The following press release can be viewed and shared online here.
WASHINGTON D.C. (Mar. 3, 2022) – USA Rugby and the USA Rugby World Cup Bid Committee today applauded the introduction of a congressional resolution expressing support for the United States’ bid to host upcoming Men’s and Women’s Rugby World Cup tournaments. The bipartisan resolution was introduced by Congressional Rugby Caucus co-chairs Alex Mooney (WV-2) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), along with other Caucus members, who issued a joint statement announcing this action.
The bid seeks to ensure the United Sates can bring this world-class global sporting event to state-of-the-art stadiums in the largest and most diverse cities in the U.S. – the world’s largest sports market. A Men’s Rugby World Cup in the United States would involve participating teams from 20 nations around the world and a Women’s Rugby World Cup would involve participating teams from 16 nations. Both tournaments would see matches played in diverse and exciting cities from coast to coast.
“USA Rugby and the USA Rugby World Cup Bid Committee are grateful for the Congressional Rugby Caucus’ efforts to spearhead U.S. government support as we work together to bring Men’s and Women’s Rugby World Cup tournaments to our country,” said USA Rugby World Cup Bid Chair Jim Brown. “Today’s resolution demonstrates a clear commitment to growing the game of rugby and advancing the United States’ Rugby World Cup bid – which will have important economic and cultural benefits at both the domestic and international level. Thank you to all members of the Congressional Rugby Caucus for your ongoing efforts toward bringing the experience of a Rugby World Cup to our American sports community.”
In addition to conveying Congressional enthusiasm for the bid, the legislation encourages President Joe Biden and relevant Federal agencies to support the bid committee in their ongoing efforts. It also pledges that Congress will give full consideration to legislative proposals or other requests to support preparations for these important events.
“As a former college rugby player at Dartmouth College, I continue to enjoy watching the sport as a member of the United States Congress. As Co-Chairman of the Congressional Rugby Caucus, I am proud to be an advocate for the Rugby World Cup. With my Co-Chairman Eleanor Holmes Norton, we have introduced a bipartisan concurrent resolution to recognize and support the efforts of USA Rugby and its partners to bring upcoming Men’s and Women’s Rugby World Cup tournaments to the United States. I look forward to advocating for America as a host site as we move forward with this important bid,” said Congressman Alex Mooney (WV-2).
“Rugby has made a difference to the youth of the District of Columbia and across the country in terms of health, self-esteem, teamwork and social skills. I am proud to support the U.S. bids to host the Men’s and Women’s Rugby World Cup tournaments,” said Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC).
Recent research conducted by the bid committee revealed 93 percent of rugby fans and 80 percent of sports fans support a United States-hosted Men’s or Women’s Rugby World Cup, boding well for enthusiastic interest in Rugby World Cup events across the country. Additionally, 91 percent of rugby fans said they’d be interested in watching or attending a Men’s Rugby World Cup hosted by the U.S., and 82 percent said the same for a Women’s Rugby World Cup.
Rugby is the fastest growing sport in the United States and one of the most popular worldwide, with an estimated 405 million players. Hosting Rugby World Cup tournaments in the U.S. for the first time will provide an unprecedented opportunity to grow rugby domestically while demonstrating the highest achievable standards for hosting a global sporting event and serving as a benchmark for future organizers.
Recent Rugby World Cup tournaments have brought more than 242,000 international fans from around the world to host countries and have seen more than 1.7 million spectators flood stadiums, generating significant revenue at the local and national level. Currently, 28 American cities are working alongside the USA Rugby World Cup Bid Committee to advance plans for hosting upcoming Men’s and/or Women’s Rugby World Cup matches, with each of these cities embodying the diversity and enthusiasm of the world’s leading sports market and guaranteeing each participating team and its followers an exciting and welcoming atmosphere.
Additionally, the U.S. Rugby World Cup bid team hopes to engage one of the best women’s sports fan bases in the world and elevate the Women’s Rugby World Cup to new levels. 84 percent of general sports fans in the U.S. are interested in supporting women’s sports, setting the U.S. apart from other sports markets around the globe.
The Congressional Rugby Caucus was founded by members of Congress to promote, educate, and raise awareness on issues, both domestic and international, pertaining to the sport of rugby. Caucus members and their staff are coordinating with USA Rugby and the USA Rugby World Cup Bid Committee to build public support for the bid and promote the sport more broadly.
Coordination across local, state and federal government agencies is also ongoing. The bid’s leadership team has been in close contact with officials across all levels of government to discuss the commercial and cultural value of bringing one of the world’s largest sporting events to U.S. soil for the first time.
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