Low loss caps off Rugby World Cup   30 May 2012

The organisers of Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) have posted a tournament end loss 20 per cent better than forecast, capping off a successful event that exceeded all expectations.

Rugby New Zealand 2011 (RNZ 2011) today announced a loss of $31.3 million from staging the seventh Rugby World Cup which is $8 million lower than forecast.

"This is a very satisfying way to wrap up the tournament," said RNZ 2011 Chairman Brian Roche.

"Very few global sporting events ever come in on budget. RWC 2011 was an extremely challenging event to deliver, of a scale and complexity never staged in this country so to deliver a significantly better than expected result is an extraordinary achievement.

"We were resolute in our drive to contain costs and achieve our ticket sales target despite the challenging environment we found ourselves in so this result is a real tribute to the team at RNZ 2011."

Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully said the result capped off an already hugely successful event.

"Without a doubt, RWC 2011 will generate significant economic benefits for this country for many years to come.

"We welcomed 133,000 visitors to our shores and we were superb hosts for a great six week celebration. The huge television audiences and extensive media coverage generated by the tournament boosted our international profile.

"We also forged valuable new business partnerships and showed the world we are a smart and innovative economy capable of delivering major global events.

"We made the most of being in the world's spotlight, so this result really is the icing on the cake."

New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) Chairman Mike Eagle said the result was further proof of how well New Zealand had done in delivering on the promises made in Dublin in November 2005 when the NZRU won the bid to host RWC 2011.

"Few global sporting events have had to contend with so much. We were thrown the very worst of challenges - the global financial crisis coupled with the tragedy of the Canterbury earthquakes which forced us to shift seven matches less than six months from kick-off.

"Through it all our Stadium of Four Million stuck with us and turned the tournament into a really unifying experience. So to deliver it well under budget is truly amazing."

The NZRU invested $10 million in RNZ 2011 and $10 million in the redevelopment of Eden Park.

"From a rugby perspective, our investment in RWC 2011 is certainly paying off. We are seeing encouraging early signs that player registrations are up on last year and the strong gates and TV audiences we are seeing for Investec Super Rugby are partly a spin-off from the wonderful atmosphere and exciting rugby we saw last year."

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said RWC 2011 was an exceptional event that furthered the profile of Rugby, New Zealand and the Rugby World Cup brand.

"Today's announcement further endorses the strong collaboration between Rugby World Cup Ltd, NZRU, RNZ 2011 and the New Zealand Government in delivering a world class tournament that showcased New Zealand on a global stage and continued the exceptional growth and development of Rugby worldwide.

"A partnership with national and local government is an important aspect of event delivery. New Zealand highlighted that through the significant economic returns for the host nation, the growth of major event expertise and experience, business to business opportunities and increases in Rugby engagement, Rugby World Cup is definitely a low-risk, high-return event for a host nation.

"We thank the Stadium of Four Million which New Zealand became in 2011 and the benchmark they set for RWC 2015 and RWC 2019".

Tournament facts

•133,000 fans visited from over 100 countries
•1.35 million fans attended 48 matches
•Biggest ticketing event ever in New Zealand - 11 times the 2005 British & Irish Lions Tour
•Venues were at 87% capacity on average
•Global cumulative television audience of 3.9 billion
•Broadcast in 207 territories
•Screened live for the first time in USA
?98 per cent market share in New Zealand for RWC 2011 Final
?All-time record pay TV audience in Australia
?73 per cent of French population watched at least 15 minutes

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