The American Rugby public have been anticipating the reveal of the teams that will be participating in the upstart PRO Rugby North America. Today PRO Rugby announced that the third city to have a team would be in beautiful San Diego, CA. This will be the third California city to gain a PRO Rugby team, joining Sacramento and San Francisco.
PRO Rugby is pleased to announce that San Diego will be the third city competing in PRO Rugby’s Inaugural 2016 season. PRO Rugby wants to thank the University of San Diego for hosting us in Torero Stadium, a very special venue. PRO Rugby also wants to give a special thanks to both David Pool, President of the San Diego Mustangs, a local youth club, and Matthew Hawkins, CEO of The Institute of Rugby, for helping us bring professional rugby to San Diego. The head coach for the San Diego team will be announced in the coming days.
In the same Facebook announcement, PRO Rugby informed the general public that the league would start with five teams, instead of the originally proposed six team setup.
PRO Rugby has decided to launch our Inaugural season with five teams. Though some might find our decision disappointing, starting with five teams allows PRO Rugby to both maintain a higher level of on-field play and allow for a more manageable game day operational environment. Each team will now play 12 games over a 15-week schedule. Information on how each game will be broadcasted will be announced shortly.
This may be a bit concerning to the rugby public, but this simply seems to be part of the learning process of creating a league. According to the media source, TIAR, there have been several obstacles that come with determining a venues to use for professional rugby.
It’s starts with finding the right sized facility. That means no NFL stadiums and no stadiums that are too small. Another major factor in the facility choice is the turf. World Rugby is starting to enforce their stringent turf standards from professional competitions this year and currently the U.S. only has a couple of facilities, including the new turf at Notre Dame and Glendale, that meet the requirement. With more and more facilities turning to turf over grass it limited some of the options, especially in the Northeast.
We should hope to hear about the last two teams, hopefully somewhere nearer to the East coast. So stay tuned and get ready. The new era of rugby clearly doesn’t come without a few bumps in the road.