Nearly 1.1 million fans have passed through the gates of Rugby World Cup 2011 stadia with all 40 Pool matches of Rugby's showcase event now completed, Tournament organizers announced today.
The official attendance stands at 1.07 million after the final eight matches of the Pool phase were completed over the weekend. Nearly a quarter of a million fans alone attended the weekend’s matches, which included four sellouts.
Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) Chairman Bernard Lapasset said that the strong attendance across all of the venues is testament to the way that New Zealanders across the country have backed the Tournament and all the participating teams.
“The way that New Zealanders the length and breadth of the country have embraced the Tournament has been absolutely incredible,” said Lapasset.
“The atmosphere around the venues and host cities with New Zealanders and travelling international fans combining to give such vocal, passionate and colourful support to all of the teams will be an enduring memory for everyone who has experienced Rugby World Cup 2011.”
“The scene is now set for four compelling quarter-finals.”
Martin Snedden, CEO of Tournament Organiser Rugby New Zealand 2011, echoed Lapasset’s delight.
“That’s an incredible turnout – equivalent to filling Eden Park around 18 times,” said Snedden.
“We are thrilled that so many fans in New Zealand have taken the chance to get a taste of the fun and excitement of RWC 2011 action. Games have been full of great colour and passion from fans both local and overseas and that has added a fantastic flavour to every match.”
“We promised a unique experience as our Stadium of Four Million fans warmly embraced the teams and their supporters and that’s exactly what happened.”
RNZ 2011 also announced that the momentum in ticket sales has continued with 1.34 million tickets now sold. This has pushed ticket revenue to NZ$262 million.
“This is an excellent place to be with eight major matches of the Tournament yet to be completed.”
Just NZ$6.5 million of sales are now needed to meet the Tournament end revenue target of NZ$268.5 million.
“I have no doubt we will reach our goal despite the major challenges we have faced, both with the tragic Christchurch earthquakes and the difficult economic climate,” said Snedden.
Tickets are still available for seven of the remaining eight matches and can be purchased online at www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets and at selected Ticketek outlets.
“Now that the quarter-finalists have been confirmed, we expect strong interest ahead of the weekend’s four showdown matches,” said Shane Harmon, General Manager Marketing and Communications for RNZ 2011.
Ireland play Wales in the first quarter-final in Wellington on Saturday, followed by France against England at Eden Park. On Sunday, South Africa play Australia in Wellington and New Zealand take on Argentina in the last quarter-final at Eden Park.
There is good availability across most categories for the Auckland quarter-finals with around 16,000 tickets available for the England v France match and 10,000 for the New Zealand v Argentina match.
“This is where we expected to be as these matches were relocated from the much smaller Stadium Christchurch following the earthquakes and have only been on sale for about 12 weeks,” added Harmon.
Tickets are more limited for the Wellington quarter-finals with under 4,500 remaining for the first match and under 5,000 for the second.
“We are at the crunch point of the Tournament. It is do or die so these will be terrific matches and we urge fans to move fast as we fully expect to have near capacity or capacity crowds for all four quarter finals,” added Harmon.