Morrison and Hollywood stars on NRL’s elite crowd hitlist
Members who win ticket ballots, Hollywood stars and even the Prime Minister are likely to be among the first fans to re-enter rugby league stadiums next week.
Clubs have spent this weekend finalising guest lists after being given the green light to host gatherings of fans at games from Thursday night.
Between 500 and 1000 fans could be catered for at Bankwest Stadium.
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Given the appeal from footy-starved members to finally attend matches, clubs are considering putting their loyal club members into a ballot to secure tickets.
South Sydney will invite co-owner Russell Crowe to its clash with the Gold Coast at Bankwest Stadium, while Cronulla will ask Prime Minister Scott Morrison to attend the local derby against St George Illawarra at Campbelltown next Sunday.
The Sea Eagles will be the first to host a match with more than a handful of people when they play Brisbane at Central Coast Stadium on Thursday night.
Chief executive Stephen Humphreys said he expected about 200 people to be allowed at the game. He is hopeful of finalising a member ballot this week.
"We're excited to host some guests at our game as early as round five," Humphreys said.
"Some early thinking the people we would like to host include a combination of our sponsors, owners, members and family members of those playing having milestone games.
"In terms of members we would need to find a way to manage a process to do that.
"We have thought about a ballot process for those who are keen to come to the game can enter and win a place at the match.
"We haven't finalised anything yet."
Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly said his club's preference was to reward those who have supported the club financially through the COVID-19 crisis, including sponsors and platinum members.
"Our view is the first priority will be our sponsors, the people who have stuck with us in a difficult time for our business, but also theirs,'' Solly said.
"Then we'll look at full-season ticket members after that. They're the two who are our priority.''
Bulldogs boss Andrew Hill said the club were yet to finalise their guest list.
"We welcome and thank both the NSW government and the NRL for allowing us to reintroduce crowds," Hill said.
"We are now awaiting a level of detail of how that impacts Bankwest Stadium. We have a lot of group we would like to invite which includes our loyal corporate partners and members."
Campbelltown Stadium is only expected to be allowed 150 people because of its smaller corporate spaces.
The ground is hosting the Tigers and on Saturday followed by the Dragons taking on Cronulla the next day.
Crowds will return under the same rules that have allowed pubs and clubs to cater for customers under the state government's latest easing of COVID-19 protocols.
They will need to sit in corporate facilities.
Originally published as ScoMo, Hollywood stars on NRL's elite crowd hitlist