Preston has made its official bid to play a role in the Rugby League World Cup in 2021.
But it could be the new year before a consortium of civic and business chiefs find out if the city has been chosen to play host to one of the national squads from around the globe.
The bidding process for Host City (training camp) status closed this week, with Preston one of more than 40 venues vying to be part of the sport’s global showpiece when it comes to England for five weeks across October and November in three years’ time.
All the bidding venues will now be inspected by tournament organisers, with only 16 places available.
“Our application to be a part of the Rugby League World Cup in 2021 has been submitted, said Coun Peter Kelly, the city council’s cabinet member for culture and leisure. “It would be an amazing opportunity for Preston to be a part of this well-known event and promote our city on the world’s stage. I look forward to welcoming the organisers to Preston and showing them our vast cultural offer before waiting to hear if we have been successful early next year.”
While Preston will not stage any of the matches, it could still benefit from having a World Cup squad staying and training in the city.
The last time the RL World Cup was staged in England, five years ago, the University of Central Lancashire opened up its sports facilities in Cottam to the Irish squad as a training base.