Newcastle Thunder’s Kingston Park will replace West Cumbria’s Allerdale stadium as a host venue for the 2021 World Cup following the council’s decision to withdraw their bid to host matches following their decision to reconsider plans for a new stadium in Workington.
Kingston Park will host three men’s fixtures in 2021, adding another North East venue to the tournament, with the opening ceremony followed by England men’s first fixture already taking place at St James’ Park, and a further men’s fixture taking place at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough.
The 10,200-capacity stadium has seen some iconic games since it opened its doors in 1990 and has been home to Newcastle Thunder since 2015. Jon Dutton, Chief Executive of RLWC2021, commented: “We are very pleased to be able to confirm Kingston Park as a host venue for our event in 2021. Newcastle is already playing a critical part in the tournament and we are delighted to add a further three high-profile matches in the city.
“Given the disappointing news regarding the withdrawal of Allerdale, we wanted to ensure that the replacement venue was within reach of West Cumbria, whilst also offering rugby league and sports fans the opportunity to have a broader offer in Newcastle that will add to an already exciting opening weekend”.
Councillor Nick Forbes, leader at Newcastle City Council, said: “I am thrilled to announce that Newcastle will host an additional three Rugby League World Cup games in 2021 at the Kingston Park stadium. The city will play a huge role in this unmissable tournament with St James’ Park hosting the opening ceremony and England’s first match followed by these matches at Kingston Park.
“Newcastle is building a growing reputation as a city that can host huge events, this year we have welcomed 100,000 visitors for the Heineken Cup Challenge and Champions Cup Finals and inspirational athletes from across the globe competing in the World Transplant Games. I look forward to once again showcasing what Newcastle is all about, our friendly Geordie welcome, vibrant city centre and unrivalled passion for sport.”
Newcastle Rugby Executive Director and Thunder Chairman Mick Hogan, added: “It is fantastic news that Kingston Park Stadium has been chosen to host these three prestigious games. The venue has been home to Newcastle Thunder for five seasons now and also regularly hosts community games, student matches and representative rugby league events.
“With Newcastle now hosting four matches in the Men’s Tournament, as well as the opening ceremony, the city will play a huge part in the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. Kingston Park Stadium has tremendous supporter and corporate facilities and we look forward to welcoming three capacity crowds and showing the rugby league community our famous Geordie welcome.”