Bristol has a great chance of hosting Rugby League World Cup games in Bristol
GUY Price believes Bristol has put together a "top-notch" bid in an attempt to bring Rugby League World Cup games to the city in 2013.
Bristol City chief executive Price was among the welcoming party which showed the World Cup inspection committee around the city yesterday and is confident the bid team have made a compelling case to become one of a handful of host cities.
Ashton Gate, or a prospective new stadium development, as well as the Memorial Stadium, are in the mix to hold the games, while Filton College would act as a training base for the teams.
"We've put together a top-notch bid and have a really strong consortium backing it, so I think we have a great chance of bringing the World Cup to Bristol.
"Bristol is a great city, one of the top five or six in the country, and we'd like to see it become one of the top sporting cities in Europe. To do that, we need to get stuck into opportunities like this and make the most of them."
The committee met with all the bid partners yesterday morning before taking a guided tour around the potential host venues.
Bristol Rovers' safety officer Dave Harper added:
"We're very pleased to be part of the bid to bring the Rugby League World Cup, and the meetings we went very well."
The committee are expected to make a final decision in November on which cities have been successful with their bids.
"There is stiff competition among all the cities involved," said inspection committee manager Jon Dutton.
"That there is so much competition to host the games shows that there is a lot of enthusiasm for rugby league across the country and not just in the traditional heartlands.
"The heartlands have all put compelling cases together for themselves, but so have other regions. Bristol have put a really strong case and given us a tough choice to make."
The city is in line to host up to two group games and a possible quarter-final.
Joe Catcheside, the Rugby Football League's development officer for the South West region, said:
"Rugby league in the South West is a strong and growing sport and this type of event would help further raise the profile and generate interest.
"Bristol might not be a traditional rugby league heartland, but I see that as an advantage for us. The very fact that Bristol is a development area is a real strength for us.
"It means a World Cup game here would have a massive impact in terms of the amount of people who would be exposed to the sport."
Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council, Destination Bristol, WESPORT Sports partnership and the Bristol Sonics, the region's flagship rugby league club, are the other partners behind the bid.
Cllr Simon Cook, executive member for sports, culture and capital projects of Bristol City Council, said:
"The World Cup is an event that will have an international audience, so it is important Bristol gets involved in these things to build a reputation as a sporting city."
Cllr James Hunt, executive member of South Gloucestershire Council, added:
"The bid is good news for everyone involved. Anything that can help build up grassroots interest in the game is welcome."
Bristol Sonics chairman Phil Cole said:
"The game has made huge strides in the region in the last decade, but to really kick on we need the opportunity that the 2013 World Cup would provide to engage with both youngsters and sports enthusiasts."
Orginal article available at: http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/ve-great-chance-hosting-Rugby-League-World-Cup/story-12860094-detail/story.html