Those in Dubbo hoping they might not have to travel too far to take in an NRL game this year might be out of luck with doubts around the Penrith Panthers' meeting with Cronulla at Bathurst's Carrington Park.
The match is scheduled to be played on Sunday, May 10 and while the NRL is one of the few major national sporting competitions still forging ahead in the midst of the coronavirus-enforced lockdown, with no crowds in attendance it naturally raises concern about the upcoming Bathurst clash.
The Canberra Raiders' scheduled match in Wagga next month has already been cancelled and shifted back to the nation's capital while ticket sales for the Wests Tigers game at Tamworth on May 9 are currently on hold.
If no crowds are able to attend the clash then the Panthers will have no need to bring the May 10 game out to Bathurst, and it would put a stop to what would be the city's first Sunday afternoon NRL contest since bringing a Penrith fixture to the ground in 2014.
The NRL has forged ahead with their season, minus crowds, while competitions in the Western Rams region have been put on hold until at least May 1.
But until any word from the NRL is released the 2020 Bathurst game still has the green light.
Cancellation would be a blow for fans ad also juniors all around the area who attend gala days and other sessions run by the Panthers, a side including numerous western products including Dubbo's Isaah Yeo and Wellington's Brent Naden.
The Panthers have also previously travelled to other western area centres during their time at Bathurst to run clinics with school kids and local clubs.
Australian Rugby League chairman Peter V'Landys said precautions were being taken by all players and officials to ensure the competition can run smoothly.
"We've also commissioned biosecurity and pandemic experts. We'll continue to listen to that advice and at this stage they are telling us we can continue to play and while that is the case we'll continue to play," he said in a Sunday interview.
"We have chartered planes at the moment so we are not using domestic airliners. We have done everything possible to minimise the risk to our players with self-isolation and various other protocols.
"They are probably safer playing than not playing because they are isolated and not socially interacting."
Bathurst Panthers would also miss out on the opportunity to play a curtain-raiser game at Carrington Park against Orange CYMS if Group 10 resumes by that stage.
Panthers president Dennis Comerford said while the Bathurst club wouldn't be badly affected by a cancelled clash, it would still be a blow to the community.
"For us, as a local club, I don't believe it would have a great deal of impact since we only get to operate a canteen. While we don't like to lose any amount of money it's not the worst situation," he said.
"For the community of Bathurst it's a substantial loss. Like any major event which comes to town it attracts people from outside the area who then spend money in town, and stay overnight and put money into our motels and restaurants.
"We were looking forward to playing the curtain-raiser. If our competition goes ahead by that stage we'll still get to play that game, it just won't be as a curtain raiser for an NRL game."
The Penrith Panthers were unable to comment on the situation.