New York-based team submits Rugby League plans

16 Oct 2017

By: Sport Industry Group

An application has been made to the Rugby Football League from a New York-based consortium, which could see them play in League 1 from 2019.

The bid for a North American-based team follows in the footsteps of the Toronto Wolfpack, who were promoted from League 1 to the Championship, the game’s second tier, at the first attempt last season, drawing crowds of over 7,000.

The New York-based team would be the second North American side in the League, alongside the Toronto Wolfpack [pictured winning promotion from League 1]

A consortium, backed by two unknown investors who will provide £7.5m of funding has stated it would not require central funding. The New York team would also cover all travel and accommodation costs of visiting teams and play in blocks of home and away fixtures.

The consortium, co-founded by Yorkshire-based entrepreneur Ricky Wilby, has confirmed they have held discussions with some Super League clubs about taking the game to America in 2018.

The team would play at the 25,000-seater Red Bull Arena [main picture] in New Jersey and the plans come just eight years before the United States is set to co-host the World Cup with Canada.

"We want to grow the sport in North America and increase the pool of players which would ultimately increase the chances of success for the USA national team," said Ricky Wilby.

A representative for the investors, Tom Scott, said: “To make it a reality the initial investment will be significant and we’re willing to cover it fully. After that we intend to be self-sufficient.”