The 2011 Rugby World Cup semi-finals and final will all be played at Eden Park in Auckland, with organisers citing “logistical” and “financial” considerations for the decision to ignore Christchurch and Wellington.
Foxsports reports that organisers are expecting to lose at least $NZ30 million ($26.11 million) in staging the tournament, and with ticket sales the only source of revenue to offset the anticipated running costs of $NZ310 million – the superior capacity of Eden Park outweighed the claims of Wellington and Christchurch.
Eden Park will seat 62,000 spectators once the stadium has undergone a $NZ190 million refurbishment, about 17,000 more than AMI Stadium, once the Christchurch venue has been redeveloped, and about 20,000 more than Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
The additional revenue from those extra seats, coupled with the logistical challenges of moving 30,000 people around the country in the space of a day, made Eden Park the “obvious venue”, Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd chief executive Martin Snedden said.
“Once you get further into project and you realise some of the logistical and financial challenges, it becomes pretty clear that as long as the redevelopment of Eden Park goes ahead on time, it’s the obvious venue to host both the final and the semi-finals.”
The semi-finals would be played on consecutive days, with approximately 35,000 overseas fans holding tickets to both matches, Snedden said.
“We’ve been through the logistical exercise,” he said. “You just can’t possibly shift that number of people around and be sure they’d make it.
“The risk is too high and you just can’t take risks in this type of project.”Tweet