The Rugby League World Cup is right round the corner and there’s plenty of reasons to be excited for rugby league fans as the tournament draws closer and closer.
Recently, the organisers revealed that a quarter of a million tickets have been sold and they believe more is to follow believing that there will be a late surge in ticket sales thus we can expect a big advertising campaign to really push the World Cup in the next month as was revealed in a briefing by the organisers this week: “We still remain ambitious. The 250,000 was absolutely at the right time and we’ll keep working hard. The visibility is absolutely crucial with the TV and things. We’ve kept a substantial amount of our advertising budget for this late stretch.”
The organisers have also spoken to those behind the Women’s Euros and the Common Wealth Games both of which have been resounding successes in recent times and the World Cup is hoping to follow in their footsteps.
Speaking about these conversations, organisers said: “Both of those events have really wet the appetites for people to come to big events and I think the crucial thing is we’ve spoken to the organisers of those events at length and both had significant sales after the opening game.
“It’s vital we get off to a good start because when the public see a sold St James’ Park live on the BBC they’ll want to get involved.
“The number of people who bought tickets to the common wealth games after the opening ceremony was quite staggering and the same with the Women’s Euros. They put a world record crowd in at Old Trafford and within hours saw tens of thousands of tickets bought.
“We’ve got to work hard over the next six or seven weeks to get that opening game sold out.”
So, a strong start is a must but what are the realistic targets for ticket sales with the organisers hoping for three quarters of a million at the start of the year.
Well, the organisers have a number of targets they’re aiming for: “The three quarters of a million is a stretch target and we still have that in our sights. The milestones we have to get to are first of all to surpass the 476,000 from 2013. That’s the first number and we’re very confident we will do that.
“The second number is the Women’s Euros 571,000 and again we are confident we can achieve that and then three quarters of a million is the final stretch target.
“That would be around 85-90% capacity for the whole tournament.”
They also had their say on the double header weekend currently unfolding admitting it is something that concerns them with the World Cup just around the corner.
“Yeah it is a concern,” organisers said, “We want the best players in the world. What we’ve done as a tournament is work really hard on the men’s tournament to have more equality on the turnaround between the games and on the women’s turnaround we’ve added a day.
“It was one of the reasons the tournament didn’t happen last year, we will not relent on wanting the best players in the world and we hope to welcome them next month.”