Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Most Loyal Supporters the World's Ever Had. Your Help Is Vital If Tyneside Is to Share In: England's Bid for World Cup Glory in 2018

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Most Loyal Supporters the World's Ever Had. Your Help Is Vital If Tyneside Is to Share In: England's Bid for World Cup Glory in 2018

Article excerpt

Byline: ADAM JUPP

TODAY we call on your support to make our World Cup dreams a reality.

A Newcastle and Gateshead bid is being made to be a host as part of England's plans to stage the 2018 or 2022 tournaments.

Bid leaders today officially launched their campaign at St James's Park, which if successful, would see four teams based on Tyneside and playing games at the home of Newcastle United.

But to be included in the FA's bid to FIFA, the Newcastle Gateshead campaign needs to demonstrate as much public support as possible and that is why we urge you to get behind the move.

John Shipley, leader of Newcastle City Council, said: "We plan to deliver a festival of football set in the very heart and fabric of the 'twin cities'.

"Only by working in partnership can we deliver an event of this scale.

"This is about Newcastle Gateshead and the region working together. "If we are successful, the legacy and media profile would transform international awareness of our city for decades to come.

"It would be a major boost to the local economy and could potentially add up to pounds 25m to tourism in the region.

"One of our greatest assets will be the hotel stock of the city. By 2018 we will have 3,000 hotel rooms within 20 minutes walk of the stadium."

Campaign leaders say pounds 25m is the potential boost to the regional economy but that does not take account of the knock-on benefits hosting the tournament would have on areas in North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland and Sunderland.

As well as staging fixtures, the city would need to provide locations for "fan parks", which were a huge success at the 2006 Germany World Cup.

Possible sites include Exhibition Park and the Town Moor, while places like Gateshead Stadium and even Croft Park, the home of Blyth Spartans, could be used as training camps for participating squads.

Mick Henry, leader of Gateshead Council, said: "We believe that New-castle Gateshead is one of England's most iconic host locations.

"We now have the best cultural facilities in Europe for a city/region of its size."

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