Canberra are a step closer to an early NRL home ground return after receiving ACT government approval to play their round-eight match at GIO Stadium on July 3.
The Raiders are now hoping to get the green light from the NRL so they can start hosting matches in the nation's capital two weeks earlier than previously scheduled.
Club officials will meet on Friday with the ACT government to finalise protocols for the round-eight game against St George Illawarra and are hopeful fans will be allowed to attend.
The ACT government is yet to finalise how many supporters can go to games despite the NSW government's approval of a 25 per cent capacity for medium-sized stadiums from round 10.
The Queensland government announced this week that the state's stadiums could host up to 2000 fans from Saturday.
It is another positive sign that all NRL teams could be back at their home grounds earlier than expected.
After resuming from the coronavirus shutdown on May 28, the league scheduled games at limited venues until round nine, including three grounds in NSW, two in Queensland and one in Victoria.
Canberra were assigned Campbelltown Stadium as their "home" ground - a three-hour drive away.
NRL executives were this week believed to be exploring the possibility of all 16 clubs moving back to their own grounds in a fortnight.
The NRL will need approval from the game's broadcasters before allowing teams back to their own venues.
Raiders winger Jordan Rapana said a home ground return could not come soon enough for his team.
"In terms of home games we drew the short straw," he said.
"Not that I am looking for excuses but it is not very convenient travelling three hours for a home game - it is the same distance to all our away games.
"The sooner we get games back here the better for us - we look forward to it."
Raiders back-rower Joe Tapine said it had been hard for players to prepare for home games at Campbelltown Stadium.
"There's a bit of adjustment. It's a learning process," he said.
"You have to adjust your game-day preparation.
"That has been a big thing for me, getting that right and getting my head right before the game.
"I am looking forward to getting back (to Canberra) and hopefully the crowds start rolling in."
It is believed Super Rugby outfit the Brumbies are seeking ACT government approval to play at GIO Stadium on July 4, the day after the Raiders-Dragons clash.
Canberra "host" Manly in their round-six clash at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday.
Australian Associated Press