Rugby World Cup
World Cup ticket sales boost
ESPNscrum Staff
August 10, 2011
Martin Snedden, CEO of Rugby New Zealand 2011 poses with the William Webb Ellis Trophy, IRB Rugby World Cup 2011 Pool Allocation Draw, Tower Bridge, London, England, December 1, 2008
Snedden insists New Zealand are ready for the World Cup © Getty Images
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New Zealand is ready to welcome 25,000 fans from Britain and Ireland according to Rugby World Cup organisers.

England open their campaign against Argentina in Dunedin on September 10 - a day after the tournament begins - while Scotland tackle Romania in Invercargill. Wales and Ireland will get their first taste of World Cup action 24 hours later, when they face South Africa and the United States respectively.

Tournament chiefs are expecting a total of 95,000 overseas World Cup visitors from 100 different countries, an increase of 10,000 on a previous estimate. Over one million tickets have been sold, raising 10 times the revenue of the 2005 British & Irish Lions tour for the New Zealand Rugby Union. RWC 2011 expect a late surge in sales to push them towards their revenue target of NZ$268.5m (£137.25million).

"We are expecting around 25,000 fans from the UK and Ireland and another 10,000 from France," tournament chief executive Martin Snedden revealed yesterday. "It's also terrific to see good numbers coming from the Americas, and that USA, Canada and Argentina will be well supported. Our estimates suggest 10,000 from these countries.

"This is tremendous news and a real sign of just how big Rugby World Cup 2011 will be for our country," said tournament chief executive Martin Snedden. "The upsurge in support from overseas fans is a strong sign of confidence in our ability to host the biggest sporting event New Zealand has ever held.

"It also underlines what we have always said - that this tournament brings multiple economic benefits to our country as well as providing a priceless opportunity to show the best of New Zealand to the world."

Preparations were thrown into disarray by the earthquake which forced all matches to be relocated from the stricken city of Christchurch. Despite those complications, organisers are ready for the opening match between the All Blacks and Tonga on September 9.

International Rugby Board chairman Bernard Lapasset is anticipating a World Cup to remember. "With a month to go we are confident that RWC 2011 will be a resounding success and a tournament that New Zealanders and the global rugby family will be proud of," said Lapasset.

"The stadia are ready, the supporting infrastructure is ready, the Team 2011 volunteers are ready, ticket sales are on track and hosting will deliver long-lasting benefits for New Zealand and New Zealand Rugby.

"The anticipation is palpable and as we count down to the opening match at Eden Park on September 9, I have no doubt that fans attending RWC 2011 will have an exceptional experience."

The task for tournament organisers now is to maintain this momentum and generate another NZ$34m of revenues, the equivalent of about another 230,000 ticket sales. "Given what we have sold over the last 10 weeks, this is clearly achievable," added Snedden. As at previous Rugby World Cups in France and Australia, sales will rise during the build-up to the tournament as the event becomes that much more tangible for fans.

"At the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, 20 percent of sales were made in the month of the games. We are seeing a lift in sales each week and the success of the Bledisloe match at Eden Park on Saturday is already adding to momentum. We have sold a million dollars worth of tickets since then."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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