USA Rugby, which recently exited bankruptcy, has announced that a group of stakeholders in the United States will finance a feasibility study toward the chances of bringing a Rugby World Cup to the country for the first time.
The announcement comes after World Rugby’s reformed Rugby World Cup bidding process was released. USA Rugby has no financial obligations to the study, which is focused on a potential U.S. bid for hosting the men’s or women’s tournaments in 2025, 2027, 2029 and/or 2031.
“While preliminary, a study of this nature will be very insightful and ensure appropriate due diligence is performed at every stage of the process,” USA Rugby CEO Ross Young said. “This group of stakeholders have the best interest of the American game in mind and this report will offer the opportunity for more productive discussions with World Rugby at the beginning of next year, prior to any decision to continue the bid process.”
The World Cup is contested every four years between the top international teams. The tournament was first held in 1987, when the tournament was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia. The 2019 version was held in Japan and won by South Africa for the third time. The United States has participated in eight World Cup including six in a row, and has won three matches in the tournament’s history.
The study will break into two phases, the first reviewing technical requirements of the event itself and the second focusing on the feasibility of preparing a meaningful bid ahead of the January 2022 deadline. The project lead will be Jim Brown, who has managed and advised multiple international sporting events, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, as well as the United States bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The study will also identify potential stadium venues and sports commissions as partners as well as financial and commercial considerations. A final report will be presented to the USA Rugby Board ahead of a potential host bid and the study will take place for the rest of 2020 prior to World Rugby’s bidding dialogue phase, which is scheduled to begin in February 2021.