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Manfred Mann

Can the FIFA 2026 World Cup be turned to rugby league's advantage?

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FIFA has just announced that the football World Cup will be jointly hosted in Canada, USA, and Mexico in 2026.

Before that, the Rugby League World Cup is planned for the USA and Canada in 2025.

Surely the certain excitement buildup for the former can be harnessed for the latter. Rugby league can identify itself as "the other World Cup."

But the fortunate timing will be of limited success if there are not by 2025 several north American professional rugby league teams, with fan bases that can be mobilised to bring new fans to the game. I would hope that by 2025 there are at least four big city professional rugby league teams in Super League -- Toronto, New York, Boston and either Montreal, Chicago or Philadelphia. (I know that there are plans for Hamilton, Canada, but that team would be of limited use in getting large numbers of fans to the World Cup, and more important, of no use in acquiring a major US TV contract).

The RFL and Super League needs to plan now for the development of professional clubs in north America. And that means to plan for four four major city north American clubs playing in Super League by 2025 at the latest. Moreover that outcome can only be guaranteed if there is licencing reinstated in Super League for the next TV contract in 2022.

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The good thing is that this week's events can only reassure potential multi-millionaire investors that RFL/SLE are professional bodies managed by mature and respectable businessmen who can use spellcheck. Oh, wait a second.

Also, we do actually have a kind of licensing as is, the prospect of not having to worry about getting relegated is small fry compared to the issue of having the bodies organising the competition in open civil war.

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No. Sponsorship potential just went from slim to none. Especially in LA, which will also host the 2028 Olympics. Moore Sports see that as their prized market bizarrely. They just got NFL back too.

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28 minutes ago, Manfred Mann said:

FIFA has just announced that the football World Cup will be jointly hosted in Canada, USA, and Mexico in 2026.

Before that, the Rugby League World Cup is planned for the USA and Canada in 2025.

Surely the certain excitement buildup for the former can be harnessed for the latter. Rugby league can identify itself as "the other World Cup."

But the fortunate timing will be of limited success if there are not by 2025 several north American professional rugby league teams, with fan bases that can be mobilised to bring new fans to the game. I would hope that by 2025 there are at least four big city professional rugby league teams in Super League -- Toronto, New York, Boston and either Montreal, Chicago or Philadelphia. (I know that there are plans for Hamilton, Canada, but that team would be of limited use in getting large numbers of fans to the World Cup, and more important, of no use in acquiring a major US TV contract).

The RFL and Super League needs to plan now for the development of professional clubs in north America. And that means to plan for four four major city north American clubs playing in Super League by 2025 at the latest. Moreover that outcome can only be guaranteed if there is licencing reinstated in Super League for the next TV contract in 2022.

Yes this a great gift that has been given to Rugby League...we run it as the trial for the following World Cup...a dry run if you will...are the stadiums ready?... is everything organized?....instant buzz and exposure....if :League can work as a dry run with FIFA this is the best news in a longtime....cuts the costs too but will draw in instant crowds.

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8 hours ago, Kayakman said:

Yes this a great gift that has been given to Rugby League...we run it as the trial for the following World Cup...a dry run if you will...are the stadiums ready?... is everything organized?....instant buzz and exposure....if :League can work as a dry run with FIFA this is the best news in a longtime....cuts the costs too but will draw in instant crowds.

Is this satire?

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9 hours ago, Manfred Mann said:

I would hope that by 2025 there are at least four big city professional rugby league teams in Super League -- Toronto, New York, Boston and either Montreal, Chicago or Philadelphia.

I sincerely hope so

9 hours ago, Manfred Mann said:

licencing reinstated in Super League for the next TV contract in 2022.

I sincerely hope not

Edited by Yakkers

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52 minutes ago, Mr Wind Up said:

Is this satire?

