NATIONAL Rugby League [NRL] fans, and in particular Penrith Panthers supporters, can rest assured knowing that they won't miss out on their annual chance to watch a match in Bathurst.
Despite news that Dubbo won't host an NRL game in 2023, Bathurst mayor Robert Taylor said council's relationship with Penrith Panthers is still strong.
"We have had a set up with Panthers for a very long time," Cr Taylor said.
"We're not affiliated with the NRL, we did a deal with Panthers as a joint venture. So we set up a deal privately from NRL."
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The deal between Penrith Panthers and Bathurst Regional Council has seen the two-time reining premiers play at Carrington Park since 2014.
While Dubbo Regional Council told a Daily Liberal reporter that the finances involved in hosting the NRL match was a contributing factor in the decision to not continue the partnership with South Sydney Rabbitohs, Cr Taylor said that is not the case for Bathurst.
He said Penrith playing in Bathurst continues to prove a successful event, with last year's match attracting record-breaking numbers to Carrington Park for an NRL match.
A crowd of 11,253 fans watched on as Panthers defeated the Newcastle Knights on March 26, 2022, and Cr Taylor said he expects the relationship and crowd numbers to remain strong moving forward.
Following ticket sales opening for the 2023 game between Panthers and West Tigers, Cr Taylor said it's possible Carrington Park could see a record NRL crowd.
Within 24 hours of ticket sales opening, more than 2000 spots had been secured and the grandstand was completely sold out.
The 2023 event will take place on Saturday, April 29.
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