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Capital will stage memorable quarter-finals

NEWS RELEASE 4 September 2008

Capital will stage memorable quarter-finals

Today's announcement that Wellington will host two quarter-final matches in the 2011 Rugby World Cup has been welcomed by Mayor Kerry Prendergast and the City Council's Economic Development and Recreation Portfolio Leader, Cr John Morrison.

"This is great news for the Wellington Region - and for the rugby-mad people of central New Zealand," says Mayor Prendergast. "It is only fair that matches at the 'sharp end' of the World Cup tournament are shared around the country and for that reason we congratulate Christchurch for securing the other two quarter-finals.

"By allocating the quarter-finals to Wellington and Christchurch the organisers of the tournament have delivered on the New Zealand Rugby Union's concept of a 'stadium of four million people'."

Cr Morrison says the capacity of the Westpac Stadium can be expanded to 40,000 seats for the quarter-finals - and hotels and other accommodation in the region will be able to cope with the large numbers of overseas fans expected at the matches. An economic impact report expects the two matches would see direct spend of up to $25 million in the region.

"We will put on a memorable weekend for the fans and for Wellingtonians alike.

"Without bragging too much, Wellington has a well-earned reputation as New Zealand's 'Events Capital'. We hosted by far the most memorable test of the 2005 Lions Tour and we have a proud track record in hosting everyone from the International Rugby Sevens and David Beckham to the World Premiere of The Lord of the Rings."

Cr Morrison paid tribute to the "large number of very passionate Wellingtonians" who worked extremely hard this year to prepare the bid for the quarter-finals. "Wellington City Council staff and those from the Stadium, Wellington Rugby and Greater Wellington were joined by a large number of people from across the business and sports communities to drive the bid. They've done us proud."

ENDS

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