Dubbo won't host an NRL game in 2015 after Manly chose not to bring their round 21 game against Brisbane to the city.
Group 11 president Ross McDermott had a phone hook-up with Sea Eagles officials on Thursday morning, where it was decided the club would "keep the game closer to Manly".
While Group 11 and Dubbo City Council will now discuss their options, any approaches to NRL clubs will be about 2016 games.
"It's disappointing, we have put a lot of work in. We began this process two years ago and Manly decided to keep the game close to Manly, those were their words.
"They thanked us for going through the process and asked us if we would be interested in putting in a bid for 2016."
McDermott said the biggest barrier to Dubbo hosting the Sea Eagles versus Broncos game was that the game was likely to be selected as a Friday night game.
He said there would have been no concerns over lighting at Caltex Park, with Group 11 and the council looking to hire additional lighting.
"That was Manly's main concern and we quite understand that," he said.
continued page 22
"It would have been difficult for all the fans outside Dubbo to get to a Friday night game. We would hope a game would draw people from Parkes and Forbes, Orange and Bathurst and that just wouldn't be possible on a Friday night, they would need to be here by 7pm.
"Our ideal time to host a game would be Saturday or Sunday afternoon."
McDermott said the Manly club had also alluded to their difficult start to 2015 as a reason the club would prefer to stay closer to their home base than shifting games away.
Despite the setback, McDermott said Group 11 and Dubbo City Council would do everything they could to secure a game for 2016.
We hosted City-Country on a dreadful, cold and wet day and got a fantastic crowd and we are very confident that we could attract a crowd of 12 to 15,000 people for an NRL game. The hardest part is getting the game.
"We will be looking to make contact with Newcastle and Canberra, two clubs that are from semi-rural areas, and we have has some discussions with Penrith. If Manly were to come back to us with a game we would also welcome that.
"When we started our discussions with Manly, that was in June-July. Teams like to have everything ready by October-November so we will start talking soon.
"We certainly aren't going to give up."
McDermott said hosting an NRL game would be a massive thing for the region, not only giving rugby league fans an opportunity to see some of the stars of the game on the field, but also getting NRL players hosting training clinics and holding autograph sessions.
There would also be a significant financial boost for the game in the region, with all Group 11 clubs set to benefit.