City could host Rugby World Cup matches
BRISTOL could host prestigious Rugby World Cup matches when the tournament comes to England and Wales.
Bristol City FC last night confirmed that Ashton Gate has a place on the 17-strong list of potential venues for the global showpiece.
The final decision on up to a dozen successful venues is due to be announced next year.
If Ashton Gate is chosen, it could be another sporting coup for the city, with Bristol Rovers' Memorial Stadium hosting a Rugby League World Cup tie between the Cook Islands and USA next year.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
It would also see top-class international rugby return to Ashton Gate for the first time since the 1999 World Cup, when it hosted New Zealand's 45 - 9 victory over Tonga.
Club spokesman Adam Baker said: "We're very pleased to have been included on this long-list, up against some strong competition and some of the best stadia in the country.
"To have the Rugby World Cup in Bristol would be amazing. Obviously the sport is very popular in Bristol, and Bath nearby, so it would be terrific to host a game or several games here."
Ashton Gate was approved by the Rugby World Cup Limited board after officials visited in the summer and were impressed by what they saw.
City council leader Simon Cook said the bid would be for as many as three of the 48 matches that will be played during the tournament.
"We're fully in support of the bid and it would be fantastic for the city if it were to be successful," he said.
The tournament is due to be played between September 18 and October 31, 2015.
Organisers are hoping to sell 2.9 million tickets and have more than 400,000 international fans visiting from more than 100 countries.
Bristol could also be in the running to be a base for one of the international teams, which will be decided in a separate application process for cities across the country.
It is not yet clear how much money hosting world cup matches could bring to the football club, and the city as a whole.
An independent report by analysts Deloitte into the potential economic impact of the tournament to host nations stated that it has the potential to generate between £610 million and £2.1 billion in benefits.
Andy Cosslett, the England Rugby 2015 chairman, said: "Our vision for Rugby World Cup 2015 is to ensure that we take this prestigious tournament to as many parts of the country as possible and we believe that the geographical spread of venues selected will enable us to maximise the reach of the tournament.
"In addition, we will be selecting further venues for training and team base camps that will ensure that the rugby community is at the very heart of Rugby World Cup 2015.
"The process of choosing the long- list of venues was very competitive."
Bernard Lapasset, RWCL chairman, said: "Rugby World Cup Limited is delighted with the range of locations and iconic stadia, steeped in sporting folklore, that have been selected as potential Rugby World Cup 2015 match venues. We are very fortunate that England possesses some of the finest sporting venues in the world."