Blues could make World Cup bid

PORTMAN Road could play host to international giants such as Brazil or Spain if England is successful in its bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

Stuart Watson

By Stuart Watson

PORTMAN Road could play host to international giants such as Brazil or Spain if England is successful in its bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

After some serious research, Ipswich have decided not to put themselves forward as a host city as part of the ongoing bid process, however, the 30,000 capacity Portman Road has been entered as training base camp.

Part of the strength of the England bid is that, not only will this country be able to provide a number of superb stadiums for the actual World Cup games, but that the it will also be able to provide international sides will 25,000 plus capacity grounds to train in front of large crowds.

Portman Road fits that bill perfectly and, with the Suffolk town less than 100 miles way from London - where the likes of Wembley, The Emirates Stadium and Stamford Bridge are likely to be used as host grounds - Ipswich could be an ideal place for the top international sides to base themselves for the two week tournament.

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Those that do want to be considered as host cities during the bid process will have to put their case forward to the England 2018 bid team by the end of next week.

And Blues chief executive Simon Clegg admitted that Ipswich made some very serious considerations as to whether to put themselves forward as a host city themselves.

That would have meant increasing Portman Road's gross capacity to 44,000, as well as fulfilling a huge list of requirements, examples being a minimum number of hotels in the town and a base level of facilities for global television camera crews.

Clegg said: “With my background of having been involved in the successful London 2012 Olympics bid for five years before handing over to Seb Coe I have probably got a better understanding than most when it comes to the benefits of staging major events.

“Therefore, when the opportunity of being a World Cup 2018 host city was highlighted to me a relatively short time ago I quickly decided we would have to spend some time looking at it.

“There has been a lot of positive engagement with Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council. Part of the requirements meant increasing your stadium's gross capacity to 44,000 and so we obviously looked at the fact that we have got one very old stand (Cobbold) that is ripe for development.

“Ultimately we decided that we had to take a responsible approach and say no. We probably could have achieved the requirements in some directions, but not in others.

“We had to look at it in the long term and ask whether it was the right time and whether we had the right resources. When we looked at it as a whole it was hard to justify the expenditure.

“I think though that the very fact that we were able to seriously look at this demonstrates how much ambition this club has.

“What I would like to say is that this in no way diminishes our complete and absolute support for the 2018 England World Cup bid and I encourage all Town fans to log onto the bid website.”

To register your support for the England 2018 World Cup bid, visit: