RNZ Confident of Rugby WC Sales Despite Christchurch Refunds

May 12, 2011

Rugby New Zealand (RNZ) chief Martin Snedden has claimed that the ticket sales for this year’s World Cup in the nation are still on track despite refunds being handed out for games due to be staged in Christchurch after the venue was pulled from the schedule due to the tragic earthquake earlier in the year.

Prior to the refunds RNZ 2011 had sold a total of 919,000 tickets worth NZD189m (70 per cent of the overall sales target of NZD268m), a similar position at the same point in time for the previous Rugby World Cups in France and Australia.

Following the cancellation of ticket sales for the eight relocated matches, and the full refund to those affected ticket purchasers, the sales equation now stands at 790,000 ticket sold, such sales being worth NZD169m in total.

Snedden stated: “Pre-Christchurch, ticket sales were exactly where we expected them to be. The transfer of matches so close to kick-off is unprecedented for any major event and has created significant additional challenges, but we remain confident that we should be able to recoup the bulk of the refunded sales within the next two months or so.

“In addition, RNZ 2011 has the appropriate insurance arrangements in place for this type of incident.”

Included in the current sales figures are 105,000 tickets so far committed to through the RWC 2011 Official Travel Agency (OTA) programme. This is up from the 70,000 tickets originally committed to by that programme and already outstrips the RWC 2003 total OTA sales of 85,000.

Snedden added: “Total OTA sales to date have been excellent and we remain hopeful that more sales within this programme will occur between now and tournament time. Overall, we still remain confident that, by Tournament-end, we will achieve our sales target of NZD268m and 1.35m tickets.”

Meanwhile, rugby fans from around the world will soon receive their tickets for Rugby World Cup 2011 matches. The tickets have a uniquely New Zealand design and feature the Tournament’s mangopare and koru designs which represent the world coming together in union for Rugby’s greatest contest.

Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “This is a moment that truly brings Rugby World Cup 2011 to life for fans in New Zealand and around the world.

“As we draw nearer to the 100 days to go milestone, there is no doubt that Rugby World Cup 2011 will be a successful tournament. All partners are committed to delivering an outstanding event – a tournament that New Zealanders and the global Rugby family will be proud of.”