NRL fans will have to show their drivers licences at stadium gates in NSW as part of biosecurity measures in order to keep travelling Victorians out.
ARL Commission chair Peter V’landys confirmed on Thursday that only club members will have access to match tickets when capped crowds return next week.
Supporters will then have to bring identification when they arrive at the grounds, with any Victorian residents to be turned away. The AFL is expected to follow suit.
The move came as NSW health minister Brad Hazzard revealed he had obtained assurances from both the NRL and AFL that they would not allow Victorian fans into games in NSW due to concern about the coronavirus spike in that state.
“The only people that will get in will be members of the clubs or season-ticket holders, where we’ll know all their details,” V’landys told AAP on Thursday. “It’s to assure the government that no one from Victoria will be allowed in.
“We’ve always said that we wanted to repay the loyal members of each of the clubs. In the first instance, it’ll only be club members, to reward their loyalty. By only allowing members in, we know their addresses, we know all their details, so we can safeguard against any Victorians getting in.”
NSW stadiums with a capacity of more than 40,000 people can host up to 10,000 fans at AFL and NRL games from 1 July. But Hazzard said Victorian residents would be barred in a move agreed by hierarchy of both codes.
“They have actually put in place measures immediately and confirmed to me … that they have the measures in place,” Hazzard said. “And we’re quite satisfied they can make sure that supporters from Melbourne and Victoria are not coming to our games.
“They’re not getting tickets, that’s the simple answer. They [the AFL and NRL] have satisfied me they have made all necessary measures and steps to ensure people who will be entering the stadium will be people who are from Sydney.”
The development comes as Venues NSW work feverishly to map out a challenging schedule that involves up to four sporting codes. Travelling restrictions could mean a number of A-League and Super Rugby clubs relocate to NSW or the ACT indefinitely.
Bankwest Stadium could host games from three codes and be the home for four NRL clubs, including Parramatta, Canterbury, South Sydney and the Wests Tigers. There are suggestions the Bulldogs and Rabbitohs may remain at the western Sydney venue, and play their biggest matches at ANZ Stadium.