Problems Continue For RWC Organizers As Man City Only Agrees To Host One Game
Problems "continued to mount for 2015 Rugby World Cup organisers" on Wednesday night as Man City prepared to host only one of the fixtures snubbed by arch-rival ManU, according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. Man City is "in negotiations" with England 2015 over staging just one of the tournament’s 48 matches, "raising questions over the commitment to bring the game’s biggest event to all corners of the country and outside its traditional heartlands." ManU confirmed on Tuesday that it "did not want to be considered to host even one fixture." That "dealt a blow to organisers’ hopes" of selling the 2.9 million tickets required to fulfil the £80M ($121M) revenue pledge made to the Int'l Rugby Board. There was "more bad news on the ticket front" on Wednesday when the Government confirmed that it was "set to reject England 2015’s request to have touting at the tournament made illegal" (TELEGRAPH, 4/3).
FOOTBALL GROUNDS ONLY: In London, James Riach reported Premiership rugby club Leicester CEO Simon Cohenthe said that the decision to choose mainly football stadiums to host Rugby World Cup matches "was inevitably going to cause a major headache for organisers." Leicester's Welford Road "had been under consideration by the competition organisers." However, although RWCL was" keen to include the ground, it did not meet the required criteria." Instead, Leicester's King Power Stadium, where the Tigers have played Heineken Cup matches, "was added to the longlist of 17 venues that will be cut by five this month." Cohen: "It's a shame that both the criteria and financial considerations exclude a ground that we feel is the best club rugby stadium in the U.K." (GUARDIAN, 4/3).