The Maroons are gearing up to defend their Origin champion title for a record ninth year in a row.
But with some tickets almost doubling in price, Suncorp Stadium may be emptier than usual.
Claire McHardy reports.
Next Wednesday’s match will be the 100th State of Origin game but ticket sales are looking poor.
State of Origin games at Suncorp usually sell out in hours.
This year, almost 8,000 tickets are still available, with general public seats costing as much as $250.
Vox 1: “That’s like a weekly rent for some people isn’t it, on their house. Um, probably a bit too much for me but I’ll get great satisfaction seeing the blokes here.”
Vox 2: “Can’t afford to go to the State of Origin because it’d be about $600.”
Vox 3: “That would be so great if they could lower the prices, they’d have a packed stadium, but there’s still heaps of people going.”
The Maroons coach says he understands why fans feels this way.
Mal Menginga, Qld coach: “I guess the League’s gotta make some tough decisions and say they’re sorry and admit they’re wrong and make it more available to our core supporters. You know, our blue collar workers, mums and dads who love the game so much they want to come to Origin.”
Players say fans are an important part of the Origin experience.
Corey Parker, Maroons lock: “It’s sort of like the extra player on the field at times. When you’re doing it tough and you’ve got that home ground or home fan advantage, you really do hear them and it’s great.”
The winning team from last year’s Origin final remains mostly unchanged with the addition of a new backrower.
Sam Thaiday, who has a calf injury, will be replaced by Aidan Guerra.
The match will also be a chance for Queensland to honour the late Arthur Beetson.
The eleventh jersey will be retired from next week’s game in respect of the man known as the father of Origin.
Big Arty led the Maroons onto Lang Park in the first State of Origin, ninety-nine matches ago.
Claire McHardy, QUT News.