More than three quarters of a million fans – 763,000 – have attended the 2011 Rugby World Cup so ar, following the completion of 28 out of the 48 matches.
“This is a fantastic result and resounding evidence that the tournament is being enthusiastically embraced by local and visiting fans,” said Martin Snedden, CEO for tournament organisers Rugby New Zealand 2011.
“We reached the milestone last night after nearly 27,000 fans braved a wet Wellington night to see a thrilling match between Argentina and Scotland.
“Rain or shine, fans up and down the country are dressing up, painting their faces and really getting into the spirit of the 2011 World Cup.
“This weekend alone, nearly a quarter of a million fans passed through the gates for matches which included the historic double header at Eden Park where 120,000 fans attended the two matches.
“We couldn’t be happier with the passion and joy fans from around the world are showing at matches.”
RNZ 2011 also announced that tickets are continuing to sell strongly. Sales to date total 1.32 million against a target of 1.35 million.
“The surge in sales since the tournament began means we are bang on track to hit our sales and revenue targets,” said Shane Harmon, General Manager Marketing and Communications.
Revenue totals NZ$259 million, leaving $9.5 million of sales to be achieved to reach the tournament end target of NZ$268.5 million.
“This is the last week of the pool phase of the tournament before the knockout matches in Auckland and Wellington.
“This week already we have sell-out matches at North Harbour for Samoa’s critical final pool match against South Africa, Ireland’s decisive clash with Italy at Otago Stadium and Japan against Canada at McLean Park in Napier.
“However tickets are still available for the other remaining pool matches in Nelson, Palmerston North, Wellington, Auckland and Hamilton, so we urge fans who have yet to experience the excitement and fun of a RWC match to move fast or they will be disappointed.”
Tickets can be purchased online at www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets or at selected Ticketek outlets.
“Tickets are also still available for the semi-finals and quarter-finals and we are expecting sales to rise over the coming weeks as the make-up of those matches becomes clearer.”
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said the 2011 Rugby World Cup was on track to be an exceptional event.
“New Zealanders the length and breadth of the country are proving to be wonderful hosts. The atmosphere in venues and around the host cities and towns has truly added to a festival atmosphere,” he added.
Follow the Ireland team in New Zealand on www.twitter.com/irfurugby.