‘A huge honour’: Manchester City’s pride as Etihad Stadium picked for Rugby World Cup

By John McDougall

Manchester City Football Club have expressed their pride at the Etihad Stadium being selected as a host venue for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Last week’s announcement named the East Manchester ground as the only stadium other than Twickenham to host an England fixture – and it is the sole North West venue.

Tom Glick, the Citizens chief commercial and operating officer, feels the announcement is not only good news for the football club but for the city as a whole.

“It is a huge honour for Manchester City Football Club to provide our stadium as a venue,” he said.

“Our experience in delivering an array of non-football events means we are well placed to host an event of such prestige in the world rugby calendar.

“I am also delighted that the East Manchester community in which we reside will once again be the focal point for sporting excellence.

“The sports-led regeneration of this area now sees rugby union added to cycling, tennis and Premier League football as a clear legacy of the Commonwealth Games over a decade ago.”

The stadium has been the home of the former Premier League champions since 2003, when they moved from the now demolished Maine Road in Moss Side.

In addition to rugby union, the stadium will play host to the Super League Magic Weekend over the weekend of May 25 and 26.

Sir Richard Leese, Manchester City Council’s leader, believes the news highlights the city’s ability to host sporting events and draw people from all over the world.

“The announcement once again proves that Manchester is a world class sporting destination with state of the art facilities ideal for hosting global competitions,” he said.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Manchester residents to attend what’s sure to be a thrilling England game, and it is certain to draw sports fans to the city from across the country.”

The Rugby World Cup is expected to attract 2.9 million fans and will see 20 nations play out 48 games.

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Picture courtesy of Bill Boaden, via Wiki Commons, with thanks.

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