Leicester upset after Welford Road left off Rugby World Cup venue list
Leicester chairman Peter Tom has criticised the decision to scrap Welford Road as a potential 2015 World Cup venue.
Gloucester’s Kingsholm is the only Aviva Premiership rugby ground on a list of 17 potential venues chosen by tournament organisers England Rugby 2015, with 12 Premier League and Football League grounds included as well as Wembley and the Olympic Stadium. The home grounds of Manchester United, Newcastle, Sunderland, Aston Villa and Southampton have all been included on the list after expressing an interest in staging World Cup matches.
ER2015 have also named the Amex Stadium in Brighton, Bristol City’s Ashton Gate, Pride Park in Derby, Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, Elland Road in Leeds and stadiummk in Milton Keynes. ER2015 will confirm the final list of ten-12 venues early in the new year, once the tournament match schedule has been formulated. The pool draw is being held on 3 December in London.
Welford Road, Leicester’s home for 120 years, is the biggest club rugby stadium in the country but its facilities were not deemed to be of a high enough standard.
Leicester is still represented by the city’s 32,000-capacity football stadium – but Tom has questioned why the Tigers’ heritage and contribution to rugby has been overlooked.
“We are hugely disappointed to learn that Welford Road will not play a part in England’s hosting of the Rugby World Cup in 2015,” he said.
“Welford Road has hosted many, many major occasions over the years, including visits from South Africa, Australia and Argentina national teams in recent seasons. It is home to the best-supported and most successful club in the history of the professional game in this country and, as such, we believe it is worthy of Rugby World Cup status.”
The 17-strong list of potential venues is completed by Twickenham and the Millennium Stadium.
Tom is not alone in arguing that the World Cup should be utilising more rugby grounds – but ER2015 have to sell 2.9 million tickets in order to cover the £80million guarantee owed to the International Rugby Board. Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium was in the original bid document but it does not feature on the shortlist, replaced by the Olympic Stadium.
ER2015 are in talks with the Olympic Park Legacy Company over the future use of the stadium, which has obvious attractions following the success of London 2012.
Andy Cosslett, England Rugby 2015 chairman, said: “Our vision for Rugby World Cup 2015 is to ensure that we take this prestigious tournament to as many parts of the country as possible and we believe that the geographical spread of venues selected will enable us to maximise the reach of the tournament.
“In addition, we will be selecting further venues for training and team base camps that will ensure that the rugby community is at the very heart of Rugby World Cup 2015.
“We will now continue to work extremely closely with the venues, cities and stakeholders, including the Premier League and Football League, to plan the scheduling of matches and city hosting programmes to select a final list of up to 12 venues.
“We are confident that with the venues selected we will be able to reach our target of having up to 2.9 million tickets available, opening up the tournament to more people than ever before and delivering the biggest and best Rugby World Cup that there has ever been.”
The long list was compiled following an evaluation process undertaken by ER2015 in collaboration with Rugby World Cup Ltd (RWCL), host broadcaster ITV and commercial stakeholders.
World Cup organisers expect 400,000 visitors into England during the tournament and they need an average gate of around 60,000 to break even. That is why the use of venues such as Wembley, Old Trafford, the Sports Direct Arena and the Olympic Stadium is vital to the success of the tournament.
Villa Park, Birmingham; Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton; Ashton Gate, Bristol; Millennium Stadium, Cardiff; Coventry Stadium, Coventry; Pride Park, Derby; Kingsholm, Gloucester; Elland Road, Leeds; Leicester City Stadium, Leicester; Olympic Stadium, London; Twickenham Stadium, London; Wembley Stadium, London; Old Trafford, Manchester; Stadiummk, Milton Keynes; St James’ Park, Newcastle; St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton; Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North