Carl Hall column: #Backthebid and let's make some World Cup memories in Doncaster
The way the local community has rallied around the attempts to bring part of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 to Doncaster has been incredible to see.
As part of Club Doncaster, I have been working with Doncaster Council, Business Doncaster and Visit Doncaster to try and bring part of the amazing tournament to our town.
Over the past couple of months we have really ramped up our efforts, and our official bid has now been submitted.
Last week we released a video showing so many local people backing the bid - and it’s easy to see why they want the tournament here.
It will be the biggest Rugby League World Cup ever: with 16 teams taking part, plus women’s and wheelchair competitions as part of the main event for the first time.
Up to 14 different stadia could be used in the tournament, and we feel the Keepmoat Stadium should be one of them.
In recent years we have become a home of big rugby league events, with Challenge Cup semi-finals held here in front of huge crowds in the past two seasons. The RFL know we deliver every time.
Plus Doncaster is better prepared than ever for hosting major events.
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At the Keepmoat Stadium we now have more than a decade’s worth of experience, from our bread and butter games with the Dons and Rovers to those Challenge Cup semi-finals, senior international matches and major concerts.
There would be real benefits to the area of bringing games here, too.
We have bigger and better facilities than ever in the region - whether it is conference facilities to put on events around the games, ever-improving transport links, hotels for visitors to stay in or the local shops where people will spend their money.
We saw this when the Tour de Yorkshire concluded a stage in our town earlier this summer.
In fact, the crowds which came out for that show the appetite for top level sport in the town.
Add in the loyal support seen by Rovers, the Dons and the Knights and we have a truly great sporting culture which so many people are working hard to enhance even further.
Back in 2013 we hosted New Zealand and the Cook Islands in a World Cup warm-up game - seeing local youngsters perform the haka to the Kiwi boys is a memory which will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Let’s make some more amazing memories for future generations to cherish.