England 2018 Announce Candidate Host Cities
From Vital England:
England 2018 have today announced the Candidate Host Cities to be included in their final submission to FIFA in May 2010. The following will now become Candidate Host Cities for the England 2018 World Cup Bid: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle/Gateshead, Nottingham, Plymouth, Sheffield and Sunderland.
Between them, the Candidate Host Cities have made over £300m worth of financial guarantees towards a World Cup in England if the country is successful at the FIFA vote in December 2010. There has also been a commitment of over £100m towards legacy and urban regeneration projects. This funding is in addition to the £300m worth of FIFA required guarantees signed-off by the government on 15th December 2009.
The process has seen a variety of stakeholders work together including RDAs, local councils, sports governing bodies, school boards, FAPL and FL clubs, non-league and grassroots football. Each of the Candidate Host Cities has also run its own 'Back the Bid' campaign which has demonstrated a groundswell of public support and involved a range of celebrities including Sting, Noel Gallagher, Lennox Lewis and Andrew Flintoff.
The decision was reached by a technical panel chaired by Brian Mawhinney and including England 2018 Chief Executive, Andy Anson, and Chief Operating Officer, Simon Johnson. Each of the cities involved in the Applicant Host City process made a final presentation to the panel at the QE2 building in London from Monday 14th December.
Each city was assessed on a total of 67 criteria and 82 sub-criteria with a team of industry leading experts providing a written recommendation to the technical panel. During the process the cities received two inspection visits and also produced outline and preliminary bids before the final submission to England 2018 on 26th November 2009.
Brian Mawhinney, Chairman of the England 2018 Technical Bid Panel said:
"This is a tremendous day for the England 2018 World Cup Bid. The whole of football has worked in partnership throughout this process and it is significant that 8 Premier League clubs and 6 Football League clubs` stadiums will be named in our Bid book to FIFA. Additionally, many other clubs are under consideration as training venues.
"We are committed to producing a technical bid that exceeds FIFA's requirements and we believe the outstanding work of the Candidate Host Cities we will now be putting forward gives us the best chance to do this and be successful at the vote in December 2010.
"Our Candidate Host Cities provide an exciting mix of iconic venues, stadiums that can be extended and brand new builds. Importantly this process ensures our cities are 100% compliant with FIFA's technical criteria and that crucial guarantees have been signed ahead of our submission to FIFA on 14th May 2010. We look forward to the hard work ahead with our new Candidate Host Cities in finalising a technical bid this country can be proud of."
England 2018 Technical Director, Ian Riley, who was previously Technical Director for the South Africa 2010 World Cup Bid commented:
"We've been delighted by the response of the cities to this process over the past 6 months. The technical team, including more than 30 industry-leading experts, has been able to build up extremely productive working relationships with the cities involved to ensure we deliver the best technical bid possible."
England 2018 Chief Executive Andy Anson added:
"We thank all of the cities involved for their commitment, professionalism and enthusiasm. The passion for World Cup football demonstrated by the public during the Applicant Host City process has been staggering.
"It is also clear, that the whole of English football has been united behind the bid to help develop our technical submission, with support coming from the Premier League and Football League clubs through to the grassroots game. This makes everyone involved even more determined to produce the best bid possible and we are thrilled to have these Candidate Host Cities on board."
A final decision on the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will be made by FIFA in December 2010.
Should England be successful, FIFA will make the final decision over Host Cities and Stadiums by 2013.
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