The Green Machine will be road Raiders for the first two months of the relaunched NRL season, but a cross-code partnership could help sweeten the deal for a return to Canberra.
The NRL has unveiled its six venues for the next seven weeks, with the Raiders to restart their season in Melbourne next weekend and play "home games" at Campbelltown.
Canberra Stadium is officially closed until July 9 as part of the ACT's public closure of non-essential business, but an application to the Chief Health Officer would likely see it reopened if required for sport.
It's understood the NRL has spoken to stadium officials to gauge its capacity for meeting strict biosecurity measures put in place to allow the competition to resume next week.
It can be revealed the ACT Brumbies have also spoken to the stadium about potential Super Rugby restart dates, with the competition set to resume on July 4.
The NRL will initially use venues in Sydney, Brisbane, Townsville, Gosford and Melbourne, but Canberra has been overlooked despite the capital recording a 15th consecutive day without a new recorded coronavirus case.
The cost of transporting broadcast equipment and setting it up in Canberra for one-off games without crowds has emerged as a stumbling block, but there is hope games in the capital will be part of the next NRL schedule.
The looming return of the Brumbies could help get the venue back up and running, giving broadcasters a two-for-one deal rather than the large expense for a stand alone fixture.
Canberra Stadium chief operating officer Matthew Elkins said: "The biggest piece will be the biosecurity plans from the NRL and Rugby Australia.
"We'd be keen to work with both the Brumbies and Raiders to find a way it works and meet all of their guidelines for operations."
Stadium staff have used the unprecedented shutdown to complete maintenance and refresh some of the stadium facilities. The venue won't be used again until at least the start of July.
Crowds won't be able to attend either code for the foreseeable future, but having games in Canberra would give the ACT government's naming-rights venue sponsor, GIO, exposure to a national audience.
"We've let both clubs know where we're at in relation to the directions and what they can provide to the Chief Health Officer if they want that consideration," Elkins said.
"Every day the venue is sitting there without football ... all of our venues in [Venues Canberra], it's a difficult time. We had some great matches last year and both teams were looking so good this year.
"We're just desperately waiting for the day we can provide GIO Stadium as a stronghold for the Brumbies and Raiders."
The Raiders and Brumbies were poised to play a historic NRL-Super Rugby doubleheader in Auckland in March before the rugby union was stopped and travel to New Zealand was cancelled.
MORE CANBERRA SPORT
Same-day doubleheaders are unlikely to go ahead this year given the measures put in place by all codes to ensure coronavirus risks are reduced for players and staff.
But the NRL's decision to not schedule any games in Canberra between rounds 3-9 raised eyebrows with officials, who fear the Raiders will be forced to play every game on the road this year.
Apart from the New Zealand Warriors, who are set to based at Gosford, the Raiders are the only NRL team playing all matches more than an hour away from their regular home.
"The competition will begin with a consolidated approach to venues," said NRL boss Andrew Abdo. "Each venue requires customised infrastructure to meet our strict biosecurity requirements. We've adopted a phased approach for venues should restrictions be eased in the future.
"We've chosen three consolidated venues for clubs in and around Sydney to ensure there are no double headers at venues and in different parts of the region to meet the geographical challenges we face."
The Raiders will play the Melbourne Storm in Melbourne on May 30 and then meet the Newcastle Knights at Campbelltown as a home game on June 7. The NRL is set to publish details for five more rounds on Thursday.
"I'm assuming we'll be able to play some home games but we travel as a team really well anyway so it's not a big problem for us," said Raiders co-captain Josh Hodgson.
"We'll be fine to play wherever we have to play, it's a sign of a good team when you can just adapt under adversity and get on with things."