Orange is jostling to take advantage of the NRL's continued push into the bush once its $25 million sports stadium is completed.
Last week the NSW government announced it would provide funding for regional centres wishing to host NRL games, with Dubbo's Apex Oval at the forefront after mayor Ben Shields said he wanted a top-flight game in the city by 2023.
Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said he wanted five or six NRL matches played in regional centres next season, and Member for Orange Phil Donato said while Orange wouldn't be ready for 2021, he wanted the city to host games in the future.
"For sure, we've got a wonderful opportunity to attract [NRL games] west with the new sports precinct," Mr Donato said.
There is a significant cost to hosting an NRL game - Bathurst's 10-year deal with the Penrith Panthers to have one game a year at Carrington Park costs around $250,000 per fixture.
Last week Mr Saunders confirmed those figures were in the ballpark but said the state government and the NRL could work together with councils to ease the burden.
Mr Donato said he hoped more governing bodies would come to the table, including tourism board Destination NSW, to help splash some cash.
"Destination NSW will probably come to the table, but looking at it the return on investment is really good," Mr Donato said.
"Look at Mudgee with Glen Willow, the money injected when the NRL plays is millions and millions into pubs and hotels and businesses - the whole gamut.
"It's a good return on investment."
Mr Donato said Destination NSW had sent money Orange's way to help host Shute Shield games, and he expected the same should an NRL game or preseason clash come west.
He also said there was no reason Orange couldn't begin bidding for a game as early as possible.
"What a way to open a new stadium and sporting precinct than by hosting an NRL or A-League game?"
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