AAP Rugby

Canberra eye ground record for NRL prelim

By AAP Newswire

Canberra are working to arrange temporary seating for their NRL preliminary final, aiming to break the ground record for the biggest home game in the club's history.

Raiders chief executive Don Furner confirmed he was in negotiations with Canberra Stadium to push past the 28,753 attendance for the Super Rugby final between the Brumbies and Crusaders in 2004.

The biggest NRL crowd in Canberra is 26,476 for the semi-final between the Raiders and Wests Tigers in 2010 but Furner was confident they'd comfortably eclipse that figure on Friday week.

Canberra will host South Sydney or Manly in the first preliminary final to be played in the capital, following a grounds rule change introduced this season.

The NRL approved Canberra and Newcastle to host grand final qualifiers and the Green Machine clinched one on their first attempt when they beat minor premiers Melbourne on Saturday.

They're now one win away from their first grand final in 25 years.

"We've got a meeting with the stadium around temporary seating because we'd really like to break the ground record. We want to over 28,000," Furner told AAP.

"We've never hosted a prelim.

"In the 80s and 90s we weren't even allowed to host semi-finals. In all those years we won, every finals game had to be played in Sydney at the SFS, that's just the way it was run.

"This is the first year the NRL extended that right to us and we've qualified so that's fantastic timing.

"This is the biggest home game in the club's history - we're one win from the grand final."

Furner is also working with the NRL to get tickets on sale earlier and said he had no issues with the Friday night kick-off at 7.50pm.

"Tickets aren't due to go on sale until after you know you're playing so that's not until this Friday night but we've got a meeting with the NRL to see if we can go on sale earlier," Furner said.

"I think we'll sell it out regardless of who we're playing but it's the NRL's game so we're asking to go on sale earlier."