The United States is on track to be named as the host of the 2031 men’s Rugby World Cup and the 2033 women’s event in mid-May, with a bid worth half a billion dollars and backing from the Biden White House, executives including World Rugby chief Alan Gilpin said on Thursday.
In October of last year, the national governing body officially launched its bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2027 or 2031.
The following month, World Rugby began an exclusive dialogue phase with USA Rugby about hosting the tournament in 2031.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that USA Rugby was also interested in hosting the 2033 Women’s Rugby World Cup, having previously expressed interest in hosting the 2029 edition as part of efforts to stage successive tournaments.
During a media roundtable on March 24, USA Rugby World Cup bid chair Jim Brown revealed the estimated cost if the country is awarded hosting rights.
Alan Gilpin, CEO of World Rugby, believes that a $500 million plan for the United States to host the 2031 men’s and 2033 women’s World Cups is critical to the growth of the sport globally.
We’re not talking to anybody else about 2031 and 2033. That doesn’t mean it’s a done deal,” Gilpin told reporters in a Thursday conference call, noting, “The real hard work starts on the 13th of May.”
Beyond staging the event, the plan would involve tapping new commercial revenue streams for partnerships and giving women’s rugby a global boost.
The next big date for the US bid, which has shifted from an initial model of hosting the women in 2029 to the hope that a successful men’s event can drive engagement, is the World Rugby council meeting on May 12.
Gilpin addressed reporters alongside Ross Young, CEO of USA Rugby, Jim Brown, the US bid chair, and Emily Bydwell, US representative to the World Rugby Women’s Advisory Group.
Gilpin said: “The guys absolutely are making sure that we’ve got the different stakeholders from government through to city and state aligned as much as you can have this far out, and behind that we’ve got the confidence there that if we award these tournaments to the US, we’re on the right track.
“From my point of view, we stand up in front of all of the council on 12 May and we sell them the vision … and we give them the confidence that the numbers work and that the infrastructure and the the ingredients to deliver the plan are there. And then we move forward. And of course the really hard work starts on 13 May.
“This is just the end of the beginning. There’s a lot to do.”