Leicester City stadium shortlisted for Rugby World Cup 2015
Posted: Mon, 08 Oct 2012 11:49
The home of Leicester City Football Club has been selected to represent proudly one of England's true rugby heartlands, as the city of Leicester bids to become a host venue for Rugby World Cup 2015.
The 'Leicester City Stadium' has been nominated by England Rugby 2015 on its shortlist of potential host venues for one of the biggest events in international sport, last hosted in this country in 1991.
The stadium will now be central to Leicester's bid, backed by Leicester City Council, which will now be subject to further evaluation alongside 16 other candidate venues, announced by England Rugby 2015 on Monday 8th October.
The final 10 to 12 Rugby World Cup match venues will then be confirmed in the spring of 2013.
Leicester's City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: "I am delighted that the bid we submitted on behalf of the city has been shortlisted and that we will move through to the next phase of the venue selection process.
"Leicester is more than capable of hosting such a world-class sporting event, and I am very pleased that England Rugby 2015 and Rugby World Cup Limited have recognised this.
"Our bid will now be considered alongside those of other cities announced today, and I am confident that by working closely with Leicester City Football Club and Leicester Tigers we will be able to show England Rugby 2015 and the rest of the world that Leicester is the right choice for Rugby World Cup 2015."
The 'Leicester City Stadium' has played host to seven major rugby union matches since its opening in 2002, including two quarter-finals and two semi-finals in the European Cup between 2005 and 2009, and an exhibition match between a World XV and a South Africa XV in 2006.
The stadium has also hosted senior international football matches involving England and Brazil, a pre-season fixture between Leicester City and Real Madrid and, most recently, an internationally-televised Thai boxing event in front of a sell-out crowd.
Susan Whelan, Chief Executive Officer of Leicester City Football Club, said: "We are honoured to have been selected as a potential host for such a prestigious international sporting event and we look forward to working with our partners from the Leicester City Council and Leicester Tigers to delivering a bid the city can be proud of and, hopefully, to securing Leicester's place as an official host venue of Rugby World Cup 2015.
"The home of Leicester City Football Club has already hosted an array of elite sporting events in the 10 years since it opened and we have recently invested extensively in ensuring it is one of the UK's best-equipped stadia for staging international sports events.
"That together with the city's proud sporting heritage and the passion of its people should combine to make Leicester's bid an extremely strong one."