PEOPLE power was today singled out as a key factor in Leeds’s push for host venue status at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
Council bosses are next week expected to approve the submission of the city’s formal application to stage matches during the money-spinning tournament.
The Rugby Football League (RFL) will spend the next few months considering the pros and cons of the different bidders before announcing the successful towns and cities in November.
And during that process it is hoped Leeds residents will leave the RFL in no doubt as to the strength of their feeling for the sport.
Facebook and Twitter accounts have already been set up in an attempt to make it as simple as possible for fans to register support for the bid.
Coun Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive board member with responsibility for leisure, said: “We are confident that we have something special to add to this great tournament by hosting matches and training facilities for the teams taking part.
“We now need local residents to come on board and back the bid by signing up on Facebook and Twitter to give our city the best possible chance to reap the benefits that being a host city would bring.”
If the bid is successful, games would be played at Leeds United’s Elland Road ground and Headingley Carnegie Stadium, home of Super League outfit Leeds Rhinos.
The tournament will be held in England and Wales during October and November 2013, with 14 nations taking part.
Experts estimate that the event could be worth as much as £50m to the UK economy.
The council’s campaign to secure host venue status is being mounted in partnership with Leeds Rhinos, Leeds United and Marketing Leeds.
If approved, the formal bid will be made next month and will follow an initial application made in April.
* Fans wanting to show their backing for Leeds can visit: www.facebook.com/leedsrlwc or @LeedsRLWC account on Twitter.