Saturday 29 April 2017

IRFU in talks with hotel federations to put 'price charter' in place if Ireland host 2023 Rugby World Cup

Chief Executive of the IRFU Philip Browne in attendance at an Ireland 2023 Rugby World Cup Media Conference at the Merrion Hotel in Dublin following a two day visit by the World Rugby Technical Review Group visit as part of Ireand's bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Chief Executive of the IRFU Philip Browne in attendance at an Ireland 2023 Rugby World Cup Media Conference at the Merrion Hotel in Dublin following a two day visit by the World Rugby Technical Review Group visit as part of Ireand's bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Alan O'Keeffe

Ireland went all out to score 'bonus points' in the bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023 today.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny lined up alongside security chiefs and tourism chiefs from both sides of the border in an all island effort to win the approval of the  visiting five member international technical review group in Dublin.

Philip Browne, chief executive of the Irish Rugby Football Union, said hosting the tournament would be worth €800m to the Irish economies on both sides of the border and he hoped Ireland will beat off the two other candidate countries France and South Africa.

"We are confident that Ireland 2023 will be a tournament like no other, with rugby at the heart of it, full of Irish spirit and commercial success," said Mr Browne.

The world body for rugby will make its choice of host country on November 15 this year.

Mr Browne was asked about demands to curb the current practice of hotel room prices being increased for big events and the vexed problem of websites selling over-priced tickets.

"We are already in discussion with the Irish Hotels Federation and the Hotel Federation of Northern Ireland in terms of putting together a price charter.

"There is a price charter in place for Europe 2020 (football tournament throughout Europe) so the model is already there and we will be working towards that.

"In terms of the ticketing sites, we'll be working closely with Rugby World Cup to see what they want and then we will see how we can deal with it. We have a commitment from the Government in terms of introducing the necessary legislation to ensure those situations don't arise.

"The model is the major event legislation that was put in place in New Zealand during New Zealand (world cup) 2011," he said.

Eight to 10 stadiums on the island of Ireland would be used for the tournament, the majority of which are GAA venues.  A video featuring Croke Park, the Aviva Stadium, Thomond Park and Ravenhill Stadium was shown to the visiting group and had top sports personalities singing the praises of the venues.

The Government has pledged to pay the €127m tournament fee if the bid is successful. The spin-off for the economy would be worth several times that.  Several stadiums would benefit from significant upgrades.

Ireland's bid oversight board, chaired by former Tanaiste and rugby international Dick Spring,  said the Irish bid was "world class."

Mr Spring said enormous numbers of the Irish diaspora, in North America and elsewhere, would visit and watch the competition if hosted in Ireland.

Mr Spring introduced the visiting group to Taoiseach Enda Kenny today.

Mr Kenny said Ireland has the infrastructure and capability to host the event.

"For many years, we have attended sports events all over the world and brought our unique colour, passion and friendship.

"Now we want to bring the world to Ireland," said Mr Kenny.

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