By Daniel Hunter
England Rugby 2015 (ER 2015), the tournament organiser for Rugby World Cup 2015, has announced the long list of 17 potential match venues for consideration to host the 48 Rugby World Cup 2015 matches.
The venues selected comprise some of sport’s most iconic stadia with the best facilities from 15 different cities across England and Wales.
The approved long list of venues is as follows:
- 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
"The selection of the long list of potential venues represents an exciting milestone for Rugby World Cup 2015, when fans up and down the country can begin to get excited about the prospect of one of sport’s greatest events coming to their local city or town," 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."
The selection procedure took into account a geographical spread across the country, sporting and facilities criteria, levels of support from candidate host cities and capacity requirements for the successful delivery of a Rugby World Cup that will see approximately 2.9 million tickets being made available to fans, and upwards of 400,000 international fans visiting England from over 100 countries.
In order to undertake the next stage in the venue selection process, ER 2015 will continue to hold positive discussions with the venues in collaboration with their respective city councils, regional authorities and other stakeholders, including the Premier League and Football League.
And Bernard Lapasset, Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman, is confident the venues will enhance tournament:"Rugby World Cup Limited is delighted with the range of locations and iconic stadia, steeped in sporting folklore, that have been selected as potential Rugby World Cup 2015 match venues. We are very fortunate that England possesses some of the finest sporting venues in the world.
“We have developed a strong working partnership with ER 2015 and planning and preparation continues to advance ahead of schedule. We are sure that this selection of sporting venues will capture the imagination of rugby and sport fans not just in England but all over the world. It is a testament to the strength of the Rugby World Cup brand that there has been such strong interest from a wide range of English cities and venues to host and be a part of the world’s third largest sporting event.
"Indeed, with a little under three years to go until the world's best players and their fans gather in England, we are confident that the eighth chapter in the remarkable Rugby World Cup story will be a wonderful success, and an event that England and the global Rugby family will be proud of."
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