LONDON 2012’s Olympic Stadium is in contention for use at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, even though the stadium’s future remains uncertain.
A list of 10 to 12 venues needs to be submitted by the World Cup’s organising committee at the start of 2013 and should the Olympic Stadium by then have a tenant, it could potentially be included on that list and consequently central to Britain’s next major sporting event.
The subject of the stadium’s future use is still to be decided with four parties, including Premier League club West Ham, bidding for tenancy, but the chief operating officer of England’s organising committee, Ross Young, is adamant that it is an option that should not be overlooked.
“We have engaged with them from the very early part of this year and through the Olympic legacy company – you would be mad not to include it as part of your thinking,” he said.
“To get as near as we can to the 3 million ticket sales, we have to engage with football clubs because they are the only ones who are going to give us the capacity to drive those numbers.”
Young’s sentiments were echoed by Brett Gosper, the chief executive of the International Rugby Board. “We are conscious that there has been an amazing event that has happened in London in the Olympics. Everyone is having withdrawal symptoms.
“It really did capture the hearts and minds of this country and cross the world. Everyone was in awe of what happened. It’s putting the right kind of pressure on us.”
The tournament organisers are targeting a profit of £100m, which the Olympic Stadium – in addition to Wembley Stadium and the country’s other large venues – could be pivotal in accumulating.