That’s the budget for the inaugural season in 2014, mostly to be propped up by corporate sponsorship, much of which has already been secured with major announcements on the naming rights, team name and logo, expected next week.
That figure, which is significantly more compared to what the Queensland-based clubs will spend on their operations, could fluctuate depending on various factors over the five-year period of the licence.
It is great opportunity to create a pathway for PNG players to develop and get contracted to an NRL club in Australia.
But for PNG Rugby Football League it is also a business venture which they hope to use to generate funds for the development of the game at home.
PNGRFL acting chief executive officer Brad Tassell (pictured) said yesterday trying to get a team into the ISC competition had been a challenging two-year period but now that the country was in – they wanted to maximise on the opportunities it presented.
He said these at a media conference in Port Moresby to confirm Michael Marum as head coach and other announcements related to the PNG franchise.
“Yes we want to make financial profits,” he said.
It is hoped that funds generated would give PNGRFL a more solid financial base to run development initiatives like building a more robust schoolboys programme, and basically linking up existing leagues and competitions like the Digicel Cup, national zone championships among others.
The recently revamped Kalabond oval in Kokopo has been chosen as the side’s home ground for now with an additional venue to be included later when it fulfilled the stringent requirements expected by QRL.
PNG plays its opening home game against reigning premiers Mackay Cutters on March 8 in Kokopo – venue issues including security, accommodation capacity – all cleared at last week’s visit to the East New Britain town by QRL general manager Jamie O’Connor and his delegation.
PNG’s season opener will be against competition heavyweights and hosts the Redcliffe Dolphins in Brisbane, which is a televised game, the week before on March 2.
The PNGRFL are yet to confirm the broadcaster of the PNG games however National Braodcasting Corporation’s Kundu2 service signed an agreement to show Q-Cup matches earlier year.
QRL has been apprehensive about a PNG team in its competition following past experiences with the Port Moresby Vipers in 1996 which left unpaid bills to service providers in Brisbane – and were cautious about including another PNG franchise.
Tassell admitted that PNG would be paying more than the other participating clubs with a financial guarantee, details of which he declined to disclose as it was a confidential matter PNGRFL and the naming rights sponsor.
PNG would also pick up costs of travel for teams visiting PNG – which were conditions they had to agree to gain entry into the Q-Cup, considered one of Australia’s two second-tier competitions – the being the local New South Wales competition (NSW Cup).
But Tassell assured supporters that PNGRFL would not pass the costs on to the paying public, explaining that gate fees charged would be affordable by PNG standards.
Spectators to Digicel Cup games pay K10 for adults to the outer stands and Tassell said it would not be a significant difference that despite the objective to make money, fans would not be subjected to inflated gate fees.
A team name will be announced later this month. The National