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USA Rugby announced Thursday its selection of San Francisco as the host city for its 2018 Sevens Rugby World Cup bid. The national governing body will work in concert with the San Francisco Giants, San Jose Earthquakes, and the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee.
“Hosting a Rugby World Cup in the U.S.A. would be a huge boost to the development of the game of rugby in the U.S.A. and support the goals of World Rugby to make rugby a truly global game,” USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer Nigel Melville said. “We are committed to delivering an unforgettable sporting experience for the teams and fans.”
A for-profit subsidiary of USA Rugby is in the works to help facilitate the hosting of events like the 7s World Cup. Rugby International Marketing will be headed up by Melville.
Northern California, from Santa Clara to Sacramento, has hosted many international tests over the years, and it's home to some of the country's biggest and best high school, college and club programs. Will Chang, USA Rugby Board member and partial owner of the San Francisco Giants, chaired USA Rugby's bid committee. Bids were due to World Rugby Dec. 5.
USA Rugby did not say which stadiums it included in its bid, though two are required, with 24 men's teams and 16 women's teams expected to compete. The Giants' AT&T Park and the Earthquakes' Avaya Stadium are reportedly sharing the hosting duties, but they're located approxamtely an hour's drive from each other.
14 countries initially announced the intent to tender a bid for the event. World Rugby is slated to announce the host city May, 14 2015.
“The Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee (BASOC) is delighted that USA Rugby has chosen to bid for this prestigious event and to host it in the Bay Area,” 1960 Olympian and BASOC Chief Executive Officer Anne Warner-Cribbs said. “We will be working with USA Rugby and the city of San Francisco to welcome the teams and their fans to California, one of America’s most successful sporting states.”