England 2015 today released the long list of 17 venues hopping to host Rugby World Cup games. Controversially Welford Road has been snubbed in favour of the King Power Stadium on Raw Dykes Road, the home Leicester City Football Club.
Welford Road is said to have missed out because of a reluctance to up grade infrastructure in a stand that is due to for redevelopment at some point in the near future and concerns that the pitch, at 90x63m, would have been comfortably the narrowest and also the smallest pitch in the World Cup.
It is an indictment of the club and its conservatism that they have missed the opportunity to host a major worldwide sporting event because of a refusal to spend money and improve their facilities. This could have been the perfect excuse to redevelop the Crumbie Stand improving facilities for our hardiest of fans and getting worldwide attention on our club too. Instead of the imposing CAT stand frontage and the prison walls the world will see the spectacular glass frontage of the King Power Stadium shining over the canal.
This Ultra-SubMarine has been in meetings with Simon Cohen where this has been discussed and if he showed the same lack of enthusiasm and out right indifference to the bid auditors it is no surprise that England 2015 has decided to go elsewhere.
However it must be remembered that for the Leicester rugby fan this is a positive day as Leicester has been chosen as host venue and Sir Peter Soulsby has finally started to show the benefits of a elected mayor by going into bat for the city.