Eels strike 11th-hour deal with Western Sydney Stadium
PARRAMATTA have struck a last-minute deal with Western Sydney Stadium to play their home games at the $300 million venue in 2019 and beyond.
On the day of the 2019 NRL draw announcement, the Eels are set to announce they have finally agreed to terms with stadium operator Venues Live after sensationally knocking back a deal to call the venue home less than two weeks ago.
At the time, Eels CEO Bernie Gurr said the commercial deal was unacceptable and would have had adverse financial implications for the club and would restrict the football department's expenditure.
However, the 11th hour deal is set to save an embarrassing situation of the Eels without a home ground when the draw is announced at 11am on Thursday.
"I am writing to share the great news that we have reached an 'agreement-in-principle' to play the future home games of the Parramatta Eels at the magnificent Western Sydney Stadium," Gurr wrote to members.
"This agreement-in-principle commences in 2019 and confirms the Parramatta Eels will be a key anchor tenant at Western Sydney Stadium.
"We are extremely pleased to have reached this stage and to confirm Western Sydney Stadium as our new home.
"This Stadium will provide our members and commercial partners with an outstanding game day experience and will also contribute to the club's financial stability, allowing us to invest further in our football teams."
Following detailed negotiations with the stadium operator (VenuesLive), our Board and Management are satisfied that all issues have been addressed and the focus is now on ensuring Western Sydney Stadium and the Parramatta Leagues Club precinct will deliver the best game day experience for our Members, corporate partners and community stakeholders.
The Eels appear set to open the ground on Easter Monday against the Wests Tigers.
Gurr and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres will confirm the deal an hour before at Parramatta Leagues Club.