It’s hard to believe but another footy season is almost behind us. (Where did the year go?) On Sunday, October 3, the NRL Premiership will come to a close in a slightly different manner to what we’re used to. Here’s your complete guide to viewing the NRL Grand Final for 2021 — however you’re planning to watch the game – and all the latest updates we’ve received on when and where the event will be held this year.
When and where is the 2021 NRL Grand Final?
Covid has once again interfered with a major event – surprise! It was confirmed a little while back that the NRL Grand Final between the Panthers and Rabbitohs would no longer be taking place in Sydney. Instead, the game moved north.
On the news, ARL chairman Peter V’landys said:
“This year we will create history, playing the grand final in Brisbane for the very first time,” he said.
“This will be an historic moment for the city and a reward for the support the Queensland community has given us throughout 2021. This year will always be remembered as the year Queensland hosted all of our major events; All Stars, Magic Round, three State of Origins and the grand final.”
Since then, however, there’s been a whole heap of uncertainty surrounding the location of the NRL Grand Final for 2021, as Queensland faced a potential lockdown ahead of the match.
As the SMH has reported, the latest in this space is that Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane remains the location of the final, despite some talk that Townsville or even Sydney may become the new home of the event.
While the Grand Final will seemingly still go ahead in Brisbane, stadium capacity has been capped at 75 per cent, meaning a considerable chunk of ticket-holders will no longer be able to attend.
The NRL has confirmed 25 per cent of fans will be automatically refunded, with attendance being awarded on a “first in” basis from the date of ticket purchase. You can also request a refund if you no longer wish to see the game live.
While nothing is set in stone in the face of COVID-19, organisers are optimistic that details will not change again.
V’landys told 2GB on Friday morning, “They’ve [Queensland] done a wonderful job to date in the way they isolate people and tracking people down, etc. So we’re hoping the numbers stay low and we can go on Sunday, but all options are on the table …
“We will have an emergency commission meeting to look at all of our options. Postponement is definitely one. We won’t take any action naturally without consulting the coaches and the two teams. But we want a crowd and if it means postponing the event to get a crowd, we will do so.”
Pending any further potential changes, the NRL Grand Final is set to be played on October 3 and will start at 6.30 pm local time and 7.30 pm for Sydney and Melbourne.
How to watch the 2021 NRL Final on free-to-air TV
The NRL Final series will be broadcast live on Channel Nine. Note that some states and territories may be showing the match on Nine’s secondary channel, 9Gem.
How to watch the 2021 NRL Final online
The easiest way to watch NRL Final online is via the free 9Now app. Previously, NRL finals were available on the NRL Live Pass from Telstra but since 2018 Channel 9 has held the exclusive broadcast and digital rights. The app is compatible with most Android, iOS, Mac and Windows devices.
If you end up being busy that night but still want to catch the big game, streaming service Kayo will have it available for re-runs.
How to get tickets to the final
If you happen to not be impacted by lockdown and are able to safely attend the 2021 NRL Grand Final, series tickets can be purchased through Ticketek.
How to watch the game if you’re overseas
Unfortunately, the aforementioned 9Now app is region locked and won’t be accessible for users that are not located in Australia. If you’d like to tune into the game from abroad, you can do so with a WatchNRL Finals Pass for $85.
This article has been updated to reflect the details of the 2021 NRL Grand Final.