Newcastle anticipates economic boost after being selected to host European rugby finals

Newcastle will land a £17.4m (US$21.8m, €20.4m) windfall after being selected to host three European rugby union finals in May.

St James’ Park, the home of Newcastle United FC, will host the European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals, while Newcastle Falcons’ Kingston Park Stadium will stage the European Rugby Continental Shield final.

All matches will be played across the weekend of the 10/11 May 2019.

The bid to host European rugby’s showpiece weekend was put together by Newcastle City Council, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Newcastle United FC and Newcastle Rugby Ltd.

Mick Horgan, the latter’s managing director, said the announcement was “great news for rugby in Newcastle and the wider North East region.”

“The hard work starts now to deliver a truly memorable finals weekend,” he added. “It’s not just three finals over two days to look forward to but also a Rugby Village fan park and various community events in the lead up to the weekend.”

Leader of Newcastle City Council Nick Forbes said the bid was part of the local authorities “vision to make Newcastle the Great North City”.

Forbes added: “We were resolute in those ambitions as we worked to secure this top tier tournament for our city, and showcase what we have to offer.

“It will bring thousands of fans from across Europe to the North East, and with them a welcome boost to our local economy.”

St James’ Park was one of the host stadiums for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and will stage rugby league’s Magic Weekend this year.

First published www.sportsmanagement.co.uk, written by Matthew Campelli, 03 April 2017