Cowboy stampede to be part of NRL’s Las Vegas story

Joel Gould |

Interest is high in North Queensland for the Cowboys to go to Las Vegas for round one in 2025.
Interest is high in North Queensland for the Cowboys to go to Las Vegas for round one in 2025.

Interest in the region of North Queensland about being part of the NRL’s 2025 season opener in Las Vegas is sky-high, which is why CEO Jeff Reibel says the Cowboys are keen to put their hands up to go.

After the success of round one in Sin City last week, the NRL is keen to make a call sooner rather than later on which four teams go next year.

On Thursday the Cowboys put out expressions of interest to fans for travel packages to be part of the 2025 extravaganza in Las Vegas.

“We put that expression of interest out  and garnished 2000 people within 24 hours to say they would saddle up with the Cowboys to go over there,” Reibel said.

“We do want to put our hand up. We want to look at all the things that have come out of the last couple of weeks. Kudos to the teams that went. They were the guinea pigs I suppose. 

“We know what it means commercially. We need to talk to our coaches and see what the high-performance data is.”

The Cowboys have to deal with the tyranny of distance because of their location, and already do plenty of travel within a given season.

They have plenty of clout off the field that can sometimes go unnoticed, and which plays into the club being a drawcard in Las Vegas.

Reibel said it is the rusted-on league community that is the base for the Las Vegas interest. 

“We have got a footprint larger than the geographical area of NSW. Within that footprint … 600,000 people live,” he said.

“Within an hour of our stadium 200,000 people live. Last year we averaged 22,000 at our stadium.  This year we have already pre-sold 10,500 full-season memberships.

“The Cowboys sell more corporate hospitality than anyone else in the league, and 95 per cent of that is sold for the full season.”

The Cowboys open their NRL season on Sunday against the Dolphins at Suncorp Stadium.

Reibel and Dolphins chief Terry Reader both travelled to Las Vegas for a CEO conference.

Reader said the Dolphins were also keen to be part of the 2025 event.

“Journos are telling me we are already going. That’s news to me because nobody has told us,” Reader said.

“We got the chance to have a look at it up close and personal (in Las Vegas), how the teams did their camps, the  length of the camps, and saw what they produced on the field. 

“Whoever does it next year will learn a lot from what the clubs did.”