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Auckland to Host Rugby World Cup 2011


18 November 2005

Auckland to Host Rugby World Cup 2011

Auckland City Mayor Dick Hubbard says he is absolutely chuffed at the news that New Zealand has won the bid for the Rugby World Cup 2011.

"It's hugely important for the country and Auckland City. Most New Zealanders know it is a big one, but probably not how big. Based on our recent experience with the Lions, I believe it'll be worth upwards of $200m to Auckland and more than $400m for the country."

"I think we can see the win as a huge vote in confidence in the city's ability to deliver the infrastructure and services that make up an internationally competitive city. It's a major endorsement of the city's event-hosting capability."

"Auckland City Council is right behind the New Zealand Rugby Football Union and the Eden Park Trust Board on this. As we demonstrated with the Lions Tour, this city has what it takes to host the truly big events."

Mr Hubbard said the Lions Tour also showed that individual Aucklanders knew how to turn on a great welcome for thousands of sports fans.

"I was immensely impressed with the way Aucklanders rose to the occasion, radiated hospitality and coped with the logistical issues that always come with the big events."

"The city won't be resting on those Lions Tour laurels - it will make a major contribution to the Rugby World Cup in staff time and services and also consider what is appropriate assistance regarding the challenges the Eden Park Trust Board faces around capacity at Eden Park," Mr Hubbard said.

Mr Hubbard also said the NZRFU and it supporters should all take a bow.

"We have an idea what kind of resources the competing bids had behind them and New Zealand's bid could have been seen as an also-ran simply because of dollars. The winning edge was the 'stadium of four million kiwis' who put their passion behind the bid. I applaud every single one of my fellow fans for the efforts they put in."

Auckland was one of the host cities for the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987, the year New Zealand won the tournament. Games were played across cities in New Zealand and Australia and the All Blacks lifted the Webb Ellis Cup at Eden Park. In 1991 Australia were the winners at Twickenham; South Africa, as hosts, were the winners in 1995; and in 1999 Australia won the Cup for a second time at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

With a worldwide television audience said to be in excess of 3 billion four years ago, the organisers regard Rugby World Cup as the third most important sporting event behind the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.


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