Yesterday marked the public launch of the United States’ bid to host the Men’s Rugby World Cup in 2027 or 2031 and the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2029. This is the first time a nation has bid on both the Men’s and Women’s Rugby World Cups together and if the bid is successful, will mark the first time a Men’s Rugby World Cup has been held in North or South America. The team behind the bid has been hard at work since the United States announced it had been formally accepted as a bid candidate in June of 2021 following a robust and successful feasibility study. Progress made to date includes finalizing the bid campaign’s branding, solidifying and surveying fan and public backing for the bid, closely coordinating with federal, state and local government officials, securing the interest of major metropolitan areas from coast to coast and putting in place an experienced team to drive ongoing progress.
“This is a proud moment as we introduce our vision for a Rugby World Cup on American soil,” said USA Rugby World Cup Bid Chair Jim Brown. “After working on this for a year now, we are confident in the strength of this bid, the support around us, the cities and stadiums interested in hosting, our country’s top-level infrastructure for large-scale sports events and the opportunity the U.S. population of sports fans presents for rugby’s growth, both domestically and globally.”
These updates come as the United States’ rugby community gathers in Washington, D.C. ahead of the USA Eagles match with the New Zealand All Blacks in the inaugural 1874 Cup on Saturday, Oct. 23 at FedEx Field.
PUBLIC SUPPORT, FAN EXCITEMENT AND POTENTIAL
New research conducted by the bid team and shared publicly for the first time today revealed that when asked, 80 percent of sports fans and 93 percent of rugby fans said they support the United States hosting the Men’s and Women’s Rugby World Cups in the near future.
Additionally, 78 percent of sports fans and 90 percent of rugby fans believe the United States is well-equipped to host. Research also found strong interest in attending Rugby World Cup matches among rugby fans, with 91 percent saying they’d be interested in watching or attending a Men’s Rugby World Cup hosted by the U.S., and 82 percent saying the same for a Women’s Rugby World Cup. Overall, 66 percent of sports fans and 88 percent of rugby fans believe it would be beneficial for the U.S. to host.
“After my experiences as a player with the USA National Team, I cannot imagine anything that would mean more to rugby players, fans and supporters than hosting a Rugby World Cup in the United States,” said World Rugby Hall of Fame Inductee and Women’s Sports Foundation President, Phaidra Knight. “It’s clear that current U.S. rugby fans are excited about the potential of hosting Rugby World Cup events, and that fans of other sports are interested in learning more about rugby. These are two phenomenal groups we’re excited to bring together through this experience. Additionally, the United States boasts strong women’s sports infrastructure and interest, two things that are lacking globally, making us uniquely suited to host the 2029 Rugby World Cup.”
WORLD-CLASS STADIUMS AND CITIES READY TO HOST
With metropolitan areas from coast to coast ready to welcome global rugby fans, NFL-caliber stadiums around the country interested in hosting Rugby World Cup games and an incredible national infrastructure for coordinating large-scale events, the United States is extremely prepared and well-suited to unite fans old and new through rugby.
The following cities have shown interest in and are currently being considered for participation in the United States’ bid for upcoming Rugby World Cups: Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Birmingham, Ala.; Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Cincinnati; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Indianapolis; Kansas City, Mo.; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; Minneapolis; Nashville, Tenn.; New Orleans; New York; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Vancouver, B.C. and Washington, D.C. The bid includes some of the most state-of-art, massive, technologically advanced and luxurious sporting venues in the world – from iconic venues like the Rose Bowl to recent Super Bowl host venues like Hard Rock Stadium in Miami and Levi’s Stadium in the Bay Area. A projected 3.1 million fans could attend Men’s Rugby World Cup events in the U.S. across 48 matches.
UNITED BY RUGBY
The team today unveiled the bid’s tagline, website and social media channels. The tagline – “United by Rugby” – harkens to the host nation while speaking to rugby’s ability to unite all generations, and the Rugby World Cup’s unique role in bringing nations together. The logo and brand identity are driven by history, nostalgia and unity, creating a distinctly American view of rugby, which has been largely missing from the global rugby scene until recently.
Today also marked the launch of usabid.rugby – the website that will house updates and information about the bid as the process continues. Additionally, more information about the bid can be found via new social media channels: @USRugbyWC (Twitter), @USRugbyWC (Instagram), United States Rugby - World Cup Bid (Facebook) and United States Rugby - World Cup Bid (LinkedIn).
A Men’s Rugby World Cup in the United States in 2027 or 2031 would mark the first time the event has been held in North or South America, which hosts 15 World Rugby unions. This event has the potential to expand interest and participation the sport for generations to come. “A Rugby World Cup in the United States is a turning point for the game,” said USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer Ross Young. “An exciting, unique, global sporting event of this scale on American soil for the first time has the potential to bring tried and true rugby fans, new supporters of the sport, U.S. fans and fans from around the world together through our great game. The Rugby World Cup also presents incredible opportunity to unite our rugby communities and truly grow the sport from youth programs to our senior national teams – injecting fan support and financial interest and creating a new generation of American rugby players.”
GROWING GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
This week in Washington, D.C., the bid’s leadership team is connecting with White House officials and leaders of the Congressional Rugby Caucus to discuss the growing popularity of rugby in the United States and the commercial and cultural value of bringing one of the world’s largest sporting events to U.S. soil for the first time.
Coordination with local and state governments of potential host sites has also been ongoing and positive. Sports commissions, convention and visitors bureaus and stadium operators across the country have shown great support for and interest in hosting Rugby World Cup games. The USA Rugby community of players, coaches and administrators remain galvanized by the opportunity to host a Rugby World Cup, as the event can create new awareness, infrastructure and resources to drive growth within grassroots rugby.
The bid campaign will continue to be funded and resourced by investments from rugby stakeholders and supporters across the U.S. as the planning and preparation phase continues ahead of World Rugby’s January 2022 proposal deadline.