RWC tickets pass half million mark
August 27, 2010
Tickets for the World Cup are selling fast according to Martin Snedden © Getty Images
More than half a million tickets have been sold ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup according to new figures released by organisers.
The first phase of sales ended in May and saw 503,000 tickets, worth NZ$76 million, sold. Those seats were part of venue and team pool packs, as well as tickets to quarter-finals and third-placed play-offs. 100,000 tickets were sold overseas, with fans from the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Australia and South Africa snapping up the majority. 20,000 fans from other overseas nations also purchased tickets. But organisers have admitted that poor take up in Australia is a concern.
The next phase of ticket sales will see tickets for individual matches go on sale in the week beginning September 10. And tournament organiser Martin Snedden warned fans to get in quickly to avoid disappointment with some key fixtures involving the hosts, England, Ireland and Australia close to selling out.
"The initial demand for tickets has been very strong, both from fans in New Zealand and around the world, and bodes well for capacity crowds in 2011," Snedden said.
"It may well be their last chance to buy tickets until well into next year and also the last chance to enter the ballots for semifinals and final tickets. We have already seen demand outstrip supply for some matches and advise fans not to leave it too late and to apply during this second phase.
"While tickets will be available for 45 matches, demand to date has been exceptionally strong for matches at Eden Park and the quarterfinals in Wellington and Christchurch. We expect that fewer than 2000 tickets will be available for each quarter-final and the New Zealand v Tonga, New Zealand v France, England v Scotland, and Australia v Ireland matches at Eden Park. In addition most tickets within the lowest price category have been snapped up at Eden Park, Wellington and Christchurch."
One concern for organisers is the poor take-up in neighbouring Australia. Only 2,000 Australian 'Follow Your Team' packages have been sold, compared to 3,500 from South Africans who have much further to travel. Snedden believes the Wallabies' recent form and a deterioration in interest in the sport in Australia could be to blame.
"There's a suggestion rugby has been on a bit of a downer in Australia, so maybe that's affected things a bit," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
ARU chief John O'Neill said he believes the fans are under the impression they can buy tickets at a later date, while organisers are hoping that their stationing of a giant rugby ball at Sydney's Circular Quay will drum up some interest.