27 Apr 2010

Thousands apply for RWC tickets

9:39 pm on 27 April 2010

Demand for 2011 Rugby World Cup tickets continues to grow with 25,000 venue and team pool packs applied for since sales started on Tuesday morning.

Some 750,000 tickets are available in the first phase, which began at 9am on Tuesday.

The Webb Ellis trophy was on display at the Wellington railway station for the launch.

Fans are able to apply online for tickets to a particular team or a venue and Rugby New Zealand 2011 says the 25,000 pack applications applied for by 3pm on Tuesday represent about 90,000 match tickets.

Fans who apply for tickets on Tuesday will also be able to enter a ballot to purchase tickets for the semi-finals or final.

More than 50,000 fans have pre-registered their intention online - 30,000 of the registrations coming from New Zealand.

Rugby New Zealand chief executive Martin Snedden says he is confident the tickets will sell.

He says the tournament has already out-grossed the 2005 tour by the British and Irish Lions, previously the largest grossing event ever held in New Zealand.

Organisers of the tournament says the online systems are strong enough to cope with the predicted strong demand. Some 1.65 million tickets will be available in total.

The tournament will be held from 9 September 2011, with the final being played at Eden Park in Auckland on 23 October.

Six top former All Blacks - Jonah Lomu, Sean Fitzpatrick, John Kirwan, David Kirk, Andy Haden and Andrew Mehrtens - have signed up as ambassadors to help promote New Zealand and the event itself.

Bigger economic boost expected

New analysis of the economic impact of the 2011 Rugby World Cup suggests a bigger boost than was previously thought.

Consultants who compiled a report at the bidding stage now say the tournament will add $535 million to gross domestic product, up from the original estimate of $409 million.

Market Economics revised its report after the Government raised its visitor forecast by 25,000 to 85,000 in March.

It says half the economic boost will go to the Auckland economy, with the hospitality, tourism and retail sectors gaining the most.

Market Economics also estimates a $107 million increase in the Government's finances through a higher personal and company tax take.

The Government has previously said it is backing for the tournament will cost $40 million.

TAB taking bets

The TAB will be taking bets on the Rugby World Cup from Tuesday.

The opening odds for the tournament have been released and reveal that the All Blacks are favourites paying $NZ2.20 to win.

The New Zealand side is followed by the Wallabies, paying $4, then the Springboks at $4.75.

The top-rated European side is France, which is paying $9.

A spokesperson for the TAB spokesperson, Mark Stafford, says it is hard to see the All Blacks being troubled by any of the northern hemisphere sides in the tournament.

Tonga and Samoa are placed equal last, each paying $500 to win.