Finally! There's a reason to be thankful for Victorians. I know, crazy right, but strange things happen in pandemics.
They've highlighted the importance of having a new Civic Stadium in Canberra.
Next week's State of Origin series opener was meant to be held at the MCG on Wednesday night, but the Victorian COVID-19 lockdown put a line through that.
The NRL mooted Canberra Stadium as a possible replacement venue, albeit not overly enthusiastically. They held talks with the stadium to determine how much it would cost to hire, who the caterers were, ticketing - that kind of thing. But they were blown out of the water by the size of other bids, with both NSW and Queensland governments getting out the cheque books.
Massive wads of Queensland government cash convinced the NRL Townsville was the better venue.
Just exactly how much cabbage? In the ballpark of $8.2 million. That's not including the $293 million that went into building the new stadium in the Far North Queensland town in the middle of nowhere.
Most of that stadium moolah came from the federal government's sports rorts program. I mean, buying-votes-in-Australia's-most-marginal-seat program. I mean, whatever the official name of the program that's political speak for one of the two aforementioned names.
Given the NRL recorded a $25 million loss last financial year, that massive brown paper bag was too much for NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo to resist.
He also said the fact there was a brand-spanking-new stadium helped seal the deal for the FN banana-benders.
Oh, and there was also some gibber about Townsville being the safest option according to the NRL's biosecurity experts and deserving it because Origin had never been held there before.
[Just for the record, Origin has never been held in the ACT either. And the COVID data, which ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys loves talking about, certainly paints a damning picture of Canberra. The capital has had 3.5 times more coronavirus cases than Townsville since the pandemic began. Yep it's a whopping 124 to 34. So much safer up north.]
It left Canberra's rugby league fans dreaming of what could've been. If only they were a marginal seat. If only the ACT government had that kind of cabbage to throw around. If only we too had a brand-spanking new stadium.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr made it clear his government wouldn't be getting involved in bidding wars for sporting events last year.
Not for the AFL, not for cricket and now not for Origin either.
Unfortunately, a new stadium also wasn't on the Barr government's agenda until after 2025, with their feasibility study revealing it would cost $582 million if opened by 2027 and $645 million if pushed back five years.
Given the Mr Fluffy asbestos debacle and the ACT government's focus on getting the tram to Woden, that kind of money won't be padding out their coffers for a while.
But there's been lingering rumours the federal government's coming around to the idea of giving Canberra a much-needed hand. They'd be willing to stump up $280 million if Barr's mob were willing to match the cash.
Saturday Serve's been told that money wasn't allocated in this year's federal budget. Although there's been further rumours the feds will look to do their own feasibility study, which would be announced on Parliament Hill in October. Two feasibility studies in the hand are worth one in the bush after all.
While there's hope government money can get the Civic Stadium across the line, it's believed the ACT government has been looking into the potential of a private backer helping fund the venture - including the investors behind Canberra's A-League push.
Regardless of who funds it, it's becoming clear if Canberra wants to have a chance of bringing big sporting events like Origin to the capital then the current Canberra Stadium - built in 1977 - wasn't going to cut the mustard.