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Old November 13th, 2011, 04:46 PM   #1
CharlieP
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Potential future Heineken Cup Final venues?

Including the next two, the first 18 Heineken Cup Finals have only been held in six different cities:

Millennium Stadium/National Stadium, Cardiff x 6
Twickenham Stadium, London x 4
Aviva Stadium/Lansdowne Road, Dublin x 3
Stade de France/Parc des Princes, Paris x 2
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh x 2
Stade Lescure, Bordeaux

Is it time to cast the net a bit wider? I'd love to see a final at the Nou Camp, but what other possible candidates are there? Milan? Berlin?
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Old November 13th, 2011, 08:20 PM   #2
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Charlie,

It's probably a case of Turkeys and Christmas.

Most of the stadiums above are owned or part owned by Rugby unions who make up the partners of ERC who decide the venue. Why would they give up revenue to pay Barca to use the Nou Camp.

Also:

Would Barca be happy to have their pitch torn up for the sake of revenue from one more game when they generally have more than 25 a season anyway. The money would be small beer for them compared to any of the unions.

Would you want to host it in a city with no real interest in Rugby. I know Perpignan play some games at the olympic stadium but their fans are happy to travel the short distance to watch their own team. Would they cross the border to watch say Leicester-Munster?
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Old November 14th, 2011, 12:45 AM   #3
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Any italian stadiums preferably the san siro, italy has been in the 6nations for ten years. And the maybe some more devolping nations romania etc
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Old November 14th, 2011, 04:00 AM   #4
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I could see a final in Barcelona being possible, the Heineken cup final would be held at the end of Barcelonas season so it would be the perfect time for a rugby game to happen there. Crowds for Perpignan have been impressive enough but as andy-i said I do wonder whether two british teams would have the same pulling power. Same goes for Rome and Milan and what chance a final in Gelsenkirchen or Brussels or something not be a total disaster? Would love to see it happen but doubt it will happen any time soon.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 01:20 PM   #5
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I have to admit I don't know what the exact bidding process is - does ERC invite bids from national unions, or from venues?
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Old November 14th, 2011, 02:11 PM   #6
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A final in Italy would be a good idea IMO. Maybe San Siro and the Olimpico are a bit too big (and busy on week ends during the football season), but what about the new Juventus Stadium in Turin ? I think it could be a good choice.

Also, among the non-6 Nations countries, I'd like to see this game held in Romania (at their new national stadium in Bucharest), especially because they have a long rugby tradition over there (a Romanian club even participated to the first H Cup edition, and this competition is apparently already broadcasted in Romania, unlike in most of European countries).
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Old November 14th, 2011, 11:51 PM   #7
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The Heinekin cup final this season is the same weekend as the champions league final so football would not get in the way of most venues being used.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 10:53 AM   #8
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Barca were more than happy to open their doors to USAP last season, with one exception - Guardiola.

However with the HC final being after the end of the football season most years, I am pretty sure Barca would be willing to let ERC use it for a HC Final - only issue might be finding a suitable smaller venue for the Amlin Final. The Olympic Stadium or Espanyols grounds would be a disaster unless Perpignan were involved.

Not doubt in my mind the HC Final would sell out whoever qualified. Don't under estimate just how many Munster/Leinster fans attend the final every year, regardless of who qualifies. And if they go back to Cardiff year after year, then they will defo go to Barcelona!


As for other cities.. Italy should get it in 2014 IMO. One of few countries who have contested every HC (not even England can say that!) yet they have never been given the final. My choice would be the San Siro, since it's closer to the Italian rugby heartlands in the north-east, and it has been sold out for rugby in the past. And again, thousands will travel regardless of who is involved - I know I would for a start!

Brussels (along with Milan and Barcelona) was mentioned by ERC when Paris got it (but never actually happened) - but that is starting to get a bit more risky, Likewise grounds in Germany.

I'll also add Tblisi to the ones already mentioned though - Georgia have managed crowds of 60,000+ in the past (even Scotland struggle to get that these days) and call rugby their national sport. However, I would rather we worked towards getting Georgia and Russian sides in the tournament, rather than giving them the final of a tournament they dream of playing in.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 12:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwa View Post
However with the HC final being after the end of the football season most years, I am pretty sure Barca would be willing to let ERC use it for a HC Final - only issue might be finding a suitable smaller venue for the Amlin Final.
What does the Amlin Final have to do with anything? It's been hosted by the same city as the Heineken Cup Final on a couple of occasions, but it can be held anywhere.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 01:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IHaveNoLegs View Post
The Heinekin cup final this season is the same weekend as the champions league final so football would not get in the way of most venues being used.
That's true but it should also be a consideration when choosing a host city.