Why would it be? It's a reasonable plan which could definitely work and give the sport much needed exposure in new markets. The FIFA WC would be the perfect vehicle for that

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It would certainly be an excellent test bed for the crowd control measures. 😊

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10 hours ago, Manfred Mann said:

FIFA has just announced that the football World Cup will be jointly hosted in Canada, USA, and Mexico in 2026.

Before that, the Rugby League World Cup is planned for the USA and Canada in 2025.

Surely the certain excitement buildup for the former can be harnessed for the latter. Rugby league can identify itself as "the other World Cup."

But the fortunate timing will be of limited success if there are not by 2025 several north American professional rugby league teams, with fan bases that can be mobilised to bring new fans to the game. I would hope that by 2025 there are at least four big city professional rugby league teams in Super League -- Toronto, New York, Boston and either Montreal, Chicago or Philadelphia. (I know that there are plans for Hamilton, Canada, but that team would be of limited use in getting large numbers of fans to the World Cup, and more important, of no use in acquiring a major US TV contract).

The RFL and Super League needs to plan now for the development of professional clubs in north America. And that means to plan for four four major city north American clubs playing in Super League by 2025 at the latest. Moreover that outcome can only be guaranteed if there is licencing reinstated in Super League for the next TV contract in 2022.

Let's not get carried away.

I doubt the FIFA World Cup will make any difference whatsoever to the RLWC.

We're the gnat on the elephant's behind in this instance.

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40 minutes ago, John Drake said:

Let's not get carried away.

I doubt the FIFA World Cup will make any difference whatsoever to the RLWC.

We're the gnat on the elephant's behind in this instance.

You say that John but councils love to say they have saved money even if they have spent it.

There will be a tonne of stadiums and cities with things like fan-parks etc and all the tertiary stuff that goes on around these huge sporting events and being able to approach all these stadiums and cities and say you know all that stuff you are buying for the world cup, fancy using it twice? A lot will be looking at that thinking it makes us a much more attractive proposition.

You have to remember in your analogy that whilst the Gnat doesnt make much of an effect on the elephant, the elephant has a huge effect on the gnat.

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2 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

You say that John but councils love to say they have saved money even if they have spent it.

There will be a tonne of stadiums and cities with things like fan-parks etc and all the tertiary stuff that goes on around these huge sporting events and being able to approach all these stadiums and cities and say you know all that stuff you are buying for the world cup, fancy using it twice? A lot will be looking at that thinking it makes us a much more attractive proposition.

You have to remember in your analogy that whilst the Gnat doesnt make much of an effect on the elephant, the elephant has a huge effect on the gnat.

I'm not saying that won't happen, or that it shouldn't happen, or that it wouldn't be good if it did happen, just that I don't expect it will happen.

I think it could turn into a giant distraction for us tbh.

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2 minutes ago, John Drake said:

I'm not saying that won't happen, or that it shouldn't happen, or that it wouldn't be good if it did happen, just that I don't expect it will happen.

I think it could turn into a giant distraction for us tbh.

Perhaps, but played right it could be a great bonus.

There is a chance if could detract, and perhaps the confederations cup in 2025 will be too big a hurdle for us to overcome.

But there will be a lot of work going in to things like infrastructure and stadia that have to be paid for and that makes events much more attractive and we are an event.

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2 hours ago, Mr Wind Up said:

Is this satire?

Not at all!....this is a great opportunity if played right...a great potential gift has just fallen right into the lap of Rugby League....a gift, that if played right, will be the gift that just keeps on giving in more ways than one....like isn't that just plain obvious to everyone?

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1 hour ago, JohnM said:

It would certainly be an excellent test bed for the crowd control measures. 😊

If done properly it will increase crowd size dramatically and expose our sport to a whole new fan base.

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5 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

Perhaps, but played right it could be a great bonus.

There is a chance if could detract, and perhaps the confederations cup in 2025 will be too big a hurdle for us to overcome.

But there will be a lot of work going in to things like infrastructure and stadia that have to be paid for and that makes events much more attractive and we are an event.

