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Las Vegas Rugby Cup to debut at Allegiant Stadium

Allegiant Stadium, the home of NFL American football franchise Las Vegas Raiders, has further enhanced its events portfolio through the formation of the Las Vegas Rugby Cup.

The first edition of the event, which is expected to occur annually with Las Vegas as the host city, will see the United States take on Ireland on October 30. The fixture is in addition to Ireland’s regular November series of Test matches at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium in November.

Steve Hill, CEO and president of Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), said: “Nothing can match the energy and excitement of game day in Las Vegas. We’re confident the teams and their fans will find the only-in-Vegas experiences they’ve come to expect, from incredible entertainment and dining to outstanding attractions and outdoor adventure.”

The US is a key growth market for the sport, with USA Rugby having been formally accepted this month as a candidate to host one or more upcoming Rugby World Cup (RWC) events. Over 30 “major” NFL, college football and Major League Soccer (MLS) stadia are said to be interested in staging games.

The United States will move forward with bid proposals for the 2027 and 2031 men’s World Cups, along with the 2029 women’s competition. As analysis continues, USA Rugby said potential for a combined bid of both the men’s and women’s competitions may come together if the process determines this approach is feasible and constructive toward hosting a world class experience across both events.

The formation of the Las Vegas Rugby Cup comes after it was announced this month that Allegiant Stadium would set a first for an NFL venue after being awarded hosting rights for WWE’s SummerSlam event. The stadium has also been awarded hosting rights to this year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer final on August 1.

MGM Resorts International has signed on as the official resort partner of the rugby union event. Stephanie Maes, MGM Resorts’ director of sports partnerships, said: “The Las Vegas Rugby Cup will be a marquee international event and great addition to the city’s Halloween weekend calendar. 

“As the leader in the hospitality industry, we look forward to hosting the US and Irish rugby fans and creating memorable experiences for them in the Sports Capital of the World.”

Ireland has been regular visitors to the US in recent years with matches against the Eagles national team in 2013 and 2017, and two fixtures at Chicago’s Soldier Field against New Zealand (2016) and Italy (2017).

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) this week announced that fans will return to Aviva Stadium for the first time since February 2020, with 3,000 spectators to attend the July 3 match against Japan and 6,000 to be in the stands for the clash with the USA on July 10.