Storm set for Suncorp switch
MELBOURNE are set to play their next two home games at Suncorp Stadium as the Storm look to establish a temporary base on the Sunshine Coast.
The powerhouse club has been forced to relocate to Sydney this week due to a spike in coronavirus cases in Victoria and will play Friday's match against the Warriors at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
However, their preferred location is to set up camp on the Sunshine Coast for the foreseeable future.
A decision is set to be made in the next 24 hours following extensive talks between club hierarchy and the NRL on Wednesday.
The league has also held talks with Suncorp Stadium around staging Melbourne's next two home games against the Roosters and Titans.
Suncorp Stadium boss Alan Graham said the facility was "ready to roll" and serve as Melbourne's home away from home.
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"We'll be guided by whatever the government and the NRL suggests, but from a game point of view we are ready to roll and more than happy to welcome the Storm," Graham said.
"They have such a big following up here, not only through their Queensland Origin players such as Cameron Smith, but they have played in the double header for the last few years.
"The Storm have worked hard to get memberships and local corporate support in Queensland so they have a good local footprint to work from.
"They also have ties with their feeder club the Sunshine Coast in the Intrust Super Cup and the Sunshine Coast Lightning in netball.
"At this stage, I don't know how many games the Storm could play here, but we haven't gone any further than their next two scheduled home games against the Roosters and Titans.
"If the Storm wanted to base themselves in Queensland, Suncorp Stadium would be more than happy to accommodate them.
"We've got the Reds and Roar coming back to action, but we have plenty of scope to work around to have the Storm playing at Suncorp."
Melbourne Storm CEO Dave Donaghy is confident the move to Suncorp Stadium could prove beneficial for the club's Queensland contingent.
"It's been a whirlwind week," Donaghy said.
"The focus is on the welfare of our players and staff and we will keep working with the NRL around what the landscape looks like beyond Friday's game against the Warriors.
"Suncorp is one of a number of locations we are considering.
"Anytime we have played there our players are lifted by it because for our Queensland guys like Cam Smith, Cam Munster and Felise Kaufusi, it's like a home away from home.
"If we were to play a game at Suncorp, which we have done in the past, the team would be comfortable in the surrounding.
"We are looking at a number of options (for a team base), including Queensland or two destinations in NSW."