Rugby World Cup
One year to go until RWC'11
September 9, 2010
IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key inspect the Eden Park pitch © Getty Images
Rugby World Cup 2011 will kick off in exactly one year's time and officials are confident preparations for the sport's latest showpiece are on track.
On the eve of applications opening for individual match tickets for the world's third-largest sports event, the Rugby New Zealand (RNZ) Limited organising body and tournament owners Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) have backed the event to leave a lasting legacy and boost the development of the sport around the world.
"The year to go milestone is a special time for the tournament and also for the people of New Zealand," said IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset. "Rugby World Cup 2011 will be a special event that the whole country can be proud of and engage with through an irresistible mix of matches, live sites, festival and legacy activities and volunteering opportunities.
"Planning and preparations are at an advanced stage, the commercial programme is on track and as the countdown enters its final year, the global Rugby community awaits a tournament that will provide the seventh chapter of the RWC story in a country that is totally immersed in Rugby's tradition and culture. I am confident that it will be a resounding success."
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key underlined the Government's support to the tournament, the biggest event ever to take place in the country, by launching the REAL nationwide festival which will run in the lead-up to and during RWC'11, complimenting the team and match hosting festival and giving New Zealanders and tourists alike access to a diverse range of cultural events with a uniquely New Zealand flavour.
Martin Snedden, CEO Rugby New Zealand 2011 Limited said, "Eden Park will be open for business on October 10, 2010 and that is a great achievement. All other major stadia redevelopments will be finished this year and the new Otago Stadium is on target for completion next year."
Phase one ticket sales were in line with expectations with 503,000 tickets sold, a third of the public ticket allocation, with over 20,000 tickets sold to fans living outside of New Zealand. The official travel and hospitality programmes are also on track with combined sales of over 100,000 to date.