Key things Jon Dutton said at the end of Men’s Round One media briefing

Jon Dutton

World Cup chief Jon Dutton hosted a media briefing on Thursday following the first round of the men’s tournament.

Dutton has been pleased by the tournament’s opening week, with the Women’s, Wheelchair and PDRL World Cups yet to kick-off.

Here’s everything the tournament boss had to say, including ticket prices and key statistics.

Jon Dutton on tournament welcome 

The tournament welcome was not what we had hoped. I was personally absolutely devastated by the technical failure. But that did not overshadow what was an incredible home performance and day inside the venue.

We had a lot of positive feedback from all those inside the stadium. We have decided to investigate that further so we have absolute clarity. The focus is to look forward now.

Key statistics

If we start of with broadcast, the total cumulative match audience so far is 3.8million. That will grow as it does not include digital figures yet. The audience on Saturday peaked at 1.8million.

Perhaps the key statistic is the audience share on Saturday, which was 22% and that is incredibly high. We are off to a flying start and we will surpass I think quite quickly the match audience that we had in 2013.

Just under 100,000 spectators have come through the turnstiles in the first week. The stat that really stands out for me – 55% of those inside St James’ Park were from the north-east. I think if we just reflect on that for a moment, that is really quite staggering. I think that is the impact of major events; attracting a new audience.

On Saturday night, after the England game, we had our highest sales since we opened the ballot two years ago. 

The top buying postcode on Saturday night was for London. We are now seeing a trend where people are plotting an England path.

We are approaching a sell out at Bolton and we have got some really key moments moving forward.

Ticket pricing

To reiterate some of the things that we’ve said before, when we started this journey, all 61 games had tickets available at £25 or less. When we started the tournament, 57 out of the 61 games had tickets available at £25 or less.

If we take a deep dive into Bolton on Saturday, we had at the start 8,000 category E (£25/£10) or D (£35/£15) tickets available for that England game.

Doncaster, our lowest attendance so far, was our cheapest game. Last night (Wednesday, Wales v Cook islands) was priced at adults £15 and children for £5.

“We are really conscience in comparisons to 2013. We need to take into context the current economical environment, the TV terrestrial coverage that we didn’t have and also that we are taking more games to venues.

Jon Dutton overall summary

Overall summary, it’s a very good first week, with room for improvements. We are eight games into a 61 game event, and also we should remember that at the weekend we start the PDRL World Cup with another seven games.

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About Josh McAllister 2126 Articles
Journalist. Joined the Love Rugby League team full time at the start of 2022 having been a freelance reporter for several years. Previously media manager for Swinton and Rochdale.

1 Comment

  1. £25 to see New Xealand put Jamaica to the sword? I’ll be watching on TV and then only half heartedly. I’ve followed rugby league since I was about 8. That’s 50 years, the game has gone down the toilet since a high spot in around 1992-3. I don’t feel engaged by the sport, I’m priced out of the sport, and my brother in law’s nephew just retired after a long career in League. I won’t turn to Union but I can see myself turning off altogether.

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