Vegas Information
Penrith Panthers confident of 2025 Las Vegas ticket as NRL clubs jostle for launch spots
Penrith Panthers confident of 2025 Las Vegas ticket as NRL clubs jostle for launch spots

The premiership-winning Penrith Panthers are confident they will be the first team selected by NRL administrators to travel to Las Vegas and take part in next season’s launch. League officials are now assessing expressions of interests from clubs seeking a place in the NRL’s second visit to Nevada as metrics around the double-header earlier this month come to light. The deadline for clubs to lodge applications was last Friday, and Penrith officials have privately expressed their confidence their club will be making the trip. The NRL chief executive, Andrew Abdo, said on Sunday the “interest for 2025 has already been quite remarkable”. The Dolphins are already advertising the prospect of travel packages “should the Dolphins be selected to play in the US in 2025”, as are the Cowboys. The Canberra Raiders have also been open about their application. Earlier this month the chief executive, Don Furner, revealed the club had been on standby for this year’s match, and would be “ready to go in ‘25”. If selected, they are targeting a collaboration with the Las Vegas Raiders NFL team, which plays out of Allegiant Stadium hired by the NRL. The Canberra rugby league entity was originally named after the American club, which has also been based in Oakland and Los Angeles before moving to Las Vegas in 2019. Furner and the Raiders coach, Ricky Stewart, travelled to Oakland in 2015 to visit the club and study its training facilities, and have maintained the relationship in subsequent years. In addition to the Panthers, Dolphins, Cowboys and Raiders, there is reported interest from the Storm, Warriors and Knights. The excitement around next year’s event follows the release by the NRL of key metrics around the 2024 visit. Although the American television audience for the double-header was described by a local ratings expert as a “missed opportunity”, the NRL has highlighted other positive markers. Las Vegas accommodation and hospitality provider Resorts World worked with the NRL and Fox Sports for the endeavour, and claimed 2,500 hotel nights across 580 rooms were sold to fans and partners. The NRL reported more than 10,000 Las Vegas-branded merchandise items were snapped up during the event week, with the most popular item being a football emblazoned with a US flag. “Some of the performance metrics point to early success of the NRL’s US strategy,” Abdo said. “It is a long-term strategy, but the early signs are positive and encouraging. While the statistics are encouraging, there is significant room for growth and improvement.” The league also ran a try-out for US athletes interesting in switching to rugby league as part of the initiative. The four men’s and women’s players that won an opportunity to travel to Australia and be involved in pathways are two American football players and two with experience in rugby league. Megan Pakulis and MarCaya Bailous took part in the Women’s National Champions in Queensland over the weekend. They will now visit NRLW clubs in the hopes of securing contracts for the upcoming NRLW season, which starts in July.

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