The U.S. bid is hoping to generate ticket revenue close to $1 billion from the 2031 and 2033 Rugby World Cups while the tournaments could be moved to prevent a scheduling clash with the NFL.
It is estimated the total outlay on staging the 2031 men’s World Cup and 2033 women’s World Cup will be close to $500m, and there is optimism both tournaments will see a remarkable return on that investment close to the $1bn mark in return, according to ESPN sources.
When asked about the potential return from the tournament, World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin said: “The ambition is to continue what we’re doing, which is to deliver a higher result for the game.” By comparison, the 2019 men’s World Cup in Japan generated $350m in ticket revenue.
Confirmation of the U.S.’ host status came on Thursday, alongside England hosting the 2025 women’s Rugby World Cup, and Australia hosting the men’s competition in 2027 and then the women’s in 2029.
The U.S. has long been a market rugby has tried to crack, and the nine-year runway allows World Rugby to work with the local organisers to put together a remarkable series of competitions.
There have been nearly 30 stadia expressing interest in hosting matches in both the 2031 and 2033 competitions, with some of them NFL grounds. That could offer a scheduling conflict as the men’s World Cup is traditionally held in October and November, something which would coincide with the NFL season.
Sources say World Rugby would be open to moving the tournament out of its usual October-November window.
“We want to utilise the best possible venues,” USA Rugby CEO Ross Young said. “We can fit them into any window, but we have a 10-year runway. Some of the NFL stadia may not exist anymore, but integration in the schedule is something where they can work with us.”
The U.S. bid is also aiming for an average of 55,000 spectators per game in the men’s tournament.
“The USA is the golden nugget everyone wants to get a hold of,” World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said. “It’s the world’s biggest sporting market. It will give the opportunity to many, many people to experience our great game.”
Source : ESPN.com