Eyes of the world to be on Sheffield as it prepares to host two international sporting competitions
The sporting spotlight will be firmly shining on Sheffield in 2021 as the city hosts two international sporting competitions in the space of just four months.
Sheffield was chosen as one of the hosts for the Rugby League World Cup when it is held in England in October and November 2021 earlier this week.
The competition’s organisers confirmed Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane will host an England game, while the English Institute of Sport will host the group games and semi-finals of the wheelchair tournament.
And the city will also host the Women’s European Championships at the same ground in July of the same year.
Sheffield United's operations director Dave McCarthy said: “The achievement further adds to the long, rich history of football in Sheffield.
"We are delighted our partnership with the local authority has been a key factor in the country's successful bid to stage a high-profile sporting event.
"The stadiums chosen will see some of the best women players in the world. It is an honour for Sheffield United and our highly regarded Bramall Lane stadium and is indicative of how we are perceived in the world of football.
“It is great compliment that we are recognised as an organisation that can stage such prestigious games.
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"Together with the recent announcement of this year's Rod Stewart concert it has put our stadium on the national stage for high profile fixtures and events."
The Rugby League World Cup will run from October 23 until November 27, 2021.
Sheffield Council’s major events manager Gary Clifton said: “We are very pleased and we’re really excited. It’s been 14 months in the making – that’s when the Rugby League World Cup team started the bid process.
“We have had a few favours and we’ve had a great team including Sheffield United, Sheffield International Venues, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Eagles, Olympic Legacy Park, English Institute of Sport and the council. It’s been a real partnership approach and I think that’s bore through.”
Mr Clifton revealed the city missed out on hosting the competition when it was held in England and Wales in 2013 but said the city was delighted to be chosen to host an England game of the 2021 tournament.
He said: “Any one of the teams can only play a maximum of seven games and we’ve got one of England’s games so we’re really pleased about that.
“It will be under the floodlights and it will look fantastic with the eyes of the world watching.”