Newcastle will stage European rugby’s showpiece weekend in May 2019 when the European Champions Cup, Challenge Cup and European Rugby Continental Shield (Challenge Cup Qualifying Competition) finals are held in the city.
The news forms part of a double announcement which sees the 2018 finals awarded to Bilbao, Spain, with tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) deciding to make an early decision regarding the 2019 finals based on the strength of Newcastle’s bid.
Newcastle United’s St James’ Park will stage the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals, with Newcastle Falcons’ Kingston Park Stadium hosting the European Rugby Continental Shield final on the weekend of 10th/11th May 2019.
Combined, they form one of the biggest weekends in club rugby, generating over €20.4m million in total economic impact.
The bid is a joint partnership between Newcastle City Council, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Newcastle United Football Club and Newcastle Rugby Limited.
Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that Newcastle has been named as host city for the 2019 European rugby finals, which is a real coup for the city and the North East.
“A tremendous amount of work has gone into securing this for Newcastle against stiff competition, and it’s paid off.”
Sarah Stewart, chief executive of destination marketing and management agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Securing the 2019 European Rugby Champions Cup final, European Rugby Challenge Cup final and European Rugby Continental Shield final is fantastic news for the destination.
“These major games will attract visitors from across the globe, boosting the local visitor economy and showcasing the area to new visitors, many of whom will return with friends and family in future. I’d like to say well done and thank you to all the partners involved.
“2019 is set to be a huge sporting year for the destination as we also gear up to welcome the World Transplant Games. All of this will come hot on the heels of Great Exhibition of the North 2018, and demonstrates once again that NewcastleGateshead is a world-class place to host major events.”