A reminder to all St George Illawarra Dragons members and fans that the club has had a banner and flag registration policy for several years in name of assisting ease of entry to supporters on match days.
We currently have 24 banners or flags registered as a result of this policy; the process as found in the venue information page on our website is as follows:
- Poles (including metal flag poles), sticks or oversized flags/banners (1.5m x 1m with flagpoles over 1.4m), including 'selfie sticks' are not permitted into the venue unless otherwise pre-registered with the club.
- To register a banner, it's encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org the dimensions and wording at least one week prior to the game.
- We ask spectators to be mindful that large flags and banners may restrict other spectators' viewing capabilities. Flags and banners cannot be hung from fences and cannot obstruct signage.
The club was made aware after the Dragons' Round 23 clash against the Sydney Roosters on Saturday night that a non-member was not permitted entry into Netstrata Jubilee Stadium with their banner.
Netstrata Jubilee Stadium is owned and managed by Georges River Council. Council management made the decision, in isolation, to not permit entry without consulting the Dragons.
The club have had regular discussions with Netstrata Jubilee management about banners and there is a process in place to notify the club before any refusal. Georges River Council acted outside of this process.
When the club contacted venue management after the game, Georges River Council provided the following response: "Stadium management considered the content of the banners to be derogatory and inflammatory and denied entry of the banners in the interests of the client and public order, in accordance with the Conditions of Entry at the venue."
The purpose of the banner registration process, which many other NRL clubs also have, is to avoid situations such as the one that occurred on Saturday.
Had the Dragons been made aware of the circumstances on Saturday by Georges River Council, as is the agreed process, the banner would have been permitted entry.
The St George Illawarra Dragons refute any suggestions of involvement in the decision or censorship, and would encourage all supporters intending to bring banners to future games to utilise the banner registration policy that's in place.