Rugby World Cup reaps its reward- 23 Mar 2012 00:00:00
The International Rugby Board has revealed that last year's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand is set to be the second most commercially successful edition of all time.
In a statement issued from its Dublin headquarters, the IRB said the tournament was on course to achieve a net surplus of more than £90m (R1.1bn).
The IRB added gross commercial revenues achieved of £142m (R1.73bn) for the 2011 World Cup were within three percent of the total of the record-breaking France 2007 tournament.
IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset said: (The results were) ‘particularly encouraging given that Rugby World Cup 2007 was hosted at the height of the global economic boom, while Rugby World Cup 2011 was hosted amidst an uncertain economic climate in a smaller domestic marketplace and in a non-European time zone’.
The statement continued: ‘The tournament looks set to deliver a significant boost to the ongoing development of rugby worldwide.’
Host’s New Zealand beat France 8-7 in a tense final in Auckland in October.
The IRB added that the 2011 World Cup was the largest event ever hosted in the country, with more than 1.35 million fans attending 48 matches, with revenue from ticket sales surpassing the target set by organisers.
England will host the 2015 World Cup before the tournament breaks new ground by being staged in Japan in 2019.
Qualification for the 2015 edition starts on Saturday when Mexico are at home to Jamaica in the first of 184 matches involving 80 countries.