1/06/2023 Article written by Jay Williams, Consultant

The Sports Consultancy (TSC) is pleased to be supporting European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) in their search for hosts of its 2025 and 2026 Finals Weekends.

TSC is responsible for managing the process which aims to conclude by the end of this year. The recent conclusion of the Expression of Interest (EOI) phase has seen interest from over 20 cities across 12 countries.

Following the landmark first season incorporating the leading South African clubs in its tournaments, the Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup now see the top 42 clubs from seven nations competing in the two-tier season-long competitions.

The 2025 edition will represent 30 years of what was initially the Heineken Cup and offers the chance to celebrate the rich sporting legacy of the competition. EPCR’s tournaments run from December through to May each season, with games taking place across eight weekends. This includes a pool stage comprising of four matches, three knockout rounds and the Finals weekend. The Finals for both tournaments are held within the same city, they are played on the Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.

TSC carried out an Economic Impact study of the 2022 Finals Weekend staged in Marseille. The study showed that the 111,000 attending spectators generated over €53 million in Economic Impact for the city. Additionally, Marseille benefited from year-round exposure through the “Road to Marseille” marketing campaign.

François Vergnol, EPCR Marketing and Commercial Director, said: “We are very excited to be launching the bidding process for our 2025 and 2026 Finals weekends. These are the absolute pinnacle of international club rugby and, in addition to the prestige of hosting one of rugby’s finest events, hosting an EPCR Finals weekend brings many different benefits to a city. EPCR strives to work closely with partner cities to deliver significant economic impact, sporting prestige and sustainability initiatives throughout the season.

“We are delighted once again to partner with The Sports Consultancy to find our host cities for the 2025 and 2026 Finals weekends. We have worked together for multiple editions and they understand what we look for in a host: a true partner who can help deliver our crown jewel event.”

Sian Jenkins, Associate Director at TSC, said: “We are delighted to be working with the team at EPCR once again. Having studied the impact of the event, we know that this weekend of rugby really does deliver on every level and we are excited to work with potential hosts and see where the event will go next.”