The decision to hold RLWC2025 in the USA was taken before anyone knew the FIFA World Cup would be happening there a year later.

My sincere hope is that all the plans relating to the bid and the RLIF's decision to award the tournament to the USA are strong enough in their own right that they do not need to start piggybacking off a completely unrelated event taking place a year later.

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7 minutes ago, John Drake said:

The decision to hold RLWC2025 in the USA was taken before anyone knew the FIFA World Cup would be happening there a year later.

My sincere hope is that all the plans relating to the bid and the RLIF's decision to award the tournament to the USA are strong enough in their own right that they do not need to start piggybacking off a completely unrelated event taking place a year later.

No....No....don't shut that door! 

If a chance at good fortune magically appears to you due to unforeseen providence you should grasp it, manipulate it, and benefit from it....don't close that door...opportunity knocks!   This is a great opportunity not to be dismissed out of hand.

One should never look a gift horse in the mouth.

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Just now, Kayakman said:

No....No....don't shut that door! 

If a chance at good fortune magically appears to you due to unforeseen providence you should grasp it, manipulate it, and benefit from it....don't close that door...opportunity knocks!   This is a great opportunity not to be dismissed out of hand.

One should never look a gift horse in the mouth.

I'm not dismissing it.

I'm hoping we don't end up becoming reliant on it.

Football/soccer is no natural friend to RL. 

If RLWC2025 is gonna be a success it has to be built on more than just wishful thinking.

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3 minutes ago, Kayakman said:

No....No....don't shut that door! 

If a chance at good fortune magically appears to you due to unforeseen providence you should grasp it, manipulate it, and benefit from it....don't close that door...opportunity knocks!   This is a great opportunity not to be dismissed out of hand.

One should never look a gift horse in the mouth.

I agree! What would be a good tournament could be turned into an excellent tournament if the cards are played right. It's not often that you find yourself in the same place as the biggest sporting event in the world. And when you do, you need to take advantage of it

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1 minute ago, John Drake said:

I'm not dismissing it.

I'm hoping we don't end up becoming reliant on it.

Football/soccer is no natural friend to RL. 

If RLWC2025 is gonna be a success it has to be built on more than just wishful thinking.

That's a fair point

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2 minutes ago, John Drake said:

I'm not dismissing it.

I'm hoping we don't end up becoming reliant on it.

Football/soccer is no natural friend to RL. 

If RLWC2025 is gonna be a success it has to be built on more than just wishful thinking.

There are angles to be explored here.

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4 minutes ago, Yorkshire Knight said:

I agree! What would be a good tournament could be turned into an excellent tournament if the cards are played right. It's not often that you find yourself in the same place as the biggest sporting event in the world. And when you do, you need to take advantage of it

I just don't see it, honestly, I don't.

In the UK, soccer is the dominant code of football. There are big events happening all the time, every year.

When have they ever benefited Rugby League?

Why would it suddenly be the case in the USA?

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2 minutes ago, John Drake said:

I just don't see it, honestly, I don't.

In the UK, soccer is the dominant code of football. There are big events happening all the time, every year.

When have they ever benefited Rugby League?

Why would it suddenly be the case in the USA?

The US would be different because it's a new and unexploited market for both sports but more so Rugby League. A lot of casual fans will be attending the FIFA World Cup so there's an opportunity to attract interest. Whereas both sports are established in the UK and have their own respective fan base so it's harder to capatalise on big football events.

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I think the fact the events are one year apart is being overlooked here. Assuming new stadiums are going to be built for the FIFA WC they're not going to be ready a year in advance for RL to benefit. Also, I'd expect the type of stadium earmarked for the RL WC will be far 'smaller' than the ones being used for the football WC. I reckon the best we can hope for in terms of it being of any benefit to RL is media outlets jumping on the idea that within 3 years the US will have 3 major global events (RLWC, FIFAWC, Olympics) and pull RL into all discussions of that nature. Certainly can't do it any harm. 

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