Melbourne Storm chairman Matt Tripp said the club are keen to be a “test case” for crowds to return to the NRL amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2020 NRL season will resume on Thursday and Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman Peter V’landys is hoping capped crowds can return to the league as soon as July.
As the NRL eyes fans returning to stadiums after the campaign was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 crisis, Tripp revealed the Storm are planning for a restricted number of supporters to watch games at AAMI Park in Melbourne.
“We are piecing together a scenario where even if we start with 1,000 people and build to 2,000, 3,000 in every fifth seat, there are plans in place at the moment or plans that we are working through to try and get people to AAMI Park, to create a safe environment for bigger and better things for all codes, not just the NRL,” Tripp told RSN’s Breakfast Club on Monday.
Melbourne Storm has the full support of the NRL to push ahead with its plan to get fans back at AAMI Park as soon as possible.#YourStorm
— Melbourne Storm (@storm) May 25, 2020
“We would happily be the test case, it’s a wonderful facility to get people in and out of.
“There are measures that we can put in place to ensure the safety of patrons when they’re at the game so I can’t see why, in line with Peter V’landys’ comments on July 1 that we can’t get the ball rolling at AAMI.”
The Storm were among six teams to have won their opening two games before the NRL was suspended due to coronavirus.
Craig Bellamy’s Storm will restart their season against Canberra Raiders behind closed doors in Melbourne on Saturday.
“It would be wonderful if we can get people back to games this year,” Tripp added.