Government increasing pressure on World Cup ticket sales

Government World Cup
Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com

World Cup boss Jon Dutton has revealed their next target for ticket sales after admitting the government is increasing the pressure on them.

Organisers last week announced a quarter of a million tickets sold, still way short of its initial target of 750,000 discussed with the government to provide its £25m funding for hosting the event and supporting its legacy projects. 

And Dutton has revealed to Love Rugby League that organisers are swiftly expecting to move towards new targets. 

“Our next target is to double that number and to double that number really quickly,” he told the latest Love Rugby League podcast.

“We have three targets; the first is to surpass what happened in 2013 when 476,000 people came along and enjoyed that tournament. The second is to better what the Women’s Euros did which was about 570,000. And the third, the final stretch target is to get to three quarters of a million. 

“In postponing the tournament we also stood by our refund policy and refunded a lot of tickets. That hurt us but it was the right thing to do. We’ve had to build back from that and we want to start with a sellout at St James’ Park and that is so important.

“Then we want to finish with a sold out Old Trafford. Everything else in between we will get from the momentum of that start and the unscripted drama of international rugby league.”

The world has changed ‘enormously’ since targets were set

Dutton says original targets focused on total sales of one million on what he describes as a once in a generation opportunity. 

“When we were bidding we looked at the number of one million. When we did our venue selection we saw that that possible as we didn’t have enough seats. 

“750,000 became the big target and we still have that in our sights. But the world has changed enormously. 

“The government have been tremendously supportive. On the 5th of September we will be on our fourth Prime Minister which shows the length of time in the delivery of this tournament. They have been tremendously supportive but are increasing the pressure on us to make sure we are doing all the right things, because at the end of the day we have a large amount of public money.

“There is no end of pressure but we are managing it in a very calm way.”

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14 Comments

  1. They are living in Cloud Cuckoo Land as usual. You aren’t gonna fill St James Park, not at the prices quoted.
    You’ve decided that we have to travel wayyyyy out of our way and then pay through the nose. Not happening.
    As for filling Old Trafford, maybe 3/4 full if England get to a final. Haven’t a hope if not. There aren’t that many Aussies/kiwis living here to fill it.

    • YOU SAVED ME THE BOTHER BEEN MY PEROGATIVE SINCE THE FIXTURES & VENUES WERE ANNOUNCED WITH NO THOUGHT FOR FANS TICKET,TRAVELLING & ACCOMADATION COSTS,
      BASICALLY IT’S AN AMATUER TOURNAMENT LOOKED DOWN ON BY THE LIKES OF RUCBY UNOIN IMO!

    • Completely farcical organisation as normal. Why do they keep making statements that are untrue, such as ‘opening game is sold out’. Then there was the warm up game at Warrington that I attended, on the day before they announced again ‘game sold out’ ridiculous!
      Venues and ticket prices are unrealistic as well, opening game should have been somewhere lick Elland Rd orBolton much easier to get to and fill.

  2. Absolute madness, crowds are down in every British league and, let’s be honest, the tournament only gets competitive at either semi-final or final depending on the draw.
    Somehow the best sport on earth isn’t growing here despite BBC/Sky coverage.
    At some point you put a wounded animal out of it’s misery.

  3. I agree with the above comment. I went to 2 games at the 2013 World Cup, and looked over the prices to see, but they are really really high and I don’t think I’ll bother. I can only imagine they will have to put deals on to get them sold

  4. I understand people,s misgivings and the reluctance of the Aussie/N Z to take part last year plus the R L have failed to capture the public imagination means that because of the cost of living it’s all about the walk ups on the day maybe if the four main teams make the semi,s then a fair number will attend but the Emirates is a poor venue cost ect Manchester or Liverpool virtually would have been sold out Let’s hope our game shows itself in the right way especially the Ladies games that’s the future

  5. Who decided the ticket prices? Which RLs child designed the T shirts and which morons decided England should play in blue? Words fail me.
    I’ve bough tickets for all matches at Totally Wicked stadium where I am a season ticket holder. I could hot afford a seat so bought standing ticket. Now have an illness that will make it too difficult for me to stand for the match. Can i upgrade my tickets to a seat? I bought them for 2021 so could afford the extra now. I’m 72 yrs old and priced out of the game I love.

  6. Who decided the ticket prices? Which RLs child designed the T shirts and which morons decided England should play in blue? Words fail me.
    I’ve bought tickets for all matches at Totally Wicked stadium where I am a season ticket holder. I could not afford a seat so bought standing ticket. Now have an illness that will make it too difficult for me to stand for the match. Can i upgrade my tickets to a seat? I bought them for 2021 so could afford the extra now. I’m 72 yrs old and priced out of the game I love.

  7. Just bought a ticket for the final at Old Trafford. can’t wait!!! Flying over from Northern Ireland. No real history of league here but have been hooked since attending games in Sydney back in 94.

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