Auckland - Rugby World Cup chiefs said on Thursday they had achieved their ticket sales revenue target with two matches still to play.
have now exceeded the NZ$268.5 million (US$212.91 million) target set
by Rugby New Zealand 2011, which is running the tournament, more than
two years ago.
RNZ 2011 chairman Brian Roche said sales this week
from the final tranche of tickets for Sunday's final between New Zealand
and France and Friday's bronze final between Australia and Wales, both
being played at Auckland's Eden Park, had pushed revenue to NZ$268.7
million (US$213.07 million)
Overall, 87 percent of available tickets have now sold.
revenue eclipses by more than 11 times the previous largest grossing
event in New Zealand history: the 2005 British and Irish Lions (tour),"
Roche said in a Rugby World Cup statement
"Sunday's sold-out final alone has generated more than NZ$50 million (US$39.65) in revenue, twice that of the Lions' tour.
"We achieved this against the backdrop of a challenging economic environment and the tragic Christchurch earthquakes."
Zealand's World Cup minister, Murray McCully, said the tournament had
been a "wonderful celebration of New Zealand and proof that this small
country can successfully hold a large and complex event like a Rugby
"We could not have wished for a better platform to promote ourselves to the world," he added.
Zealand Rugby Union chairman Mike Eagle said reaching the target meant
the promise made in Dublin in November 2005 when the union won the right
to host the seventh World Cup had been kept.
"We promised the IRB
(International Rugby Board) a unique rugby experience where teams and
their supporters would be warmly embraced by a stadium of four million,"
he said in a reference to New Zealand's population.
"Without a doubt we have seen just this over the last six weeks."
chairman Bernard Lapasset added: "Achieving the ticket revenue target
is another glowing endorsement of a tournament that will be remembered
as one of the great Rugby World Cups.
"Not just for the action on
the pitch and the wonderful way that the whole country has embraced the
event, but because of the superb structure, organisation and delivery."