World Cup records &pound3.7m profit

The 2013 Rugby League World Cup will post a profit in excess of £3.7m, tournament director Nigel Wood revealed at its official review on Monday.

At a special event at MediaCity, Wood and his team detailed the sporting, social, economic and cultural impact made during and since the 14-team tournament was staged last autumn.

It featured 28 games at 21 venues over a five-week period between October 26 and November 30 and was watched live by over 450,000 spectators. It was also watched by an audience of 18.8 million television viewers in the key territories of UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

Wood said: “We believe that the success factors identified before the opening game of Rugby League World Cup 2013 were comprehensively delivered against.

“From the opening games beneath the closed roof of Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium to the final at the Theatre of Dreams, Old Trafford, RLWC2013 fired the imagination of fans and the wider public like no Rugby League tournament before it.

“As a sporting spectacle, it was truly wonderful; I’m also delighted that the impact of RLWC2013 stretched beyond the field of play thanks to hugely successful arts, dance and education programmes which touched the lives of thousands of young people.

“The success of RLWC2013 was made possible by the passion, the vision and the commitment of a great many people, including hundreds of volunteers, the dedicated staff who worked tirelessly throughout the tournament and those involved in the host towns and cities.

“Above all the tournament came alive thanks to the supporters from the UK and around the world who ensured that this great celebration of international Rugby League was enjoyed by all who came into contact with it.”

The direct economic impact of the tournament for the hosts England and Wales was £9.6m.

The tournament reached new areas and attracted new fans to the sport with 14 per cent of tickets purchased by people gaining their first experience of Rugby League whilst 38 per cent of ticket sales were to people residing outside the North of England.

Rugby League’s reputation as a family friendly sport is reflected in the attendance statistics which show that 73 per cent of people watched matches as a family. One third (32 per cent) of the attendees were women and 35 per cent attended with children whilst two thirds (65 per cent) belonged to socio-economic groups ABC1.   

Full accounts for the tournament are yet to be published.

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