18 Jul 2008

Rugby World Cup quarterfinal bids to be decided

8:32 am on 18 July 2008

The New Zealand management of the 2011 Rugby World Cup is sizing up bids to host the tournament's quarterfinal matches.

Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have lodged bids to hold at least one of the four matches.

Rugby New Zealand 2011 must now decide how to distribute games between three cities.

Chief executive Martin Snedden says the financial prospects of each location are a key consideration, and Auckland's larger crowd capacity gives that city an edge.

Mr Snedden says the tournament's international management has a stated preference for the four games to be split between two cities. But if the situation warrants, all three cities could be awarded at least one game, he says.

Michael Barnett, of Auckland's Chamber of Commerce, says the city is a logical choice because it can offer more spectators.

He says the event is expected to bring as much as $300 million to the city, and hosting the quarterfinals would maximise the benefit to ratepayers.

There is also contention over the bronze final match, which decides third place, with Hamilton vying against Auckland to play host.

A decision will be announced in September.