ARLC Approve 17th Team, Records $50 Million Surplus

he Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) has officially approved a 17th team joining the NRL, while announcing a $50 million surplus for the league this year.

Following a meeting with the 16 existing NRL clubs on Wednesday, ARLC chair, Peter V’landys, confirmed the introduction of a 17th team.

It was also announced the NRL made a $50 million profit this season, sparking controversy in the meeting over whether the existing clubs should receive additional funding. 

All 16 clubs currently receive an annual grant of $13 million but were hoping for additional funding made from profits. 

Storm chairman, Matt Tripp, welcomed the 17th team to News Corp, saying they will drive revenue, sponsorship and better broadcast deals. 

“Absolutely there is room for a second Brisbane team,” Tripp told News Corp.

“If I wasn’t chairman of the Melbourne Storm and I was Matt Tripp the rugby league fan and someone said to me should there be a second club in Brisbane, I would say yes, 100 per cent.

“Of course those comments might be to the short-term detriment of the Storm but taking a long-term view, I don’t think it will be detrimental at all.

“Expansion will be great for the game.

“While the talent pool will be thin for a period, as long as the game continues to evolve and improve and stay an elite sport in this country, it will then warrant better broadcast deals, better sponsorship, all the things that can drive revenue and bring people to the game.

“The salary cap will increase and more people will want to play the game.

“There will be a knock-on effect.

“If the foundations are right and the game is being handled right at the top, which it is in my opinion, the NRL is ready for a second Brisbane team,” Tripp said. 

The contenders for the 17th team, joining in the 2023 season, are the Brisbane Firehawks, Redcliffe Dolphins and Brisbane Jets.

According to News Corp, the Commission will formally decide on Brisbane’s new team next week, with the Redcliffe Dolphins the likely favourite.