NRL teams in frame for pre-season games at Kawana
RUGBY LEAGUE: Plans are well under way to have more NRL pre-season action on the Sunshine Coast.
While nothing's locked in, the Daily understands the Bulldogs are likely to play the Raiders on February 17 and the Warriors could tackle the Titans on February 24.
To be contested at Sunshine Coast Stadium, the matches would attract up to 11,000 fans each.
Local and former Bulldogs ball-player Craig Polla-Mounter says it's an exciting prospect.
"They'd be good games and I couldn't see them being anything other than sell-outs,” he said.
The Bulldogs would come to town intent on rebounding from 2017, when they missed the finals for the first time in six years.
"I think they've made a great decision to get a new coach (Dean Pay), someone who is a former player and he'll bring back what we're used to,” Polla-Mounter said.
The stadium was upgraded earlier this year and a trial then - involving Melbourne Storm and the Warriors - lured a venue record of more than 10,000 spectators.
Complex manager Simon Ball was optimistic some of the game's biggest stars would be on the Sunshine Coast for trials next year but he said it's not a done deal yet.
"We're waiting to get some things on paper.”
"We're in the final stages of locking some contracts away with teams but we just can't confirm anything at the moment.”
Ball told the Daily earlier this year that stadium officials were also pushing to have an NRL, Super Rugby or A-League season proper game at the venue within the next three years.
He re-iterated this on Thursday, with an emphasis on rugby league.
"We're working with a couple of clubs (and) the NRL and if we're not successful next year I would almost say we'd be in the driving seat the following year.”