Fifteen UK cities have joined the battle to host the 2018 World Cup finals.
Each city must offer four locations for potential training grounds and base camps, and there are ancillary events such as the draw for the Confederations Cup and various FIFA junkets. First inspections of the prospective host cities will take place this month, with a second round in September.
Sheffield is on the list and, with more than 500 national and international sports events held in the past decade and 4,000 hotels rooms, England’s fourth largest city’s bid director Wayne Coyle, is optimistic. “Football is in the DNA of the city. Everybody is up for this.”
Sheffield Wednesday chairman Lee Strafford, is backing the bid and claims Sheffield is “the busiest sporting city in the world”.
Meanwhile, four of Sheffield’s sports and entertainment venues have been hailed as the safest in the country following a leisure industry assessment.
The facilities, operated by Sheffield International Venues, received the top four scores in the QLM’s Leisuresafe certification scheme, which is carried out on venues across the UK.
SIV commissioned Institute of Sport and Recreation Management consultants to conduct the assessments as part of it continuous improvement programme. All 12 SIV facilities inspected scored between 81 and 90 per cent.
The full list of UK city contenders bidding to become host venues for the 2018 World Cup is: Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle-Gateshead, Nottingham, Portsmouth, Sheffield and Sunderland.