Newcastle bids to host 2018 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals

St James' Park
Newcastle United's St James' Park staged Olympic football during London 2012

Newcastle is bidding to host both of the major European cup finals in 2018.

The bid is a partnership between NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Newcastle City Council, Newcastle United Football Club and Newcastle Rugby Limited.

If successful, United's St James' Park will stage the Champions Cup final and Newcastle Falcons' Kingston Park will host the Challenge Cup final.

A final decision will be made in April 2017.

The next stage of the bidding process sees a shortlist of candidate cities drawn up by 16 December, followed by venue visits and a selection process through to March 2017.

St James' Park, with a capacity in excess of 52,000, staged international matches in the 2015 Rugby World Cup as well as playing host to rugby league's Magic Weekend for the past two seasons.

Mick Hogan, managing director of Newcastle Rugby Limited, said: "Securing the 2018 finals would be another significant boost for the development and growth of rugby in the region.

"The city has two great venues in St James' Park and Kingston Park Stadium, which would ensure a fantastic weekend of club rugby.

"When it comes to major events, Newcastle-upon-Tyne always delivers to the very highest levels."

Lee Charnley, managing director of Newcastle United, added: "We have a strong recent history of hosting major rugby events at St James' Park.

"The sell-out crowds we have welcomed pay testament to our ability to excel at the hosting of such high-profile sporting events."

Edinburgh is hosting both European finals in 2017, with the Champions Cup final at Murrayfield on 13 May, a day after the Challenge Cup final.

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