Rugby League’s Las Vegas Transformational Venture: Strategic Plan Key

Rugby League’s Las Vegas Adventure: A Transformational Opportunity for the Sport

Sky Sports presenter Brian Carney believes that Super League’s upcoming venture to Las Vegas in 2025 could be a “transformational moment” for the sport, but he has emphasized the need for a strategic plan to accompany this bold move.

On Tuesday, it was confirmed that Wigan Warriors will face off against Warrington Wolves at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on March 1, 2025. This fixture will precede a clash between the Canberra Raiders and the New Zealand Warriors in the NRL, as well as an international women’s Test match between England and Australia.

Carney, speaking at the Las Vegas launch event in Manchester, expressed his enthusiasm for the opportunity, stating, “If we make the most of this as a sport, this could be a huge lift.” However, he also cautioned that the sport must have a clear understanding of its identity and how it wants to be perceived both on and off the field.

“If this is part of a reset, this could be a transformational moment for the sport,” Carney said. “The game has got to fundamentally understand how it wants to be seen by other sports and drive that message home.”

The former rugby league player believes that a strategic plan is crucial to make the most of this venture, as the decision to go to Las Vegas has been made “the wrong way around.” He emphasized the need for a long-term vision that showcases the sport’s entertainment value and global appeal, drawing comparisons to the success of events like the UFC and boxing.

Carney’s comments come as Wigan chief executive Kris Radlinski has expressed a desire to open up the Las Vegas opportunity across the entire Super League competition. This follows previous efforts by the league to expand its reach, with games played in Barcelona, Wollongong, Millwall, and Leicester in the past.

Ultimately, Carney believes that the Las Vegas adventure has the potential to be a “huge lift” for rugby league, but only if the sport seizes the moment and aligns it with a clear strategic plan that resonates with existing fans, latent fans, and new audiences alike.

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