Re-development works at Oki Jubilee Stadium will see the St George Illawarra Dragons play their first four home games of the 2005 season at WIN Stadium in Wollongong.
The NRL released the 2005 schedule two weeks ago, leaving the Dragons to determine their home game venue split, which includes seven games at WIN Stadium and five at Oki Jubilee in Sydney.
Dragons Chief Executive Officer Peter Doust said there were a number of issues to consider in making the decision, not just the building works at Oki Jubilee.
?Providing appropriate time for building works at Oki to be completed concluded the discussion on the first four home games,? said Doust. ?We learned our lessons from the work undertaken in 2002/03 and given the need for community consultation and approvals from local authorities we needed to provide for an end of April completion.
?We also needed to avoid clashes with other events in our key communities and maximise the benefits of our spread across our two playing venues.
?We believe the outcome provides the best balance in the circumstances and we look forward to some mouthwatering clashes at both venues. ?
In 2005, the Dragons will host the Storm in their first home game at WIN Stadium in round 2 followed by the Eagles (rnd 5), Broncos (rnd 6), Rabbits (rnd 9), Warriors (rnd13), Tigers (rnd16) and Roosters (rnd 21).
Round 10 will see the first game at Oki Jubilee Stadium against the Panthers followed by the Cowboys (rnd14), Sharks (rnd 20), Eels (rnd 24) and Knights (rnd 26).
The Dragons also plan to continue to honor the ?Heritage? traditions in both communities throughout the season.
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS 2005 ROUND DRAW
RD TEAM DAY DATE TIME VENUE C/Shield Rabbitohs Saturday 19 February 8.00pm Aussie Stadium Trial 2 Manly Saturday 26 February TBA Albion Park Trial 3 NA 1 Bulldogs Friday 11 March 7.30pm Telstra Stadium 2 Storm 18-20 March WIN Stadium 3 Panthers 25-27 March Penrith Football Stadium 4 Raiders 1-3 April Canberra Stadium 5 Eagles 8-10 April WIN Stadium 6 Broncos 15-17 April WIN Stadium 7 Roosters 25 April Aussie Stadium 8 Wests Tigers 29/30 April, 1 May Campbelltown Stadium CITY V COUNTRY 6 MAY 2005 9 Rabbitohs 7-8 May WIN Stadium 10 Panthers 13-15 May Oki Jubilee Stadium 11 Knights 20-22 May Energy Australia Stadium STATE OF ORIGIN 1 MAY 25 2005 12 Storm 27-29 May 13 Warriors 3-5 June WIN Stadium 14 Cowboys 10-12 June Oki Jubilee Stadium STATE OF ORIGIN 2 JUNE 15 2005 15 Rabbitohs 17-19 June Sydney Cricket Ground 16 Wests Tigers 24-26 June WIN Stadium 17 BYE STATE OF ORIGIN 3 JULY 6 2005 18 Eels 8-10 July Parramatta Stadium 19 Manly 15-17 July Brookvale Oval 20 Sharks 22-24 July Oki Jubilee Stadium 21 Roosters 29-31 July WIN Stadium 22 Cowboys 5-7 August Dairy Farmers Stadium 23 Broncos 12-14 August Suncorp Stadium 24 Eels 19-21 August Oki Jubilee Stadium 25 BYE 26 Knights 2-4 September Oki Jubilee Stadium