RugbyU: World Cup ticket sales hit one million

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The Independent Online

Rugby World Cup organisers in New Zealand said Wednesday that ticket sales for the tournament had reached one million and were on track to reach an overall target of 1.35 million.

Rugby New Zealand 2011 chief executive Martin Snedden said there had been strong demand from fans in recent weeks as tickets for matches moved from Christchurch after February's devastating earthquake went back on the market.

More than 100,000 other tickets had been sold since Monday, when the final tranche of tickets were released.

"This is a fantastic result and is about where we expected to be with little over two months until the tournament kicks off," Snedden said.

The tournament chief, who last month expressed doubts that the 1.35 million goal was achievable following disruption caused by the quake, said experience from past tournaments showed the late surge in demand was set to continue.

"We expect tickets to continue to sell strongly from here as happened at Rugby World Cup in France in 2007 and Australia in 2003," he said. "Interest is clearly growing."

He said ticket revenue from the largest event ever staged in New Zealand stood at NZ$220 million ($182 million) and would rise to NZ$268.5 million if sales reached expected levels.

That would leave the New Zealand government and the New Zealand Rugby Union with a previously announced shared deficit of NZ$39 million

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