Ground Breaking Venues Announced For Next Two Years Of European Finals
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European rugby is set to break new ground next season after Bilbao was announced as the host city for the 2018 Champions and Challenge Cup finals.
Both finals will be held at the recently redeveloped San Mames Stadium, home of La Liga soccer side Athletic Bilbao, which has a capacity of 53,289.
It will be the first time that Europe’s premier club rugby competition and it’s second tier tournament will be held outside of rugby’s ‘traditional’ European territories following a successful bid.
The finals will then return to more familiar territory in 2019 when they take place at Newcastle United’s home ground, St James’ Park, which hosted games at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
We are very excited to be taking the best club rugby in the world to fans in what is largely a new market,” EPCR chairman Simon Halliday said today.
Bilbao is an excellent destination which breaks new ground for our tournaments and we see this as a big step in the expansion of our sport across the continent.
“Fans have previously flocked to matches in Spain both in the European Cup and for last season’s Top 14 final, and they will be sure of a unique, atmospheric weekend in 2018.
“Newcastle’s commitment to the bid also made it an easy decision to award them the finals in 2019, building on their significant experience of staging major sporting occasions including Rugby World Cup 2015 matches.”