.
Back to Belmore Patron Luke Brailey said the community is eager to welcome the NRL and Bulldogs back following a successful game this year which he said was a “big economic booster” and a way to put the vibrant Sydney suburb on visitors' radars.
“To have two NRL sides playing for premiership points at Belmore Sports Ground for the tenth time in five years is absolutely phenomenal. When we formed Back to Belmore in 2005 at a time when advocating the restoration of the historic venue was viewed with a degree of ridicule and nobody else particularly cared about its future, we couldn't have imagined this. The more times you get Belmore Sports Ground on national TV the better off we are for visitors. Each visitor that comes each year to the game and visits one of the cafes, eateries and restaurants on Burwood Road is going to spend money.” Mr Brailey said.
“Belmore Sports Ground is a fantastic facility and it is great for local fans. The news that the historic venue will host an NRL game next year keeps Belmore's place on the national sporting map and the facility's prestige has evidently never diminished. It is a big boost for the local economy and the fixture benefits locals and businesses. The NRL clash in 2020 will inject thousands of dollars into the local economy and everybody wins. Back to Belmore is looking forward to a bumper crowd next year and we commend the Bulldogs for once again choosing to maintain that innate connection with their traditional home ground.”
Tickets will go on sale for the Belmore match next year.