England's Rugby World Cup To Take Place In Mostly Football Stadiums
England’s rugby World Cup in '15 "will see the sport showcased almost exclusively away from rugby stadiums, as nine of the 12 venues selected to host the tournament’s matches are football grounds," according to Stephen Jones of the SUNDAY TIMES. Wembley, Old Trafford and St. James’ Park have been chosen, and Gloucester’s home, Kingsholm, is the "only club rugby stadium on the list." The only other recognized rugby arenas are Twickenham and the Millennium stadium. Leicester Tigers "have expressed their fury that no games will take place at their 24,000-capacity Welford Road, but Leicester City’s 32,000-capacity King Power stadium will stage four games." The official announcement of venues and matches "will not be made until later in the month but the 12 venues are settled unless the Olympic stadium suddenly becomes available" (SUNDAY TIMES, 3/3). In London, Rik Sharma wrote the "only issue left to resolve" is whether Villa Park or the Ricoh Arena will be used. However, a spokesperson for the 2015 Rugby World Cup "denied the list was valid." Larger capacities -- "and therefore the potential for more tickets sold -- are the reason football stadiums are being used." The organizers "need an average attendance" of 55,000 in order to reach the £80M ($120M) guarantee they have made to the Int'l Rugby Board (DAILY MAIL, 3/3).