The Amex Community Stadium will be used for group matches during the Rugby World Cup in 2015. Only four traditional rugby venues feature in the list announced today, the rest being football grounds and the Olympic Stadium. Coventry, Bristol, Derby and Sunderland failed to make the final list.
Conservative Group Leader on Brighton & Hove Council, Cllr Geoffrey Theobald believes the decision will provide a huge boost to the city’s economy over the next few years.
“I was always confident that Brighton & Hove, and our fantastic new Community Stadium, would get the thumbs up from the World Cup organisers but it is a great relief to have it finally confirmed today. It will give a tremendous boost to the local economy with thousands of fans potentially coming to stay and spend their money in our hotels, restaurants, bars and shops. It will give Brighton & Hove the opportunity to show millions of people around the world watching on TV what we have to offer, from Fiji to France and Namibia to New Zealand. I cannot overstate just how important that coverage is to our city’s future. On top of that it will be a massive boost to local rugby clubs, giving young people in particular the opportunity to experience international rugby of the highest calibre. If, fingers crossed, the Albion can manage to get into the Premier League, this could prove to be the most important couple of weeks in the city’s sporting history.”
Simon Kirby, MP for Kemptown & Peachhaven has campaigned in support of the city’s bid, corresponding with the game’s governing bodies and meeting with RFU representatives in Parliament. He welcomed this morning’s announcement that the Amex would take its place as a host venue alongside Twickenham and the Olympic Stadium.
“The Rugby World Cup is the third biggest sporting event in the world, and I am delighted that Brighton will play a part in a monumental occasion when the tournament comes to England in 2015.
“It is especially pleasing because the Amex faced very tough competition from some more established stadia. I know from my various letters and meetings that the fantastic facilities available at the venue and the undoubted attraction of Brighton and Hove as a host city were very apparent to selectors.
“Today’s announcement is great news for the city, and for the future of rugby in the region. I know that my constituents will be looking forward to a great occasion in 2015.”
Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, Jason Kitcat, added:
“I’m thrilled that we are hosting such a prestigious event. It’s great that the joint bid between the city council and Brighton & Hove Albion football club has been successful. We have a strong track record of delivering major sporting events. The Rugby World Cup will bring thousands of visitors to Sussex who will be able to experience our fantastic cultural offering as well as our hotels and restaurants.”
Brighton and Hove Albion Football club executive director Martin Perry, said:
“We are absolutely thrilled that the stadium and city has been chosen as a host venue for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and are now relishing the prospect of hosting four teams and two matches at one of the world’s biggest sporting events.
“Right from the outset when we were planning the stadium, we recognised that the need for a new permanent home for Brighton & Hove Albion could also create an opportunity for new facilities to meet the wider sporting and community needs in Brighton, Hove and the South of England.
“We promised that the stadium, more than any other building, would have the ability to shape a city, it puts the city on the map, has the power to change people lives and represents a community’s pride and aspirations.
“Our successful joint bid is just another legacy of that promise. Rugby fans in this area will be able to play their part in a global occasion which is going to put the stadium and Brighton & Hove on the world stage.
“We have two years to wait, but we are looking forward to providing a fabulous spectator experience and hope we can help provide many memories of what promises to be a truly unforgettable event.”
The full list of venue chosen are:
Twickenham (London) • Wembley Stadium (London) • Olympic Stadium (London) • Millennium Stadium (Cardiff) • Manchester City Stadium (Manchester) • St James’ Park (Newcastle) • Elland Road (Leeds) • King Power Stadium (Leicester) • Villa Park (Birmingham) • Kingsholm (Gloucester) • Stadium MK (Milton Keynes) • Brighton Community Stadium (Brighton) • Sandy Park (Exeter)