The Final Location for the 2020 World Cup Has Been Announced
The World Cup is coming home – to Richmond, Virginia, to be exact. Fans across the United States can look forward to hosting the 2020 International Quidditch Association (IQA) World Cup, welcoming the very best quidditch players from across the globe, and defending their title from the 2018 World Cup.
This year, the final decision was left in the hands of the Assembly of Members after concerns about the bids were vocalized across the community. After Calgary, Canada, located in the province of Alberta, dropped out of the race, citing an inability to adequately support the event, the remaining finalists were Gexto, Spain, and Richmond, Virginia.
The IQA initially planned to choose Richmond, citing a number of concerns with Gexto’s bid, including the availability of pitches, but these plans changed after Gexto answered these concerns and issues with Richmond’s bid were disclosed. Many players throughout the global community felt that Richmond suffered from a lack of accessibility for traveling teams, a high cost for visitors, and even possible heat issues. In fact, the original host site of the River City Sportsplex was swapped out in favor of Glover Park, which uses turf more suited to the event and climate, to hopefully limit heat issues and minimize players’ injuries.
Following the voicing of these matters, the IQA acquiesced and announced that a vote between the Assembly of Members would decide which bidding package would win, though they did recommend the Richmond bid.
In the end, Richmond won with the backing of ten national governing bodies, against seven votes for Gexto and one abstention. In this case, it appears that the superior facilities and services that Richmond will be able to provide and the desire to run this event as a professional elite occasion won out.
This will come as a disappointment to those who feel that the changes to Richmond’s bid package didn’t remedy the concerns over cost and accessibility that will affect many teams, particularly smaller nations with less developed quidditch scenes. With a clear move toward building the World Cup as solely a place for the truly elite, smaller teams may instead begin to look toward the Continental Games and more localized competitions to give their players the chance to play against other teams internationally, such as the IQA European Games or the Asian-Pacific Quidditch Cup.
The US bidding team is understandably thrilled by the result. Sarah Woolsey, USQ Executive Director, expressed her delight at the outcome.
We are overjoyed to be hosting the IQA World Cup and are excited to work on another international quidditch tournament with Richmond Region Tourism.
Richmond Region Tourism President & CEO Jack Berry further spoke of his excitement at bringing this elite game to the area.
We’re thrilled the International Quidditch Association has chosen the region to host the IQA World Cup 2020 and we can’t wait to welcome some of the best quidditch athletes from around the world to the Richmond region next year.
Richmond is also the host site for the 2019 Pan-American Games and Major League Quidditch Championship, with the city hosting the USQ Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship in 2014.
With exact dates to be announced, the World Cup will take place sometime in mid to late July 2020 and will be cohosted by the IQA, Richmond Region Tourism, US Quidditch, and Major League Quidditch.
Do you think Richmond was the right choice? Should the decision have been put to the vote at all? Let us know in the comments below.