SAN FRANCISCO – In a historic moment for rugby in the United States, it was announced today by USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville that the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens will be played in the San Francisco Bay Area. World Rugby accepted USA Rugby’s bid to have the 2018 World Cup played in San Francisco and San Jose.
“We would like to thank the World Rugby for accepting our bid and bringing this amazing event to the United States,” said Melville. “We worked hard to make this dream a reality, and it has come true. The interest in rugby has grown immensely in the U.S., whether it is at the youth / high school level, collegiate, club or with our Men and Women’s National Teams. Hosting the World Cup will bring the sport to the doorstep of the American sports fan and will continue to grow the game.”
The Rugby World Cup Sevens celebrates equally the men and women’s international rugby players from around the world. With a competing field of 24 men’s teams and 16 women’s teams, a total of 105 matches will be played over the course of three days. The non-stop rugby action will be held at two venues: San Francisco’s AT&T Park and Avaya Stadium in San Jose.
“On behalf of the City and County of San Francisco, we are thrilled to be hosting the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “As a city experienced in hosting major sporting events, San Francisco is eager to welcome global audiences and Rugby fans from around the world.”
AT&T Park is the home of the reining Major League Baseball champions, the San Francisco Giants. Built in 2000, AT&T Park can hold crowds of up to 45,000 fans and has been played host to numerous many other sports and music events including American college football, soccer, motocross and concerts. Its unique downtown location provides a spectacular backdrop of the San Francisco Bay.
Avaya Stadium officially opened their doors on February 27, 2015 as the new home of Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes. Located less than two miles from San Jose International Airport, Avaya Stadium fits crowds of up to 18,000 and has been called one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world.
“We couldn’t be happier to host the World Cup,” said San Jose Earthquake President Dave Kaval “Our new, state-of-the-art stadium will serve as an important piece of a perfect event. We can’t wait to show off our fans’ excitement to the world.”
In World Rugby’s release of the announcement, it was made clear that the amenities of the San Francisco Bay Area were a deciding factor in this decision. “I am sure that the San Francisco Bay Area, with its major event experience and passion for sport, will be a popular and spectacular Rugby World Cup Sevens host,” said World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset.
The 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens held in Moscow, Russia was the sixth edition of the series. The 2013 tournament was almost the final installment of the World Cup Sevens after the announcement was made that rugby would return to 2016 Summer Olympics in the form of a sevens tournament. After careful consideration, the IRB elected to continue the tournament on a quadrennial basis.
Match dates, ticket sales and television broadcast rights of the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens will be announced at a later date.