Attempts to finalise the list of stadia for the 2015 World Cup appear to have reached farcical proportions.
England won the bid to host the 2015 tournament on the back
of a promise of massive revenues (and an £80m guarantee) for the IRB.
For big revenues, however, you need bums on seats at big
venues - and therein lies the problem.
Old Trafford (capacity 75,765) has been withdrawn as Man Utd
are being precious about wear and tear at the Theatre of Dreams. The Etihad
Stadium (60,000) is, apparently, only available for one fixture. Wembley (90,000)
has limited availability owing to prior commitments to the NFL (for heaven’s
sake). The Olympic Stadium (circa 60,000, probably) may not be ready in time. The
Millennium Stadium (72,500) is available, they say, but has the very real
drawback of being located in Wales.
The outcome, no doubt, will be smaller stadia and higher ticket
Did no one think to confirm stadia availability before
submitting the bid?