Bledisloe to remain in Hong Kong
September 13, 2010
Steve Tew has confirmed that the Bledisloe Cup will remain in Hong Kong © Getty Images
New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chief Steve Tew has confirmed that the fourth Bledisloe Cup Test of 2010 will be staged in Hong Kong despite fears over poor ticket sales.
The game, which will take place at Hong Kong Stadium on October 30, has been the subject of speculation in recent weeks with both the NZRU and Australian Rugby Union (ARU) worried about the possible financial implications of an underwhelming gate.
Reports had suggested that the Test could be switched to Twickenham in an attempt to boost the financial reward, while Christchurch was also briefly touted as an alternative last week, where proceeds could go towards earthquake relief.
Tew has confirmed however that the game will go ahead as planned.
"We've been worried about ticket sales for some weeks so explored options," he said. "It's a big move and we've sold tickets. There are fans that have made a commitment to travel bookings."
Last week only 10,000 tickets had been sold for the 40,000-seat venue, home of the iconic Hong Kong Sevens. Tew, and his Australian counterparts, are now resigned to a possible financial loss. In 2009, when the game was staged in Tokyo, free tickets were doled out in order to boost crowd numbers.
"This is revenue at risk so it definitely has an impact on our bottom line," he said. "We'll have to reforecast and we'll be doing that at the next board meeting. It's a more sobering experience. This is clearly a disappointment, we'll have to rethink what we're doing going forward."