London: Olympic Stadium to host Rugby World Cup in 2015?

source: BBC.co.uk

London: Olympic Stadium to host Rugby World Cup in 2015? If a tenant is finally chosen for the ground’s legacy, this seems very likely. Rugby World Cup organisers are turning to venues that don’t host rugby day-to-day as only four rugby stadiums expressed interest in hosting the event, with 10-12 needed.

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"You would be mad not to include it as part of your thinking," said Ross Young, chief operating officer of England's organising committee. Rugby World Cup is to come in exactly two years from now, but venue selection is planned in early 2013.

Until then Olympic Stadium needs to have its future sorted out to become part of the rugby tournament. And this may not proof that easy, as bidding procedures are already well over a year after initial deadline.

Whoever will become the new 99-year operator of the Olympic Stadium (with West Ham remaining favourite of 4 bidders), will most likely see the stadium redeveloped before 2015 tournament with capacity supposedly decreasing to 60,000 as the most viable option.

Interestingly, the rugby event organising committee had to turn to both the Olympic and football stadiums in order to host the 2015 event.

"To get as near as we can to the three million ticket sales, we have to engage with football clubs because they are the only ones who are going to give us the capacity to drive those numbers," Young said.

Among possible 10-12 host venues there are only two solid rugby candidates: Twickenham and Millennium Stadium. Of remaining rugby venues only the ones in Leicester and Gloucester expressed interest. Thus selection of Wembley, Old Trafford and Anfield seems inevitable.

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