USA Rugby’s chief executive gave an interview declaring the 2006 Churchill Cup would be sited in Santa Clara, California, though negotiations may not be concluded.
Mr. Doug Arnot has told the San Jose Mercury-News that
the University of Santa Clara’s Santa Clara University's Buck Shaw Stadium will host the 2006 and 2007 events, including the finals of next year’s tournament. The interview also discusses the potential siting of a national rugby training center in the San Francisco Bay area.
Mr. Arnot provided details of Churchill Cup planning to USA Rugby’s Board of Directors at its annual meeting last month, and Churchill Alliance executives from England, Canada, and the USA gathered in Santa Clara this past week. However, no contract has not been signed, according to a USA Rugby spokesperson, and the union has not released the information.
The interview may weaken the union’s position with the University of Santa Clara. In recent years, USA Rugby has struggled to obtain favorable terms with the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles and Rentschler Stadium in Hartford.
The intended move to Buck Shaw Stadium, a baseball and soccer facility with a capacity of 6,800, steers USA Rugby away from these larger venues, returning to the days of internationals staged in smaller, more affordable stadia. In the past two years, USA Rugby has made big losses staging events in half-empty grounds.
USA Rugby also appears to be reversing course in its planning for the forthcoming USA Rugby Academy, which is to be underwritten by the recently award IRB High Performance Grant. According to the Mercury-News:
The South Bay is a leading candidate to house the group's new training center, Arnot said Monday. If it does, the U.S. national team will make the Bay Area its home. The group will announce a decision on the site within two weeks, Arnot said.
In the late 1990s and early years of this decade, the USA National Team operated an office in nearby Berkeley. Mr. Arnot closed the satellite office in 2004.