Exiles considering game in Boston
November 1, 2011
Toby Booth believes London Irish © Getty Images
London Irish boss Toby Booth has revealed that the club is exploring the possibility of following the example set by Saracens in staging a Heineken Cup game overseas.
Sarries will tackle Biarritz in Cape Town, South Africa on January 14 of next year and Booth is now hoping that the Exiles will be able to arrange a game in the United States.
"We've talked about taking a fixture elsewhere, some place with historical significance like Boston," he said. "It would be a fantastic idea. If we can expand the game globally then that's a good thing."
Ireland would seem a more viable option for a game overseas given the club's historical ties with the country. However, Booth revealed that the club is looking "further afield" in an effort to break new ground.
"If we can highlight the quality of rugby, the quality of the competition, then that should be welcomed and encouraged.," he said.
Booth conceded that some fans will be opposed to the idea of taking a European fixture away from the Madjeski Stadium, but he believes the likely commerical benefits of such a move cannot be ignored.
"It's very difficult, if you're a season ticket holder and a paying fan of course you want to see your team every week," he said.
"I understand that. But I'm not talking about doing it every week but a one-off every five years. When the NFL come over here it broadens the sponsorship base and opens different revenues.
"The fans are very passionate about watching the team at home but I'm sure if it can open up different commercial opportunities then that gave you the opportunity to have more money in your club to recruit better players, that suits the club long term."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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