The Wests Tigers decision to only play three home games at Campbelltown Sports Stadium next year has been labelled “disappointing” by Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic.
Like previous seasons the club will play four matches at ANZ Stadium however, only three games each will be played at the joint venture’s traditional home grounds, Campbelltown Sport Stadium and Leichhardt Oval.
Cr Brticevic said the decision would be the detriment of the community.
“Today's announcement that Wests Tigers will play three games at Campbelltown Sports Stadium during the 2018 season is disappointing for both council and local fans, particularly in light of the fact that Sydney's south west region is experiencing significant growth, which will increase exponentially over the next 10 to 15 years,” he said.
“Council recognises the opportunities its stadium affords in offering a variety of employment, economic development and entertainment options for residents and the broader region, and will continue to pursue alternate opportunities for events and sporting fixtures across a variety of codes.
“Council acknowledges the work that Wests Tigers does in our local community, and will continue to partner with the club on a range of initiatives and programs that will benefit our residents.
“While reducing games at suburban grounds is inarguably to the detriment of local fans, at least Wests Tigers’ three year commitment to Campbelltown Sports Stadium is a positive sign, given the state government’s move away from suburban grounds."
Wests Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe said the games that were taken away from Campbelltown and Leichhardt would be played outside Sydney.
"We’re really pleased to be working with the NRL to develop the game of Rugby League across multiple locations,” he said.
“Given the NRL now has more control of scheduling, it has been able to work more closely with clubs in developing these great whole of game initiatives - it is a compliment to our club that they chose to work with us.
“Our suburban grounds are incredibly important to the history of this club and we look forward to playing a minimum of six games across Campbelltown Sports Stadium and Leichhardt Oval in 2018.
“We’re also working hard behind the scenes to put in place long term agreements to play games at both venues.
“The decision to take two games to new locations was made after much deliberation. These decisions are never made lightly, however we believe it's the right decision for the game, our Members and fans and our football department, and provides absolute balance, inclusive of our existing contractual commitments.”