Jarryd Hayne may be riding the pine for the Niners right now, but that hasn’t stopped the wave of NFL enthusiasm around Australia. Looking to capitalise on the competition’s popularity, San Francisco 49ers chairman John York is reportedly in talks with NSW Premier Mike Baird about bringing the game to Sydney.
According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, Baird and the management of ANZ Stadium have been speaking to NFL and 49ers representatives for weeks in an attempt to bring the world’s most-attended sport to Australia.
“It’s something we’d definitely consider with the NFL,” Dr York said. “We’re fully aware of the interest Jarryd Hayne has created in Sydney and Australia.
“I’ve met fans from Australia at every game this year. The support is incredible.”
Baird also confirmed the talks are in process; “It’d be great to get the Hayne train and the 49ers to Sydney and we’re talking to the NFL about making it happen.”
ANZ Stadium boss Daryl Kerry also added that an NFL pre-season game would be the biggest sporting event in Sydney since the 2000 Olympics, somehow forgetting the MLB curtain-raiser between the LA Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks in March 2014.
The 49ers exhibition would be the first NFL game played in Sydney since 73,811 people saw the Denver Broncos play the San Diego Chargers in 1999. However with a hometown hero wearing a 49ers jersey, attendance for the planned pre-season spectacle is sure to top the ’99 figure.