Rugby World Cup tournament owners, Rugby World Cup Limited, and tournament organisers, England Rugby 2015, announced on Monday, October 12 that the pool stages of Rugby World Cup 2015 have already set both field-of-play and off-field engagement records, cementing its status as the biggest Rugby World Cup ever.
Key highlights from the tournament so far have included Wembley Stadium recording two consecutive Rugby World Cup attendance records, which now stands at 89,267 attendees, Japan claiming one of the biggest upsets in tournament history by defeating South Africa 34-32, Frederic Michalak becoming the highest points scorer in France’s history and Romania staging the biggest-ever comeback with their edge-of-seat win over Canada, coming from behind to win 17-15 and scoring their first try in 12 years in the process.
Over 2.41 million tickets have been sold across all 48 matches through official channels with an average of 97% of tickets sold across all venues, generating over £200 million in ticket revenues and delivering the tournament to a record number of spectators and viewers.
Rugby World Cup 2015 has welcomed just over 1.8 million fans to its official venues throughout the pool phase, over 750,000 at official Fanzones, with an estimated 460,000 fans travelling from overseas.
The Tournament has become one of the most talked about sports events in the world, with social media activity already exceeding that of the whole of New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup 2011. TV audience figures have already set the standard: 9.4 million fans watched the Opening Ceremony as the tournament got underway; a record TV audience of 25 million in Japan tuned in to watch their match against Samoa; the England v Wales match was watched by an average of 11.6 million viewers, the largest rugby audience in the UK since the 2007 final and the highest peak audience for a sporting event since the 2014 Football World Cup.
England Rugby 2015 Managing Director Stephen Brown, said: “All our host cities, venues and team bases have played a phenomenal role in contributing to the success of the tournament so far. The stadiums have welcomed just over 1.8 million spectators and the Fanzones have welcomed over 750,000 fans through their doors. Japan’s stunning victory over South Africa in Brighton is just one example of the spectacular atmosphere of the matches up and down the country and the enthusiasm of fans, which will go down in history.”
“These venues’ passion for the game has ensured this has already been more than just a tournament, and has captured the imagination of new fans the world over. Around the country the Festival of Rugby, a way for any event with a link to rugby to be part of the game’s biggest year, has engaged with over a million people and nearly 1000 events, further spreading the reach of this fantastic tournament,” Mr Brown said.
Twickenham Stadium and Millennium Stadium will both host the series of knock-out matches and The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will welcome the teams taking part in the Bronze Final.
Home from home
Throughout the pool phase, the 20 teams have been hosted at 42 team bases across England and Wales, providing them with top class sporting facilities. Eight of the 42 team bases will be used during the knock-out stages, with all eight used for the quarter-finals, four for the semi-finals, and two each for the Bronze Final and Final. See below for the details on the knock-out stage team bases.
France will be based at Celtic Manor and Newport
New Zealand will be based at Swansea University
Argentina will be based at The Vale Resort
Ireland will be based at Sport Wales National Centre
South Africa will be based at Pennyhill Park
Scotland will be based at Surrey Sports Park
Australia will be based at The Lensbury and St Mary’s University
Wales will be based at London Irish RFC
Pennyhill Park, Surrey Sports Park, the Lensbury and St Mary’s University, and London Irish RFC will be used for the semi-finals. Team Bases for the Finals are to be confirmed.