St James' To Host Rugby Showpiece

Last updated : 03 April 2017 By Footy Mad - Editor

Newcastle has been confirmed as the host city for European rugby's showpiece weekend in 2019 when the finals of the European Champions Cup, Challenge Cup and European Rugby Continental Shield will all be held.

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St James' Park will stage the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals, with Newcastle Falcons' Kingston Park Stadium hosting the European Rugby Continental Shield final on the weekend of 10/11 May.

Combined, the three form one of the most popular and important weekends in club rugby, generating more than €20.4m worth of economic impact.

The bid was a joint partnership between Newcastle City Council, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Newcastle United Football Club and Newcastle Rugby Ltd.

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) decided to make an early decision regarding the 2019 finals based on the strength of the city's bid, having also confirmed that next year's games will take place in Bilbao, Spain.

Councillor Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, said: "We're absolutely thrilled that Newcastle has been named as host city for the 2019 European rugby finals, which is a real coup for the city and the North East.

"Our vision is to make Newcastle the great north city, and we were resolute in those ambitions as we worked to secure this top tier tournament 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."

Sarah Stewart, chief executive of destination marketing and management agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, added: "These major games will attract visitors from across the globe, boosting the local visitor economy and showcasing the area to new visitors, many of whom will return with friends and family in future.

"2019 is set to be a huge sporting year for the destination as we also gear up to welcome the World Transplant Games. All of this will come hot on the heels of Great Exhibition of the North 2018, and demonstrates once again that NewcastleGateshead is a world-class place to host major events."