At 21.00 GMT on Wednesday 19th November 2014, IGR announced that the eighth Bingham Cup, to be staged in 2016 will be hosted by the Nashville Grizzlies.
The following press statement is from the IGR website:
London, United Kingdom – November 19, 2014 – Following a highly competitive bidding process and voting from all 52 member clubs worldwide, International Gay Rugby (IGR) is pleased to announce that in May 2016, the Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament (Bingham Cup), will be returning to the U.S.A. to be hosted by the Nashville Grizzlies RFC in Nashville, Tennessee.
Outstanding bids were received from two IGR clubs; the Chicago Dragons RFC (www.chicagodragons.org), and Nashville Grizzlies RFC (www.grizzliesrugby.org). The bids demonstrated a desire and a capability to produce a first rate rugby tournament, with significant support from regional and state governments, local organizations, community groups and the local, regional and national rugby unions. The final vote, representing 100% participation by IGR member clubs, was 53-40 in favor of Nashville.
“On behalf of the IGR Board and Trustees, I would like to thank both clubs for their dedication and level of professionalism demonstrated in the bids and during the bidding process” said IGR chairman, Jeff Wilson. “Following in the footsteps of Bingham Cup 2014 in Sydney, both bidding organizations realized that the bar had been set even higher for the next tournament. Both Chicago and Nashville responded with comprehensive plans that not only provided for excellent rugby, but an opportunity to raise the visibility of our sport and our mission to another level.”
“USA Rugby is delighted that Nashville has been awarded the hosting rights for Bingham Cup 2016 through an extremely competitive bidding process. We look forward to partnering with the Nashville Grizzlies to make Bingham Cup 2016 the biggest and most successful Bingham Cup to date. We also want to recognize Chicago for their strong bid and to both clubs for their commitment to quality tournament organization” said Nigel Melville, CEO, USA Rugby. “USA Rugby is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in sport, particularly rugby. We will continue to strive to end homophobia in sport through leadership in policy and action.”
Bingham Cup 2016 will be the 8th time the event has been staged; having been previously hosted in San Francisco, London, New York, Dublin, Minneapolis, Manchester and this year in Sydney. It is now one of the largest 15 a side rugby tournaments in the world. The competition is named after Mark Bingham, a member of the San Francisco gay rugby union team who died on United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. It’s believed Mark was one of the passengers who tackled the terrorists on-board, preventing the aircraft from reaching the hijackers’ intended target. The Bingham Cup is held in honor of Mark’s memory and challenges stereotypes and perceptions of gay men.
IGR will begin working immediately with the Nashville hosting committee to secure all necessary agreements and finalize tournament details. Wilson added, “We look forward to joining with all of our rugby brethren in a city synonymous with hospitality in May 2016.”
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