The 2020 State of Origin series will kick-off in Adelaide for the first time in history after the National Rugby League (NRL) finalised venues for the men’s and women’s series.
Adelaide Oval will host the opening State of Origin match on Wednesday 4 November. Sydney’s ANZ Stadium will host Game II on Wednesday 11 November, and Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium will host a potential decider on Wednesday 18 November.
The Harvey Norman Women’s State of Origin will be held on Friday 13 November at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said the game, led by the commission and its government partners, had worked tirelessly with health officials to ensure Origin is showcased across three different states this year.
“State of Origin is the greatest rivalry in Australian sport and Australia’s most watched television event,” he said.
“It transcends the two states and captivates the interests of the entire nation. We are excited to play this historic game in South Australia for the very first time.
“In recent years, Origin has captivated Melbourne and Perth, and we cannot wait to see how the people of Adelaide respond. The interest from states, outside NSW and Queensland, to host our showpiece event is extraordinary.”
Abdo said the 2020 Origin series would celebrate four decades of the biggest rivalry in Australian sport.
“This year will be special – it marks the 40th anniversary of Origin,” he said.
“The concept has come so far since Arthur Beetson famously led Queensland onto Lang Park in 1980 with his hands covered in chalk.
“This year, for the first time, it will be played as its own standalone series throughout November. Fans have long suggested the series should be played in a separate window to the Telstra Premiership and now we have the opportunity to trial the concept.”
Abdo thanked the South Australian government for its support of rugby league.
“The South Australian government and the South Australian Tourism Commission have done an exceptional job to ensure our showcase event can proceed safely in Adelaide as planned,” he said.
“Right from the start of this pandemic, our priority has been the health and safety of the general community, and we will continue to work closely with authorities to ensure that.”
Abdo said crowd capacities at each venue would be determined before the end of the month. The NRL will work closely with each venue to implement their COVID-safe plans to ensure a safe environment for all crowds.
Supporters who had previously purchased general tickets, NRL Hospitality or NRL Travel packages will be contacted directly by either the NRL, Ticketek or official NRL agents regarding their purchase and options available to them.
A two-week refund window has been created for fans who have purchased tickets but will not be able to attend the games.
Tickets will be available for the public to purchase closer to the series once crowd capacities are finalised and the number of refunds determined.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said the match was a great opportunity to showcase NRL in the state and a strong endorsement of Adelaide Oval’s outstanding COVID- 19 management plans.
“It’s been a substantial amount of work by the NRL, SATC, SA Health and Adelaide Oval to develop a plan to make this happen for the fans,” he said.
“It is a terrific outcome and we can’t wait to welcome the first game of the State of Origin to Adelaide, and to help celebrate their 40th anniversary of Origin matches.”
The NRL thanked the South Australian Tourism Commission, as well as Destination NSW, Tourism & Events Queensland and Sunshine Coast Council, for their support of the State of Origin series.
The Men’s State of Origin series and the Harvey Norman Women’s State of Origin will be broadcast live nationally on the Nine Network.