The NSW Government has set an April 1 deadline for the NRL to gain a 65-game commitment from eight Sydney-based NRL clubs to play at the proposed three major venues.
The $1.6 billion funding hinges on the NRL's ability to convince the Wests Tigers, St George Illawarra Dragons, Manly Sea Eagles and Cronulla Sharks to commit to a combined 23 home games at either the new Parramatta Stadium, ANZ Stadium and Allianz Stadium (or a new Moore Park stadium).
The NRL, which scheduled urgent meetings with each club during the past week, has earmarked the Sydney Roosters (11 games), Parramatta (11), South Sydney (10) and Canterbury (10), but are still in negotiations with the other clubs over moving from their respective suburban grounds.
Cronulla and Manly will meet ARLC chairman John Grant on Wednesday and are likely to be asked to commit to at least seven games between them - that is if the NRL is successful in convincing the Dragons and Tigers to commit to eight games each.
However, given the cash-strapped Dragons and Tigers rely on NRL funding to operate, it is believed the two joint-venture clubs, who currently play four matches each at the major venues, will be willing to co-operate to ensure the funding proposal isn't taken off the table.
As reported by Fairfax Media last Sunday, Sports Minister Stuart Ayres wants the NRL to commit two out of three Sydney NRL games to be played at the "network" of major venues to justify its investment.
However Penrith hasn't been included in calculations given the state government has highlighted the potential for a new stadium in greater western Sydney.
Grant held a meeting with Ayres, who is a major backer of the SCG Trust's plans for a new stadium at Moore Park, at the minister's Sydney office on Monday.
While the NRL is confident of gaining a 65-game commitment from the eight clubs, it remains at loggerheads with some of the city's biggest clubs over the funding allocation.
It is understood once the NRL pledges to play 65 matches at the network of major venues, they will be given until May 31 to decide on how to split the remaining billion dollars between Allianz Stadium and ANZ Stadium.
The NRL is continuing to back the Dave Smith-proposed 55,000-seat new stadium at Moore Park, however five major clubs - including the Allianz Stadium-based Roosters - remain opposed to it.
The Smith model would likely see Allianz Stadium receive $800 million while ANZ Stadium would be left with a $200 million facelift.
However the clubs are keen to switch the funding model to see the Olympic venue gain most of the allocation to turn it into a permanent rectangular facility.
It is unclear what role new chief executive Todd Greenberg will play given he wasn't previously included in the two-year consultation.
The clubs believe it will benefit their cause if the former ANZ Stadium general manager was to be given a seat at the table, however there is a fear among key stakeholders that the new NRL boss is being kept at arm's length from discussions.
Grant has entrusted the NRL's head of government relations, Jaymes Boland-Rudder, formerly the right-hand man to Barry O'Farrell, and former Queensland treasurer Andrew Fraser to head up the consultation with the clubs and government.
The clubs and NRL have been invited to attend a design briefing at ANZ Stadium on Thursday, with plans to be unveiled that show how the stadium would look if it was to receive most of the funding ($600-$700 million).
The SCG Trust held a similar meeting with the clubs earlier in the month in regards to the proposal of a new stadium at Moore Park.
HOW THE HOME GAMES COULD BE SPLIT AT MAJOR VENUES
South Sydney Rabbitohs: 10 games
The Rabbitohs are likely to play 10 home matches at ANZ Stadium. They currently take two games away to Cairns and Perth.
Sydney Roosters: 11 games
The Roosters will play 11 home games at Allianz Stadium or a potential new stadium at Moore Park. They currently take one game away to Gosford.
Canterbury Bulldogs: 10 games
The Bulldogs will play 10 home games at ANZ Stadium. They currently play two matches at their traditional home in Belmore.
Parramatta Eels: 11 games
The Eels will play all their home matches out of the new Parramatta stadium but could explore the possibility of two blockbuster games (likely Bulldogs and Tigers) at ANZ Stadium. They also take a game to the Northern Territory each year.
St George Illawarra Dragons: 8 games
The Dragons currently play four games out of the major venues and four out of both Wollongong and Kogarah respectively. They could be forced into eight at the major venues and two each at the suburban grounds.
Wests Tigers: 8 games
The Tigers currently play four games out of ANZ Stadium and four out of both Leichhardt and Campbelltown respectively. They could be forced into eight at the major venues and two each at the suburban grounds.
Cronulla Sharks and Manly Sea Eagles: Combined 7 games
The Sharks and Sea Eagles play exclusively out of their respective Cronulla and Brookvale grounds. However they could alternate each year and play three or four games out of Allianz Stadium (or new Moore Park Stadium).