Monday 20 November 2017

Varadkar to unveil bid to bring Rugby World Cup to Ireland

World Cup could 'bring an €800m boost'

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar
Michael Brennan

Michael Brennan

A NEW study has found that hosting the Rugby World Cup here in 2023 could deliver an €800m boost to the economy.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar is to brief the Cabinet tomorrow about the new feasibility study, which reveals that the tournament would bring in an additional 337,000 visitors.

Consultants Deloitte said in its study that it would be "realistic" to have a cross-border bid. It said there were sufficient stadiums in the country, given that the GAA had voted last March to allow Croke Park and other GAA stadiums to be used as part of a bid.

A government source said this was in addition to rugby stadiums such as the Aviva, Thomond Park in Limerick and Ravenhill in Belfast.

"The key benchmark is New Zealand, which is of comparable size and population. They used a diversity of stadiums to deliver the last Rugby World Cup," he said.

The Government will have to decide on making a bid before the deadline of 2016. The winner will be announced in 2017.

There would be a requirement for a financial commitment from the State towards a tournament company to run the competition.

But the government source said the study was "quite positive" on this aspect and had predicted that a surplus would be made.

The next Rugby World Cup will be held in England in 2015, followed by Japan in 2019. South Africa is expected to bid for the 2023 World Cup, but due to the rotation system in operation, a country like Ireland in the northern hemisphere is expected to be favoured.

The study puts the overall economic benefit of the Rugby World Cup at €800m.

Irish Independent

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