Imagine a scenario where the HC final is being played in Barcelona and Barca are in the the Champions league final the same day.

Every bar in the city would be rammed with people watching the final and no doubt big screens in major squares. The HC would be a sideshow and totally overshadowed.

I know it's unlikely to happen as the CL is so competitive but if they continue to schedule them on the same day (stupid by ERC IMO) and bearing in mind the age and talent of Barca's current team it might well!
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Old November 15th, 2011, 01:47 PM   #11
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^Where did you get the idea that they play on the same day every year? The ERC aren't that stupid. It's just this year. And ERC will probably change it to the Sunday, with UEFA on Saturday.

Heineken Cup final 2011 - 21st May.

Champions League 2011 - 28th May.

And that's most likely going to stay that way, outside of Euro years.

The only reason they will be closer together in 2012 is because UEFA have to finish early due to the Euros. That scenario has no chance of ever being a problem.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 03:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS20 View Post
^Where did you get the idea that they play on the same day every year? The ERC aren't that stupid. It's just this year. And ERC will probably change it to the Sunday, with UEFA on Saturday.

Heineken Cup final 2011 - 21st May.

Champions League 2011 - 28th May.

And that's most likely going to stay that way, outside of Euro years.

The only reason they will be closer together in 2012 is because UEFA have to finish early due to the Euros. That scenario has no chance of ever being a problem.
It happened in 2010 as well!!

That's 2 out of 3 years since UEFA moved the CL final to a Saturday

Every 2 years the CL final is earlier due to the WC or Euros and there could be a clash again.

They wont change it to a Sunday either. It's too late to change it due to travel, security issues and lots of other reasons.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 12:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy-i View Post
Charlie,

It's probably a case of Turkeys and Christmas.

Most of the stadiums above are owned or part owned by Rugby unions who make up the partners of ERC who decide the venue. Why would they give up revenue to pay Barca to use the Nou Camp.

Also:

Would Barca be happy to have their pitch torn up for the sake of revenue from one more game when they generally have more than 25 a season anyway. The money would be small beer for them compared to any of the unions.

Would you want to host it in a city with no real interest in Rugby. I know Perpignan play some games at the olympic stadium but their fans are happy to travel the short distance to watch their own team. Would they cross the border to watch say Leicester-Munster?
Actually, I would consider both Milan and Barcelona as more certain to deliver af full stadium than say Dublin if one or two french teams appear as happened a few years ago. Both places are close to the rugby-loving south of france and british fans never seem to mind the travel.

Other places such as Germany and Holland are probably too risky if french teams qualify. As for turkeys and christmas, yes thats probably why it doesnt happen, but it seems strangely unammbitious especially considering the same unionsī willingness to take the world cup to new destinations.

And really, this apparently very british facination with pitches "cutting-up" really has to get updated. These days, a poor pitch is poor, whether you play a game of rugby on it or not whereas a good pitch can quite easily stand up to it.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 12:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomasKing View Post
Actually, I would consider both Milan and Barcelona as more certain to deliver af full stadium than say Dublin if one or two french teams appear as happened a few years ago. Both places are close to the rugby-loving south of france and british fans never seem to mind the travel.

Other places such as Germany and Holland are probably too risky if french teams qualify. As for turkeys and christmas, yes thats probably why it doesnt happen, but it seems strangely unammbitious especially considering the same unionsī willingness to take the world cup to new destinations.

And really, this apparently very british facination with pitches "cutting-up" really has to get updated. These days, a poor pitch is poor, whether you play a game of rugby on it or not whereas a good pitch can quite easily stand up to it.
It's true that some pitches fare better than others but some do undoubtedly suffer as a result of overuse and lots of reset scrums does not help any pitch.

As for a British facination, It was Barca's coach Pep Guardiola who put a stop to USAP's proposed game at the Nou Camp.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 06:44 PM   #15
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Agree with some of what's been said above. Rugby's cadre of self-interested unions need to be broken up before somewhere like Barcelona hosts.

Sadly it's not a matter of who could feasibly host a successful final, it's who will be allowed to.
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