Nearly 1.1 million fans have passed through the gates of Rugby World Cup stadia with all 40 matches of the tournament's pool stages now completed, tournament organisers announced today.
The official attendance figure stands at 1.07 million after the final eight pool matches were completed over the weekend. Nearly a quarter of a million fans alone attended the weekend's games which included four sell-outs.
"That's an incredible turnout - equivalent to filling Eden Park around 18 times," said Martin Snedden, CEO for tournament organisers Rugby New Zealand 2011.
"We are thrilled that so many fans in New Zealand have taken the chance to get a taste of the fun and excitement of Rugby World Cup 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," he added.
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 earthquake and the difficult economic climate."
International Rugby Board Chairman Bernard Lapasset said that the strong attendance across all of the venues is testament to the welcoming nature of New Zealanders who have thrown their support behind all of the teams.
"The way that New Zealanders the length and breadth of the country have embraced the tournament has been absolutely incredible," he said.
"The atmosphere around the venues and host cities with New Zealanders and travelling international fans giving such vocal, passionate and colourful support to all of the teams will be an enduring memory for everyone who has experienced the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The scene is set for four compelling quarter-finals."
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 showpiece matches," said Shane Harmon, General Manager Marketing and Communications for RNZ 2011.
Ireland plays Wales in the first quarter-final in Wellington, followed by France against England at Eden Park. On Sunday South Africa plays Australia in Wellington and the All Blacks 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 earthquake and have only been on sale for about 12 weeks," explained 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 clash.
"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."
Follow the Ireland team in New Zealand on www.twitter.com/irfurugby.