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World Cup Chief Executive defends ticket prices but admits “we have made some mistakes”

The Rugby League World Cup has been a massive success so far, and as Round Two begins tonight, that’s only going to continue to be the case.

So far, the World Cup has had an accumulative TV audience of 3.8 million viewers which doesn’t include digital viewers.

Meanwhile, England vs Samoa on Saturday in the opener reached a peak viewership of 1.8 million and an audience share of 22%.

That day, 43,119 fans watched England beat Samoa at St James’ Park with 55% of the attendance coming from people from the North East.

Meanwhile, Australia vs Fiji garnered an impressive attendance of 13,000 whilst Tonga vs Papua New Guinea also reached five figures in terms of attendance.

Despite this, many have claimed that the attendances are disappointing with Chief Executive for the tournament Jon Dutton himself admitting that organisers were “disappointed” with the attendance in Warrington for New Zealand vs Lebanon.

This has led some to claims that the tickets are too costly during a cost of living crisis in the UK.

Speaking yesterday, Dutton defended the ticket prices saying they are comparable to Super League ticket prices.

Nonetheless, he did admit that, naturally they have made some mistakes and that if they had their time again that they would do some things differently especially in light of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis: “We have made some mistakes and we hold our hands up when we make mistakes.

“It we had the opportunity to do this all over again, having gone through the pandemic, would we price stuff differently?

“Yes, but we are now into the cycle, we have customers who bought tickets two years ago and we are comparative at entry level with anything that happens in Super League.”

Furthermore, it was also noted that the cost of tickets are a “fraction” of the price for any other World Cup.

Meanwhile, organisers also pointed to the fact that when the tickets were put on sale all 61 had tickets for £25 and less whilst even now 57 of the 61 still have had or have tickets priced in this region.

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