Tournament organiser Rugby New Zealand 2011 (RNZ 2011) today announced it had achieved its revenue target with two matches still to be played at the seventh Rugby World Cup.
Revenue from ticket sales today surpassed the NZ$268.5 million target set by RNZ 2011 more than two years ago.
RNZ 2011 Chairman Brian Roche said sales this week from the final tranche of tickets to Sunday’s Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) Final and tomorrow night’s Bronze Final had pushed revenue to NZ$268.7 million.
Overall 87% of available tickets have now sold.
“Ticket revenue eclipses by more than 11 times the previous largest grossing event in New Zealand history; the 2005 British & Irish Lions. Sunday’s sold out Final alone has generated more than NZ$50 million in revenue, twice that of the Lions’ Tour.
“This is a tremendous achievement and one that all those who have contributed to the success of this Tournament across New Zealand should be proud of. It shows just how strongly New Zealanders have embraced RWC 2011 and that the decision to spread the Tournament around the country was the right one.
“Significantly, we have achieved this against the backdrop of a challenging economic environment and the tragic Christchurch earthquakes.”
RNZ 2011 was formed by the New Zealand Government and host union, the New Zealand Rugby Union in 2006 to deliver RWC 2011.
Rugby World Cup Minister the Hon Murray McCully said it was very pleasing to be in this position before the Tournament had ended.
“Today’s result is a tribute to the hard work of the staff at RNZ 2011 and also
a tribute to the way New Zealanders have seen the Rugby World Cup as so much more than just a Rugby Tournament.
“It has been a wonderful celebration of New Zealand and proof that this small country can successfully hold a large and complex event like a Rugby World Cup. We could not have wished for a better platform to promote ourselves to the world.”
New Zealand Rugby Union Chairman Mike Eagle said reaching the target underlined how well the country had delivered on the promise made in Dublin in November 2005 when the union won the right to host the seventh Rugby World Cup.
“We promised the IRB a unique Rugby experience where teams and their supporters would be warmly embraced by a stadium of four million.
“Without a doubt we have seen just this over the last six weeks as Rugby fans and even those with a passing interest in the Game up and down the land dressed up, painted their faces, adopted second teams and went to matches to support teams they often had never seen before.
“We hoped RWC 2011 would be a wonderful platform to grow the Game and inspire the next generation of players and it certainly will be.
“Congratulations to Martin Snedden and his team at RNZ 2011 for the thoroughly professional way they have delivered such an outstanding Tournament.”
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Achieving the ticket revenue target is another glowing endorsement of a Tournament that will be remembered as one of the great Rugby World Cups. Not just for the action on the pitch and the wonderful way that the whole country has embraced the event, but because of the superb structure, organisation and delivery.
“We are now poised for a thrilling finale with the Bronze Final and Final set to write another memorable chapter in the Rugby World Cup success story. I welcome fans the length and breadth of New Zealand and further afield to enjoy the weekend, enjoy the Rugby and join us in a fitting celebration of what has been a truly exceptional Rugby World Cup.”
The RWC 2011 Final to be played on Sunday night at Eden Park between New Zealand and France is sold out. Around 7,500 tickets are still available for tomorrow night’s Bronze Final between Australia and Wales. These can be purchased online at www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets and at selected Ticketek outlets