The South Sydney Rabbitohs will be one of four NRL teams to play in an historic double-header to open the 2024 NRL season at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, USA, with the competition's oldest, proudest and loudest Club set to play alongside the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, Brisbane Broncos and Sydney Roosters on US soil in March 2024 for two competition points.
This will be South Sydney's second foray into playing games in the United States of America, having played in an exhibition match against the Leeds Rhinos in January 2008 at Jacksonville Florida’s Hodges Stadium at the University of North Florida.
The two matches to be played at the 65,000-seat capacity Allegiant Stadium, the home of the NFL's Las Vegas Raiders, will be the centrepiece of a week's worth of events focussed on promoting Australia and the sport of Rugby League to the US market.
Rabbitohs CEO, Blake Solly, says the Rabbitohs are proud to be one of the Club’s leading the NRL into the USA.
"The NRL asked for expressions of interest to be included in the Las Vegas event and we put our hand up, having previously had the experience of taking a game to the United States in 2008," Mr Solly said.
"It will be an exciting adventure for not only our players and staff to be a part of this historic event, but it will also give our Members and supporters the opportunity to travel the world to watch their team play in the United States.
"The profile of our Club in North America began developing through one of our investors in Russell Crowe back in 2008, and it will continue to climb through our most recent investor in Mike Cannon-Brookes and his connections with the Utah Jazz NBA franchise in 2024. We see great support for our Club wherever we play, including in the United States in 2008 and the UK in 2015 when we won the World Club Challenge over St Helens.
"We're confident that we can develop a strong fan and Member base off the back of this Las Vegas event in February and March next year and we look forward to growing our Club and the sport internationally alongside the Sea Eagles, Roosters and the Broncos."
Earlier today, NRL.com published the following media release.
The National Rugby League (NRL) today confirmed the four (4) Clubs that will compete in the exciting Round One 2024 NRL Telstra Premiership matches planned for Las Vegas.
Following a competitive process and careful consideration of Club proposals, four teams have been selected to participate in 2024:
- Brisbane Broncos
- Manly Sea Eagles
- South Sydney Rabbitohs
- Sydney Roosters
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo thanked the Broncos, Rabbitohs, Roosters and Sea Eagles for their proposals and acknowledged NRL broadcast partners for their strong support and commitment to the concept.
"The 2024 Las Vegas matches will form part of an exciting 'Australia Week' in Las Vegas where we will be showcasing rugby league and Australia to the US market," Mr Abdo said.
"We are now working collaboratively with the four clubs to finalise arrangements for the proposed matches in Las Vegas and make this a blockbuster event for fans by maximising travel, attendance and enjoyment of a unique rugby league experience.
"Rugby league will be on a stage which the sport has simply never been on before and we look forward to giving all clubs the opportunity in coming years."
Further announcements will be made in the coming weeks in relation to the proposed 2024 NRL Telstra Premiership opening matches in Las Vegas.