Auckland chases Rugby World Cup 2011 Ceremony
Embargoed until 5.00am, Friday 31 October
Auckland chases Rugby World Cup 2011 Opening Match and Opening Ceremony
Friday 31 October, 2009
Auckland is out to secure the all important Opening Match and Opening Ceremony for Rugby World Cup 2011.
The region will bid for the Opening Match in a proposal to be submitted to Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd today. The proposal is Auckland’s response to phase two of RNZ 2011’s Match and Team Allocation process which will determine pool matches and team hosting rights.
Auckland bid spokesman Michael Barnett says while the region is already confirmed as host of the Final, semi-finals and Bronze Final, hosting teams and additional matches throughout the tournament in Auckland will be an important part of delivering on the ‘stadium of 4 million’.
“That starts from day one. The eyes of the world will be on the Opening Match and Opening Ceremony so the opportunity to showcase Auckland and New Zealand through these events is stunning.”
Mr Barnett says Auckland is likely to face some strong competition for the Opening Match and Opening Ceremony.
“We have worked collaboratively to put together a compelling proposal to host the Opening Match. If we are successful, we propose to support the opening match with an opening ceremony that will be both a national event and a significant global broadcast opportunity.”
The proposed opening ceremony will take the Tournament beyond the confines of a rugby stadium and ensure that the whole of the Auckland region and the country is part of the event.
Mr Barnett says Auckland is fully supportive of Rugby New Zealand’s goal to deliver a stadium of four million for Rugby World Cup 2011 but says it is important not to lose sight of the fact that 1.4 million New Zealanders live in Auckland.
“The vision of a stadium of four million will gain the greatest momentum by harnessing Auckland’s population together with the sheer scale of the region’s resources,” Mr Barnett says. “Auckland has put together a strong case for its fair share of pool matches and team bases.”
With a third of the country’s population, the region is aiming for a similar share of the 40 pool matches on offer.
“Our proposal also highlights Auckland’s extremely diverse community including significant numbers from many of the competing nations. We hope this ensures many of the teams are based here throughout the Tournament regardless of where their matches are played,” Mr Barnett says.
He says Auckland stands to gain up to $315 million in direct economic benefits from Rugby World Cup matches and the long term return from successfully hosting global mega events, such as RWC 2011, will be much greater.
“The more matches and teams Auckland can secure, the more we can maximise the benefits for the long term good of the region and the country.”
Auckland’s proposal has been developed collaboratively with input from all of the region’s councils, Tourism Auckland, AucklandPlus, ARTA, all three of the region’s rugby unions, together with match and training venues.
Mr Barnett says the unprecedented regional collaboration illustrates the determination right across the Auckland region to make Rugby World Cup 2011 the ultimate festival of rugby – an utterly unforgettable event for all those who attend.