EPCR will appoint host cities for both the 2020 and 2021 European Professional Club Rugby finals weekend together next year after unprecedented interest in staging the events, with the announcement expected in summer 2018.
The pan-European appeal of the showpiece matches in the Champions Cup, Challenge Cup and Continental Shield was highlighted earlier this year, with 18 expressions of interest received from all over Europe for the 2020 event.
The next two editions will be held in Bilbao and Newcastle respectively, both exciting new venues for the European club game that present the prospect of outstanding rugby experience to fans who have voted with their feet to date, with more than 48,000 tickets already snapped up for May’s Finals weekend at San Mamés Stadium. The event has left a significant legacy to recent host cities, with the total economic impact for Edinburgh estimated at €32.7m – and the TV media value at €3.2m – from the 2017 Finals weekend.
Marketing & Commercial Director Carsten Couchouron said: “A range of cities have engaged with our robust and detailed bidding process in recent years and we have been innovative with our decisions for venues, which have helped to continually develop the footprint of our competitions. We welcome submissions for venues in both traditional and emerging rugby markets and hope that by running the 2020 and 2021 bids together, we will have the chance to engage with a range of cities to provide the very best venues for fans to enjoy European club rugby’s blue riband event.”
The simultaneous bidding and assessment processes will again be conducted with The Sports Consultancy. Parties who have already expressed an interest have until early 2018 to formalise their application.