World Cup Chief Executive has final say on not meeting ticket targets as he praises staggering TV numbers

Now that the Rugby League World Cup has concluded following the final between Australia and Samoa yesterday, there is a sense of reflection on the tournament.

One major debate has centred around attendances and ticket sales throughout the tournament with some believing that prices were too high during an economic crisis in the UK.

When asked about the initial targets set on BBC last night, World Cup Chief Executive Jon Dutton spoke about the tickets: “We haven’t achieved everything, we haven’t quite got there in terms of the ticket numbers but that’s understandable in the economic climate that we live in which wasn’t the case seven years ago.

“We’ve had TV audiences approaching 30 million and have a match average which more than doubles what we had in 2013.

“I think more than anything we have delivered unscripted drama with some outstanding athletes. We’re really proud.”

When asked if he wished he had done things differently on the ticket front, he said: “Fundamentally we wouldn’t change anything that we’ve done. If we knew then what we know now would we change things? Absolutely. We will reflect, we want France 2025 to be better, bigger than our tournament so we will pass lessons on.

“Always room for improvement but for now we should celebrate.”

Ultimately, the tournament should be regarded as a success as best exemplified by the 2.5 million peak audience for England’s semi-final clash against Samoa.

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