Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

One-Team Approach Called For

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

One-Team Approach Called For

Article excerpt

Byline: John Hill

SUNDERLAND AFC chairman Niall Quinn has urged the North East to act as one to help secure England's World Cup bid for 2018 and bring the region's businesses a pounds 60m bonanza.

He said the Sunderland bid team would be looking to work with the NewcastleGateshead bid to improve the country's chances of getting the nod from Fifa in December. Both were included by the FA in the roster of 12 host cities three months ago.

Quinn said: "That will have to happen before August, but we'll take direction from the central bid office on this. Because we bid separately, the region became larger in the minds of the decision-makers and it was a smart move.

"We do foresee the time that we will become as one and the region will act as one. We'll find an opportunity to make that announcement, as long as we can find the correct patch of land between here and Newcastle to do it. We haven't actually sat down to discuss anything but the bid committee will certainly be looking for us to do that."

With the FA's bid set to be submitted to Fifa on May 14, Quinn said businesses should keep their doors open and publicise the bid campaign to ensure that the region is best placed to benefit from the estimated pounds 3.2bn that would be injected by a World Cup.

It was estimated last year that the North East could receive a windfall of at least pounds 58m from the World Cup, with visitors expected to flock to pubs, hotels, restaurants and shops during the tournament.

The 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester generated pounds 36m in business opportunities and 16,000 jobs ranging from a few months to a decade.

Visitors spent pounds 12m during the competition.

Sunderland's bid team believe the North East would also be an ideal base camp for football fans from northern Europe, due to its established transport links with countries such as Sweden, Germany and Holland. …

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