Western Suburbs Magpies former Chairman Jim Marsden has taken NRL CEO Dave Smith to Campbelltown and Oran Park Town to meet with local, state and federal politicians and businessmen, as well as Wests Tigers chief executive Grant Mayer.
The visit was to highlight the NRL's need to focus more of its efforts on Sydneys South West Corridor as an untapped resource of fans, officials and players.
Smith acknowledged the Macarthur region as the game's "natural
heartland" but refused to "interfere" with the Wests Tigers' commitments
to the region, which receives just four NRL season games at
Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
"The reason I'm here is not to tell the Wests Tigers where to play their games," he said.
"I think it (Campbelltown) is one of the most significant growth areas of Sydney.
"I met with Grant a couple of times last week and they're considering all of their options."
visit comes after a period of discontent between the Wests Tigers, local fans
and some local politicians over the club's commitment to the region.
"After this meeting the NRL will be aware of the population explosion," he said.
"If they ignore it they do so at their own peril."
- a key figure in the merger between Western Suburbs and Balmain in
1999 - lamented the lack of games NRL games at Campbelltown in recent
"It'd be great to have a team focused in the area more so than the Wests Tigers are currently," he said.
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