North Queensland Cowboys Coach Paul Green and CEO Jeff Reibel speak to media ahead of NRL's announcement of the season restart. Picture: Alix Sweeney
North Queensland Cowboys Coach Paul Green and CEO Jeff Reibel speak to media ahead of NRL's announcement of the season restart. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Stadium unlikely to reach 50% capacity

Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel says it is unlikely Queensland Country Bank Stadium will be filled at 50 per cent capacity for the club's next home game.

The Cowboys host the high-flying Sydney roosters next week for a Thursday night game, and it will be the first held at QCBS since Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the further lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

Among those was allowing Queensland venues, theatres and auditoriums to host events at up to 50 per cent capacity, meaning 12,500 spectators would technically be allowed through the turnstiles at next week's Cowboys' clash.

But Reibel said making sure the venue adheres to the social distancing requirement of one person per 4 square metres, among other restrictions, could make reaching that 50 per cent figure difficult.

Events of over 10,000 people are allowed, but with strict rules.

"Our staff are working around the clock with Stadiums Queensland to determine a crowd figure for our Round 9 match against the Sydney Roosters next Thursday night, which fulfils the social distancing restrictions that remain in place," Reibel said.

"While we are confident there will be an increase in overall capacity from our Knights game, it is unlikely that it will reach 50 per cent of total stadium capacity."

According to Austadiums, a total of 1853 spectators watched the Cowboys' Round 7 home game against the Newcastle Knights at QCBS.

Kalyn Ponga of the Knights attempts a conversion during the Round 7 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Newcastle Knights at QLD Country Bank Stadium in Townsville, Saturday, June 27, 2020. (AAP Image/Cameron Laird)
Kalyn Ponga of the Knights attempts a conversion during the Round 7 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Newcastle Knights at QLD Country Bank Stadium in Townsville, Saturday, June 27, 2020. (AAP Image/Cameron Laird)

Tickets were allocated through a ballot pool and Reibel said a similar system would be used again for next week's clash.

"We plan to use a ballot again, with final details to be communicated to Cowboys members, partners and corporates in the coming days," he said.

"Yesterday's announcement (of bigger crowd capacity) was extremely exciting for our club and another huge step towards hopefully seeing our brand new stadium full again in the near future."

The Cowboys play the Parramatta Eels tomorrow night at Parramatta Stadium, which has a capacity of 30,000.

The New South Wales Government is relaxing crowd restrictions so that sporting venues of up to 40,000 can operate at a capacity of 25 per cent or less, to a maximum of 10,000 people.

Crowds will be hosted at three games in Parramatta this round as well as at Brookvale Oval and Central Coast stadium.

Venues are having to develop their own COVID-19 safety plans and implement those for games and given the guidelines.

Originally published as Stadium unlikely to reach 50% capacity


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