Forget London, imagine a World Cup in Plymouth
Ahead of today's vote, anticipation was building in the cities selected as the host destinations for England's bid.
Included among the 12 cities are some that don't normally play host to world football's biggest stars. Plymouth is home to Plymouth Argyle, who play in League One of the Football League. If England's bid is successful today, the club's ground Home Park will earn a massive refurbishment, growing from 19,500 seats to 45,000.
Douglas Fletcher, chairman of the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: "It would leave a legacy of a major world-class stadium as well as a major entertainment arena for the South-west." Vivien Pengelly, Plymouth City Council leader, added: "Bringing the tournament to Plymouth would create around 3,700 jobs in the city and generate a spend of almost £400m across Devon and Cornwall. Bringing international football to the city would benefit the local tourism industry for years to come."
Although fellow bid city Birmingham is already home to two Premier League clubs – Aston Villa and Birmingham City – excitement about the World Cup was echoed there.
Mike Whitby, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: "Staging World Cup matches will provide the perfect opportunity to showcase Birmingham to the world. The economic impact would be formidable and such a high- profile event can only inspire young people from across the city, leaving a lasting legacy."
The North-east has long been celebrated for its fanatical support of football, something which was rewarded when both Sunderland and Newcastle/Gateshead were named as host cities.
Paul Robertson, editor of the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, said: "We have wonderful coastline and countryside, a vibrant city which is both modern and steeped in history, great shops, transport network and of course we are known for our friendliness. Whichever nations are based here can be assured of a warm welcome."
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Latest in Sport
Think before you ink: Manchester United fan gets Sir Alex Ferguson tattoo - and will regret it for the rest of his life
Paul Scholes column: Rio Ferdinand and John Terry row was bad but they could have kept playing for England
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Mesut Ozil given the worst rating possible by German newspaper Bild after poor performance
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City report: Jerome Boateng thrashes home winner against former team
- 1 Scottish independence results live: Reunited kingdom - Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum
- 2 Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
- 3 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 4 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'