Rugby World Cup 2015
Fans face increased World Cup ticket prices
ESPN Staff
May 3, 2013
The Webb Ellis Trophy and match balls representing Rugby World Cup 2015 venues, Twickenham, May 2, 2013
Fans may need to dig deep to watch matches at the 2015 World Cup © onEdition

Fans face having to pay more to watch matches at the 2015 Rugby World Cup after venue changes mean that organisers will have to balance the books with 300,000 fewer seats to sell.

The late withdrawal of Old Trafford from the list of venues means that only 2.65 million tickets will be available against the three million which formed the basis of the RFU's bid in 2009. It is believed that 2.3 million tickets need to be sold to meet the terms of the agreement with the IRB.

While the organisers remain confident that all minimum sales projections will be met, they now face having to increase prices to make budget targets.

Paul Williamson, the man who devised the ticketing strategy for the London Olympics - which was the one area of the event which caused the most irritation - to come up with a plan for World Cup ticket sales. The Times today reports that Ticketmaster "the company criticised for its handling of the London 2012 process, will be appointed to sell tickets, which go on sale next year".

The most immediate sign of the need to maximise revenues came with yesterday's announcement of venues for the tournament with football grounds, with their generally larger capacities, picked ahead of more traditional rugby bases. Only two club grounds - Sandy Park in Exeter and Kingsholm in Gloucester - have been chosen.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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