Honestly, I think it would work quite well. If you are looking to take Origin to an alternate venue, you want to go somewhere with rich ties to the concept and a die hard fan base.
Townsville fits the bill. May be a shit hole full of dumb hicks, but it's (excuse the cliche) rugby league heartland.
Timing is askew though. This kind of thing needed to happen with JT still going around, preferably on his last series. You'd still lose out on ticket sales but you could promote the ever loving shit out of it.