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Thursday, August 31, 2017

U.S. Should Host The Women's World Cup


The Women Eagles are coming off their best World Cup in nearly twenty years. With limited resources and limited time together the team took care of business against Spain and Italy and then did enough to pull off a bonus point against England and make their way into the semi-finals. They may not have won their last three matches at the tournament but they still make it into the top four and moved up to fifth in the world rankings. Additionally, the team did well to rally the public at home. Social media was full of posts about the team and the semi-final match against New Zealand made its way on to NBCSN. Overall it was a great tournament for the team.

Now the question is how can the U.S. build on the momentum. First and foremost U.S.A. Rugby needs to find a way to find more matches for the team. There is no doubt they have already tried but limited finds all the way around make it difficult. However, there may be some opportunities to play teams like the WPL All-Stars or Canada. Double-headers with the men's team are also a good idea.

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Still, there is is potentially something more grand that can be done to ride the momentum: host the Women's World Cup. Hosting a World Cup can be a risky affair. If done wrong it can suck a lot of resources out of a hosting union. The Women's World Cup wouldn't cost nearly as much as the men's given that it's held over a two week period rather than an entire month. In Ireland they only used two venues with four game days. At the same time, having the right sized venues is difficult. Get it too big and you can't charge enough for tickets. Get the venue too small and you have to charge way too much for tickets.

All of that said, if you can get it right it can be a huge boost for your union and a dry run for something bigger, like the Men's World Cup. It's been no secret that U.S.A. Rugby has been sniffing around hosting the World Cup for awhile. They examined the process for the 2023 World Cup with an eye to 2027. That was one of the aims of hosting the Sevens World Cup next year. U.S.A. Rugby wants to show that they can host a big event and make money on it for World Cup. If U.S.A. Rugby can pull that off and then a tournament like the Women's World Cup then that is two big tournaments.

The trick for U.S.A. Rugby is putting together the right bid. Like has been shown in France and Ireland in the last two World Cups it's important to pair a smaller venue with a larger venue for the final day and bigger matches. It also has to be in an area that is supportive of women's sports and has a large rugby community. It also has to be easy to get around and offer things for the fans to do.

We'd suggest the Bay Area in San Jose. Pool matches can be held at Buck Shaw Stadium and the final day held in Avaya Stadium. It keeps everything close and has experience hosting rugby events. With the tournament scheduled for 2021 that's plenty of preparation time if U.S.A. Rugby wants to host. That would also give them plenty of time to invest in the women's program, which is exactly what they need after a great World Cup.

2 comments:

  1. I would like to propose the Washington, DC area.
    DC United is building a new soccer stadium to hold 20,000, ready next year.
    PC County is building a 10-field soccer complex right next to Six Flags. Hotels are already onsite because of Six Flags.

    DC is a good tourist attraction, has a good expat population, and easy to get to from Europe (non-stops to Dulles).
    Also, lots of rugby-mad locals.
    Let's do this!

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  2. Another option is the Philly area where there is a density of Women's and men's Rugby, many venues (think CRC) and proximity to DC, NY and Boston. It's also close to Europe, sort of.

    ReplyDelete