Denver meet crux USA-hosted Rugby World Cup


US wants to go big with World Rugby Image: USA Bid Rugby

The USA Rugby World Cup Bid Committee was joined by World Rugby Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alan Gilpin, and colleagues recently in Denver (US) for a series of productive workshops to progress the exclusive targeted dialog for a USA-hosted Rugby World Cup. The meetings reviewed central topics including budget, US Government support and rugby development.

The ‘usabid’ stated that with support of World Rugby, the United States has also restructured the hosting model to target both the 2031 Men’s and 2033 Women’s Rugby World Cup events, and World Rugby is in full support of exploring that concept during continued discussions. The model of consecutive events in 10-years’ time is aligned with a projected development timeline for successful Rugby World Cup experiences in the United States and global rugby advancement.

Dublin (Ireland)-based World Rugby is the world governing body for the sport of rugby union. World Rugby organizes the Rugby World Cup every four years, the sport’s most recognized and most profitable competition.

The new Rugby World Cup hosting model sees a partnership business approach between the host nation and World Rugby, moving away from the traditional rights awarding model. This will enable the host nation, the host union and World Rugby to maximize strategic outcomes.

A portion of the meetings were hosted by the 76,125-capacity Empower Field at Mile High in Denver (US), home of the National Football League (NFL) team Denver Broncos. The 75,000-seat stadium is a candidate venue for the USA bid. Host City and stadium commitments continue to progress as the bid committee works towards initial US Government guarantees in support of the hosting model. In March, a Congressional Resolution was introduced, pledging Congress will give full consideration to legislative proposals or other requests to assist preparations for these principal events.

Most importantly, rugby development was on the meeting agenda as growth across USA Rugby and the global game remains paramount in the hosting concept. USA Rugby and World Rugby are committed to developing an 11-year growth strategy that will organize and align goals across the youth, collegiate, senior club, and professional level.

Remarked Jim Brown, USA Rugby Bid Committee Chair, “The workshops with World Rugby have been extraordinarily constructive. We have been able to update on positive benchmarks the host concept has achieved to date and thoroughly discuss how the United States, our candidate Host Cities, stadiums and World Rugby can partner on the delivery of two successful Rugby World Cups.”

Added Brown, “Following a series of assessments and discussion with USA Rugby, we believe a hosting model of Men’s and Women’s events in 2031 and 2033 is better positioned for the US to set development goals and deliver on our promise of a catalyst for rugby growth in the United States.”

Added Gilpin, “USA is absolutely primed to host exceptional Rugby World Cups and the productive meetings have reinforced that belief. The remodeled hosting strategy allows us for the first time to target nations that are central to rugby’s global growth objectives and the USA is at the very heart of that objective. If we want to be globally relevant and strong as a sport, we must look to the likes of the USA. We are excited by confirmation of USA’s candidature for a women’s event in 2033, which allows us to develop a long-term hosting and growth plan in partnership with USA Rugby and other stakeholders that will help the nation and North America realize its rugby potential in every sense, which is in turn great for everyone in the game.”

USA Rugby CEO, Ross Young, commented on the meeting summit, “There is much more to share in the coming days after we summarize the workshop productivity in Denver. However, we are very encouraged by the collective consideration we continue to see from USA Rugby stakeholders, the bid committee, candidate Host Cities, Government officials and, of course, World Rugby. An invaluable benefit to the targeted dialog phase has been working together through this phase of strategic planning, where we are mutually confident in our timeline towards 2031 and 2033. Our objective from the very beginning has been due diligence, and we’re assured that the concept in place will be a true vehicle for growth across the USA Rugby community and global game.”

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