City could welcome Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2025

International rugby could return to the city in 2025 as councillors consider whether to progress a bid to become a host city for the Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Sporting city

A successful bid would see world class cup rugby teams welcomed to the Amex Stadium for a second time, further enhancing Brighton & Hove’s reputation as a major sporting city.  

Brighton & Hove was one of the host cities for the men’s Rugby World Cup in 2015 with matches including the legendary South Africa/Japan game.

Last year, the city welcomed the England Lionesses to Brighton & Hove on their journey to becoming UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 champions.

Working with the Albion

Following these successful sporting events, council officers are working with Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club to develop a bid to become a host city for the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025.

Initial discussions with World Rugby and the Rugby Football Union (RFU) through Rugby World Cup (England 2025) Limited (“RWCL”) have already taken place.

At a meeting of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee on January 12, councillors will decide whether to continue with the selection process.

Huge benefits

The successful host cities will be announced in early 2023 and the tournament will be held over a 6-week period during August, September, October 2025.

Major sporting events bring huge benefits to the local economy and promote the city to an international audience.

Hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 in England will provide an opportunity for the RFU to grow and promote the women’s and girls’ game in the build up to, during and after the tournament increasing numbers of participants, spectators and fans.

Increasing awareness

Host cities will enjoy an exciting, ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to increase awareness, promote and develop the sport locally. This will include participating in the Rugby Football Union’s  legacy programme and ‘Every Rose’ women & girls’ strategy which aims to reach 100,000 players nationally by 2027.

Economic boost

Following the UEFA Women’s Euros last summer, when Brighton & Hove was one of eight host cities, a post tournament report revealed:

  • An £81m economic boost for host cities, including around £8m for Brighton & Hove
  • 552,000 overnight stays
  • More than half of local residents, and 2 in 5 spectators and tournament volunteers, were inspired to do more sport and physical activity
  • The target of 500,000 opportunities to participate in women’s football in the host cities by 2024, is already close to being met.

Lasting legacy

Councillor Martin Osborne, co-chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee said: “We know, from hosting previous events, that major sporting tournaments can bring huge benefits to host cities, from attracting visitors, and boosting the economy to providing opportunities for residents and leaving a lasting legacy.

“We look forward to finding out more about bidding to become a 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup host city, and how we can build on our growing reputation as a major sporting city.”

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