Glendale, Colorado is RugbyTown USA.
Year after year, hundreds of rugby teams from across the world make RugbyTown USA their destination. Celebrating more than a decade as the epicenter of American rugby, the vision of Glendale, Colorado city leaders has earned the title of RugbyTown USA. Infinity Park, the first rugby-specific stadium in the country, is more than a boon for Colorado’s rugby fans, players, and coaches: it’s a leader for the sport’s national and international community.
RugbyTown USA is home to all aspects of the sport, from the professional Raptors team to Glendale Youth Rugby, Raptors Rugby Academy to divisional amateur competition. A founding member team of Major League Rugby (MLR), the Glendale Raptors are storming their way through the inaugural season of professional U.S. play. Training with the professional side, and adding depth to the future ranks of both MLR and divisional teams, the Glendale Raptors Rugby Academy is a forward thinking, European-style training squad – a hallmark of RugbyTown USA’s dedication to growing the sport nationally. Glendale is also home to Men’s and Women’s divisional amateur clubs: the Merlins. Competing in both Pacific Rugby Premiership and the Women’s Premier League, the Merlins represent the grassroots backbone of RugbyTown USA.
Critical to maintaining its status as America’s rugby capital is the city’s dedication to developing the sport at the youth level. Glendale Youth Rugby offers a tangible pathway to embrace the sport from kindergarten to the professional level. RugbyTown USA is a beacon for the sport, a haven where the top domestic talent can develop. With second-to-none facilities, staff, coaches, and players, Glendale’s Infinity Park remains the pinnacle of American rugby.
Exceptional talent and facilities also attract multiple national and international tournaments to RugbyTown USA, including the Collegiate 7s National Championships, the USA Rugby Club Championships, and Infinity Park’s signature annual event: the RugbyTown 7s Tournament. Featuring top national, international, and military talent, the annual August showdown sees teams vie for a $10,000 winner-take-all prize. New in 2018, RugbyTown will play host to the only U.S. stop on the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series.
The Story of RugbyTown Rising
The dream behind connecting the diverse Glendale community into rugby was proving to be a success by 2009.
With the completion of the stadium at Infinity Park under their belts, Mike Dunafon and newly formed Raptors organization had taken a big step toward incorporating rugby into the community.
The year was 1978 and fortuitous happenstance – some may even call it Fate – found Mike Dunafon on the Caribbean island paradise of Tortola being introduced to rugby.