Western Sydney Wanderers saw inside their potential new home today...and got excited by the prospect – despite the lack of a deal in place for them using it.
Parramatta Eels have walked away from signing a contract with NSW State Government after it was revealed they were expected to pay three times what it used to cost them to host games at the old Parramatta Stadium.
NSW Government reportedly wanted the NRL side to pay $210,000 a week to rent the glittering $300m showpiece stadium once work is complete next year.
But the club says that fee is unsustainable for the club which used to pay just $70,000 at the old venue before it was razed and replaced.
Western Sydney Wanderers have also yet to agree a deal with the state government over their use of the stadium once complete, but say they are on a different timeline to the Eels.
The Parramatta side had hoped to move in near the start of next NRL season, with an eye on an opening match in April.
But the row and a slight delay on the completion date may put that in jeopardy.
It also now seems the Wanderers are unlikely to play in the new 30,000-seater this season and seem likely to seal a deal to move in for the start of next season.
Today though fullback Tarek Elrich, head coach Markus Babbel and WSW chairman and co-owner Paul Lederer were given a tour of the site as construction work nears completion.
A final opening date of June 2019 now appears likely and Babbel hailed it as a match for stadiums in Europe.
"This is top class," he said. "It's a beautiful stadium, I can't wait."
Elrick said that he wanted to see it full of RBB fans: "I'm definitely looking forward to playing out here in front of a packed stadium."
And Lederer added: "I can't wait. I wish it was tomorrow morning - but it won't be."