Sunday 19th July 2020 – New River Stadium in North London N22 5QW
This has been a very exciting few weeks, following the successful 2019 London9s, and we have been busy planning ahead and mapping out the next 5-10 years for the growth of the London9s.
With this in mind we are delighted to announce a new date for the London9s and a new venue location, which will see the largest amateur 9s event, played in a Stadium, thanks to a new partnership with the Betfred League 1 Club, London Skolars and Stadium operators ‘Fusion’.
London9s organiser and Rugby event consultant Graham Oliphant, explained the thought processes and reasoning behind the new date and location:
“We’ve been in consultation with the RFL and the RLWC team for some time now, so this is significant for three main reasons:
1) London League Weekend
The Challenge Cup Final has been confirmed as the Saturday 18 July 2020, and will be in mid July for the next several years, at Wembley Stadium. This is a grateful move away from the August bank holiday, which always created challenges for logistics and conflicts of availability for players and fans. I appreciate this impacts our friends in the Southern hemisphere, however we have to build context and value, and work with existing events, to grow a bigger product.
This is also one of the few weekends in the RL season when there should be minimal UK based RL league fixtures.
The London Skolars hold their successful ‘Friday Night Lights’ League 1 game on the eve of the Challenge Cup Final (Friday 17 July) at New River Stadium.
With the annual London9s now taking place, at the same location, on the Sunday, this allows for the coordinated marketing of the new and exciting ‘London League Weekend’ – an annual gathering in the Capital, for a jam-packed weekend of rugby league action, sandwiched around the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.
This is a great ‘value add’ to fans who are already looking to travel to London for the annual Wembley Cup Final, and a exciting proposition for teams flying over to the London9s. Now we can offer a comprehensive program of entertainment for the ‘rugby league tourist’, with deals on accommodation and London sightseeing offered as well.
2) A suitable Stadium location
The standard of play at the 2019 London9s was quite exceptional, and raised a few eyebrows from a number of teams, as well as from the RLEF and RLIF officials who attended.
Having the event now staged at a Stadium provides both the teams and the organisers a step up to that next level of professionalism in the production of the event.
We are live streaming the games remember, to a global audience, and this platform now gives the event that degree of gravitas which it deserves. Thanks to our partners at Sportsflickglobal.com, our 4 camera HD production also comes with full commentary over the day, so we are creating some real quality content, which is quite unique, for what is essentially an amateur event.
The location in North London, is also only a few minutes drive from the M1 and the North Circular so ideal for teams and fans traveling from the North of England. This London orbital route also connects round pretty direct to Wembley Stadium.
With multiple reasonably priced hotels just north of the Stadium, this allows teams and groups the ideal base location for the weekend, and we will be offering a ‘TEAM HOTEL’ with preferential rates for visiting teams and fans.
3) Commercial growth and sustainability
We are very grateful to East London RFC for their support for the first two years, however Newham Council have decided to re-tender the facility, which creates a degree of uncertainty.
It’s important that we look ahead and look to ‘future-proof’ the event. Following discussions with the indefatigable Hector McNeil, chairperson of the London based League 1 Club, we agreed this is a sensible way forward. The London Skolars have been based at the New River Stadium in North London for 20 years now and have developed a flourishing community base.
Adopting this ‘Stronger Together’ approach will allow both parties to add value to their activities and offers sponsors a new dimension for their ROI.
I’ve been impressed that the London Skolars often host International games as well as organise other successful events in the Capital, such as the annual Capital Challenge and Corporate Touch. Developing and promoting external events such as these are critical to realising new revenue streams. Together, we can target the financial corporations of London offering them a very exciting investment proposition.
We also have established business networking links with the USA, Canada and Europe specifically.
It makes sense then that the London9s, which draws an international audience to London, is consolidated under this banner, and together, we can work to market ‘London’ as a rugby league sports tourism destination, to a global audience.
With this in mind, the London9s 2020 will be targeting more overseas nations to take part, giving clubs and teams the opportunity to represent their country, at the largest annual amateur 9s event.
We’ll also be working with the RLWC2021 team as we approach England2021 with some ‘joined up thinking’ to further develop the London9s as part of the Festival of World Cups in 2021.
London9s 2020 Tournament entry procedure:
20 Countries represented for 2020, amongst a diverse field of mens and womens team entries.
London9s 2020 will be capped at 24 teams: 16 Mens teams; 8 Womens teams
The entry process:
Stage 1- Teams from 2019 will be invited and have a specified time window in which to confirm and book, to enjoy a loyalty discount for their support for London9s 2018 & 2019.
Stage 2- New teams/clubs, from around the world, who have already pre-registered via the London9s website, will receive a direct invitation letter via email, to enter and represent their Nation at the 2020 London9s
Stage 3- If any spaces remain, general online entry will be accepted, subject to availability
For more information, please visit – london9s.uk