Rugby World Cup Bidding Begins - Federation Focus

Also: World Games 2022 unveils venues; 2023 European Games program adds two more sports

(ATR) The process begins in earnest to find hosts for four future Rugby World Cups.

The dialogue phase kicked off on Monday Feb. 1. Countries interested in hosting the 2025 and 2029 women’s events and/or the 2027 and 2031 men’s events have until May to start to shape potential bids.

The candidate phase, which runs from May until January 2022, is the time for candidates to construct their detailed proposals with World Rugby providing ongoing clarification and support. Candidate files, hosting agreements and guarantees are due in January 2022.

The Evaluation Phase begins in February 2022 with bids being appraised by relevant industry experts against the key criteria agreed by World Rugby Council. The evaluation report, rather than a recommendation, will be provided to Council for an open electronic vote in May 2022.

Multi-nation bids are being welcomed.

World Rugby says it has "engaged extensively with a number of member unions during a ‘Pre-Dialogue’ phase that has been designed to optimize knowledge and information transfer and therefore minimize overall bid costs".

The next Women’s Rugby World Cup remains on schedule to begin in September 2021 in New Zealand. But it was announced this week the World Rugby U20 Championship 2021 will not take place this year due to the ongoing impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

World Games 2022 Unveils Venues

The World Games 2022 reveals three new competition venues for the event in Birmingham, Alabama.

Legion Field, Birmingham CrossPlex and Boutwell Auditorium join the previously announced Protective Stadium as four of the 25 official venues hosting an array of sports.

"We’re excited to officially begin announcing our venues," The World Games 2022 CEO Nick Sellers said. "These are four of the best places to enjoy sports in our community. And by July of 2022, we will finally be able to fill all the seats in these beautiful venues again as we serve host to the first major international sporting event coming out of this pandemic."

Legion Field, with a capacity of 71,594, opened in 1927 and is one of the historic football stadiums in the Deep South of the United States. It will host the Flag Football @TWG2022 presented by the NFL, featuring eight men’s teams and eight women’s teams.

The Birmingham CrossPlex is a 750,000 square-foot (69,677 square-meter) multi-purpose athletic facility which opened in 2011. During The Games, it will play host to Inline Hockey, Artistic Roller Skating, Speed Skating (indoor and outdoor), Wheelchair Rugby, Lifesaving, Finswimming and Canoe Polo.

Boutwell Auditorium, a 5,000-seat multi-purpose arena, was constructed in 1924 and will be the venue for martial arts action including Sumo, Kickboxing and Muaythai.

Protective Stadium will serve as the host venue for the Opening Ceremony and Closing Ceremony of The World Games 2022. The new $180 million facility, scheduled to be completed later this year, will have a seating capacity of 47,100 and will be the permanent home of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers football team.

Two More Sports Added to 3rd European Games

Boxing and shooting are the latest sports to be added to the program for the 3rd European Games in Kraków-Małopolska.

The European Olympic Committees (EOC) reached agreements with the European Shooting Confederation (ESC) and European Boxing Confederation (EUBC) this week.

Kraków-Małopolska will be the third straight edition of the European Games for both boxing and shooting, following successful appearances at Baku 2015 and Minsk 2019.

Badminton, beach handball, canoe, karate, modern pentathlon and taekwondo had already signed up since December 2020.

The EOC Coordination Commission for the 2023 European Games, led by Chair Hasan Arat, has been working closely with the European Federations to finalize their participation at Kraków-Małopolska.

"With eight sports now confirmed, the EOC is quickly putting together an exciting, innovative and fan-friendly offering featuring the best athletes in Europe for the summer of 2023," said Arat. "Along with our Sports Director Peter Brüll, we are in contact with the Federations on a daily basis and more agreements will follow in the upcoming weeks."

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Written by Gerard Farek

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