RWC 2011 Set for Massive Loss

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New Zealand Rugby Union faces a massive funding deficit for the hosting of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

A projected NZ$30 million loss is bad enough but local news agency, Reuters, now report that it could rise as high as NZ$40 million (£16.75 million).

Fears of heavier than projected losses are blamed on the economic downturn and the resultant uncertainty over ticket revenue.

“We are not in a position to confirm that yet,”

Martin Snedden, the chief executive, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

“Where we are a bit exposed is on the revenue side. We are trying to make our best guess-estimate as to where that will fit.

“We are keeping a very conservative approach to our ticket revenue. It may mean that once we finalise this it might be a little bit lower than we started out.”

Ticket pricing is being kept in line with that of the France 2007 World Cup, which cost up to NZ$800 for a final ticket (£335).

Losses are compounded by the fact that the host union is allowed to keep only the ticket revenue. The rest of the commercial revenue, TV rights and the like, together with the £62 million hosting fee, goes to the International Rugby Board.

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