Rugby New Zealand 2011 (RNZ 2011) today announced a loss of NZ $31.3 million from staging the seventh Rugby World Cup which is NZ $8 million lower than forecast.
The news is a further boost for a tournament that delivered above forecasted visitor numbers (133,000), ticket sales (1.35 million), television coverage (207 territories) and financial injection for the development of Rugby worldwide (GBP 90 million), while the action on the field produced the most competitive tournament to date.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset welcomed the news, saying that the result underscores the success of an event that delivered significant economic, trade and sporting returns for New Zealand, demonstrating the country's capacity to host major events and the strength of 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," said Lapasset.
"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."
“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, the Hon Murray McCully said the result capped off an event which was already hugely successful.
”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 the great six week celebration that took place last year. The huge television audience that tuned in to matches and the extensive media coverage the tournament generated boosted our international profile."
“We also forged valuable new business partnerships and showed the world that we are a smart and innovative economy capable of delivering major global events."
“We made the most of the opportunity to be 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 NZ$ 10 million in RNZ 2011 and NZ $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.”
RNZ 2011 was set up in 2006 as a joint venture between the New Zealand Government and the NZRU to deliver RWC 2011. Under the original shareholding arrangement, two thirds of any loss was to be covered by the Government, one third by the NZRU. NZRU’s share of the loss was subsequently capped at NZ $10 million.
133,000 fans visited from over 100 countries
1.35 million fans attended 48 matches
Biggest ticketing event ever in NZ - 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