USA Accepted as Bid Candidate for Rugby World Cup 2027, 2029, 2031
June 10, 2021 - Major League Rugby (MLR) News Release
GLENDALE, CO - The United States has been formally accepted as a candidate to host one or more of the upcoming Rugby World Cup events in 2027, 2029 and/or 2031. Subsequently, the United States will move forward with a proposed hosting concept following positive outcomes from the Rugby World Cup Feasibility Study that began in August 2020 and World Rugby Dialogue Phase. The feasibility group, in tandem with USA Rugby, will continue its role and transition from exploratory phase to bid planning and preparation ahead of the January 2022 proposal deadline with World Rugby. The group will bring together American rugby and sports experts to develop proposals across a number of hosting concept categories, including financial planning, event objectives, competitions, stadiums and host cities, player welfare, rugby development, legacy and more.
USA Rugby CEO and former General Manager to Rugby World Cup Limited, Ross Young said, "Putting our hand up to host a Rugby World Cup is a benchmark for the game in America, however the exciting stages are just now beginning as the stakeholder group continues into campaign planning. The great work this group of subject matter experts, led by former Director Jim Brown, has done supersedes what has happened previously at this stage, and truly highlights the potential for a Rugby World Cup being held on American soil."
The United States will move forward with bid proposals for the 2027 and 2031 men's competition, along with the 2029 women's competition. As analysis continues, potential for a combined bid of both the men's and women's competitions may come together if the process determines this approach is feasible and constructive toward hosting a world class experience across both events.
The decision to take this major step into a host bid campaign is predicated by positive and encouraging results from the Rugby World Cup Feasibility Study, whose sole purpose is to assess the United States ability to host a Rugby World Cup and what the maximum potential and criteria for success would look like. With unique challenges present in the American sporting landscape, the study fielded constructive and quality feedback across financial, host city, stadium, competition and rugby development categories. Most notably, domestic outreach received overwhelmingly constructive feedback and excitement from major cities and stadiums when considering the potential for hosting and supporting men's and women's Rugby World Cup matches.
Similarly, preliminary financial analysis reflecting stadium, audience and commercial potential unique to the United States, indicates significant returns and economic impact for the union and global game. Therefore, signifying a meaningful investment for the ongoing legacy of rugby, both domestically and globally. More detail on economic and growth impact will come together through the upcoming bid campaign.
USA Rugby World Cup Bid Chair, Jim Brown added, "In August, we set out to do a full evaluation and expert analysis to answer a question long asked, can the United States host a Rugby World Cup? The process was an undertaking; however, we are delighted to confirm that the US could not only meet the technical requirements of hosting the men's and women's events, but also reach new levels of team and fan experience. We look forward to sharing results with the USA Rugby community and begin this journey towards rugby's biggest stage."
A final and important element to the feasibility study was a comprehensive Dialogue Phase with World Rugby where audit of preliminary proposals were positive. Study findings and overall questions were available for discussion over a series of meetings designed to clearly communicate expectations, standards and further possibilities of the hosting concept.
USA Rugby Council Representative and World Rugby Executive Committee member, Bob Latham noted, "The work accomplished by Jim Brown and the USA Rugby World Cup feasibility group was well received at the World Rugby level. USA Rugby has cleared an important first hurdle by establishing our capability to present a credible and compelling bid at this stage in the process. The prospect is exciting, and I hope that everyone with an interest in the future of rugby in America will come together to support this effort."
As with the feasibility study, the bid campaign will continue to be funded and resourced by investments from rugby stakeholders across the US landscape, whereby USA Rugby will continue to remain collaborative. Presentable materials of the feasibility study are also being prepared to share with the rugby community, educating on the positive outcomes and encouraging support of the upcoming bid campaign.
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