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New Zealand launches bid for rugby world cup 2011

11 May 2005

New Zealand launches bid for rugby world cup 2011

New Zealand will lodge a comprehensive and compelling bid to host the Rugby World Cup 2011, it was announced today in Wellington.

The announcement by Sport and Recreation Minister Trevor Mallard and New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chairman Jock Hobbs that New Zealand will proceed with a bid to host the tournament follows an extensive feasibility assessment conducted by the Joint Bid Office.

This work has highlighted the significant benefits of staging the tournament in New Zealand. The bid will now be lodged with the International Rugby Board (IRB) and Rugby World Cup Ltd (RWCL), and copies of the bid documents leave New Zealand today to be lodged with the IRB in Dublin by Friday May 13.

Trevor Mallard and Jock Hobbs said that the partnership between the Government and NZRU underpinned the strength of New Zealand’s case to host the Rugby World Cup, with both parties contributing resources and expertise to ensure the bid has the best chance of success.

"I am very proud that New Zealand is in a position to put a compelling case forward to the IRB to host the Rugby World Cup here in 2011," Trevor Mallard said.

"In New Zealand rugby is more than just a sport. It has helped shape the character of our nation. It inspires us at home and on the world stage. But perhaps most importantly, our passion for rugby and sport is part of being kiwi, and being proud to be kiwi."

NZRU Chairman Jock Hobbs said the bid emphasises the rich heritage and history of New Zealand Rugby, as well as the experience that a tournament in New Zealand would create for players, supporters and officials.

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"We believe this will be a tournament for the players. As the Lions Series is demonstrating, many believe that New Zealand represents the ultimate challenge for rugby players around the world."

Mr Hobbs said New Zealand was also one of the few countries in the world where rugby was the pre-eminent sport - creating a unique environment for World Cup visitors.

"New Zealanders are passionate about their rugby - and that passion is one of the key assets of our Bid. While we are a small country, we make up for that in other ways - we are a stadium of four million people!"

Trevor Mallard said bidding for the tournament was "the right thing to do.

"If we are successful, this tournament is as much about the regions as the cities. Forty-eight games will be played throughout the tournament, with many in provincial New Zealand. The opportunity to showcase not only the All Blacks, but our country and our dedication to the game can not be underestimated. In New Zealand sport and physical activity are an important part of our national identity and New Zealanders love to watch teams win in major sporting events."

An assessment of the economic impact indicates that the tournament will generate significant economic benefits for the country, adding $408 million to GDP and tax revenue in excess of $90 million - well above the potential costs of hosting the tournament.

"If the bid is successful, the Government and NZRU will make cash contributions towards costs of $20 million and $10 million respectively," Trevor Mallard said.

Both Trevor Mallard and Jock Hobbs praised the high calibre of work done by the Bid Office which was established in early April. Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) was also acknowledged by Trevor Mallard for supporting the bid office in its work to determine whether New Zealand should bid for the event. SPARC, along with the NZRU, will continue to support the work of the Bid Office for the next six months.

Jock Hobbs also praised the efforts of provincial rugby unions, local bodies and stadia, who have also supported the efforts to research and prepare the bid.

New Zealand’s bid document will be lodged with the IRB in Dublin later this week. The IRB Council is expected to make a decision on the venue for the 2011 tournament at its November Board meeting.

New Zealand Rugby World Cup 2011 Bid - Q&A

Who has made the decision to bid?
This is New Zealand’s bid, backed by a strong partnership between the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) and the New Zealand government. The NZRU will lodge the bid by the International Rugby Board’s specified deadline (May 13). An Advisory Committee, a joint venture funded by the NZRU and Sport & Recreation NZ (SPARC) was set up to oversee the work of the Bid office.

It has established that there are compelling reasons why New Zealand should host the Rugby World Cup 2011. The members of the RWC 2011 Advisory Board are David Gascoigne, Rt Hon Jim Bolger ONZ, Paul Collins, Rod McGeoch, Chris Moller, John Palmer and John Wells.

What are the economic benefits to NZ of hosting the event?
The Bid Office estimates the tournament is expected to attract over 60,000 visitors to New Zealand and will generate significant economic benefits for the country. It is estimated that it will generate $380 million in direct additional expenditure within New Zealand, with a resultant impact on GDP of $408 million. In addition the tax take for the government is expected to exceed $90 million. This additional expenditure will come mainly from international visitors purchasing accommodation, hospitality and travel, which will result in further indirect spending.

What else is the government doing to support the bid?
The government is working with various partners to ensure there is infrastructure in place to support the hosting of the event. This includes security, transport and tourism matters so that New Zealand can deliver a safe, well co-ordinated and vibrant tournament.

What are the reasons behind making a bid?
Rugby is part of our social fabric. In 2011 it will be 24 years since we hosted the very first RWC and it is likely that in the future the size of the event will be far too big for New Zealand to host if we don’t bid now. The RWC is the third largest event in the world after the Olympics and Soccer World Cup (by TV audience) and this event is important to New Zealand and New Zealanders. The global television audience for the RWC 2011 is expected to be 3.5 billion viewers. New Zealand contributes to rugby at every level internationally, and we believe it is an opportune time to showcase our game, and this global event, at home for both our supporters and international supporters of rugby.

What is the level of support from the regions in terms of New Zealand hosting the tournament?
Letters of support have been received from mayors around the country including the mayors in all major centres and from the key regional councils demonstrating the breadth of interest and support for hosting Rugby World Cup 2011.

What happens now?

The bid is due in Dublin on Friday 13 May. It will be delivered personally by NZRU chief executive Chris Moller. He will take with him 25 copies of the confidential bid document, weighing around 140 kilos in total.

The IRB will assess each bid and will visit the bidding countries to discuss their requirements further. The IRB Council meets in November and will decide the successful bidder at this time. The work of the Bid Office will continue up to that stage - the work to date has centred around determining whether it was feasible for NZ to bid. The work of the Bid Office will now focus on refining the bid and enhancing the case for New Zealand. SPARC and the NZRU will continue to support the work of the Bid Office during the next six months.

How much will it cost to host the RWC 2011?

As this is a competitive situation, governed by strict IRB confidentiality requirements, it is not possible at this time to disclose the amount required to host the event. However, when weighed up against the benefits to New Zealand - both in terms of economic impacts and international exposure - the cost of hosting the RWC 2011 was considered to be acceptable.

How will the costs of hosting the RWC be met if the bid is successful?

The government and NZRU make cash contributions towards costs of $20 million and $10 million respectively. The hosting of the RWC - should the bid be successful - will be a partnership between the NZRU and the government. Both parties are committing funding and expertise to ensure the event is a success.

When will more information be available about the bid?
More detail will be released with the agreement of the IRB and once the bid document has been lodged.


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