England - What Leicester has to offer
Leicester is one of 16 cities currently vying to be one of the final 12 selected as host cities for England's world cup bid, but what does it have to offer?
We find out, as we ask JB Fox from Vital Leicester what they think it can bring to the table for the world cup bid...
1) Leicester has applied to be a host city, what are the pros of this?
It's nice to at least be in the running to host such a prestigious event, so in this respect it's good that Leicester has been recognised for its merits. World Cup football on your doorstep is hardly an opportunity that arises freely, so it's a pretty exciting prospect for the city. Increased revenue from the mass tourism it would inevitably bring can only be beneficial to an ever-increasing multi-cultural city.
2) And the cons?
Mainly the prospect of sitting in a half-empty stadium for the years to follow. Once the World Cup's been and gone we'd be left with a 40,000 capacity ground that is currently only filling just over half of that figure. Obviously a lot can happen to the football club before 2018, but the chances remain high that we won't be playing our football at a higher level.
3) Is The Walkers Stadium up to the task of staging a world cup game at the moment - if not will it come 2018/2022?
Definitely. Having already hosted three senior international friendlies (including the likes of England and Brazil) it would be reasonable to say that we already have some experience when it comes to the international scene. The games were a huge success, which should help the bid's cause. The stadium itself is certainly worthy of playing stage to quality football in my opinion.
4) What is Leicester most famous for?
Hmm, Walkers crisps? And of course, Gary Lineker to follow that. With such an illustrious career at the highest level under his belt after beginning his football with us, it's only natural that he's a local legend around here. Kasabian are also well documented for supporting the club, so I suppose you could put them high up the list of our celebrity fans too.
5) What would it mean to you to see the world cup converge on Leicester if successful?
It'd obviously be a huge honour to be chosen from the candidates. Leicester have hardly had the best few years as a club in more recent times, so I'd like to think that it could help our cause with some more coverage. There'd be a massive buzz around the city hosting a World Cup match, so it's certainly a very exciting prospect.
6) Come on, hand on heart, tinted specs off, totally unbiased view will Leicester be successful with the host city bid?
It's going to be extremely difficult competing against the likes of Nottingham, so in my opinion no. They'd have a stadium at least equal to ours by 2018, and it's a significantly bigger city to accommodate the influx of fans arriving. I'd be surprised if we got it anyway.
7) Most importantly, do you think that England will be successful with the 2018/2022 world cup bid anyway?
I think we will yes. Football should be coming home this time around after such a long wait (and that ended alright didn't it?), especially with the experiences of a hugely successful Euro '96 under our belts. I'd like to think that we deserve it when you consider the calibre of countries that have previously hosted it in the time since, and I'm confident that the authorities that be will make the right decision on this occasion.
8) Anything else you want to add?
I think that's covered it!
Questions answered by JB Fox from Vital Leicester.