Leeds set for windfall if city gets 2015 Rugby World Cup party go ahead

Elland Road stadium.
Elland Road stadium.
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Leeds is set to scoop a multi-million pound windfall if it gets the go-ahead to join the 2015 Rugby World Cup party.

As previously reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds United’s Elland Road ground is in the running to host games at the rugby union tournament.

If Elland Road does end up being chosen as a match venue, then each fixture will reportedly be worth a six-figure sum to United.

But that amount would almost certainly be dwarfed by the wider benefits to the city of Leeds through spending in places such as hotels, shops and restaurants.

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Figures released after the last Rugby World Cup was held in New Zealand show that each of the eight games staged

in the city of Wellington was worth £6m to the regional economy.

Organisers of the 2015 tournament say each of their selected venues will, on average, host three matches.

Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure, Coun Adam Ogilvie, said: “Obviously any sporting event as large as this will bring economic benefits to the cities involved including more people shopping in the city, a higher number of people passing through the city and a boost to the city’s general economy and reputation.

“We still have to wait for the final decision on which cities will be chosen to host games, but it would be a fantastic privilege.”

Elland Road is one of 17 grounds on the ‘long list’ of venues for 2015.

Others on the list include Manchester’s Old Trafford, Birmingham’s Villa Park and Sunderland’s Stadium of Light as well as Wembley and Twickenham in London.

A final decision will be made early next year on the successful dozen or so candidates.

The high number of football grounds in contention has provoked criticism from some rugby figures.

Leeds Rugby chief executive Gary Hetherington spoke earlier this month of his disappointment after Headingley Carnegie Stadium was omitted from the list.

Headingley has been confirmed, however, as one of the match venues for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

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