Coming to England soon: 466,000 visitors

The video above is provided by England Rugby 2015, responsible for running the six-week tournament. Each of the 20 teams in the Rugby World Cup is being given a welcome ceremony, either in the city where they will play their first game or where they are training.

Running the tournament is a huge task, but the financial rewards for England Rugby 2015 and its parent, Rugby Football Union, are huge, according to an article in The Sunday Times. And the benefits don’t stop there.

Peter Evans and Mark Souster, who wrote The Times article for its Business section, report that the economic activity generated by the tournament will be 2.2 billion pounds with an estimated 982 million pound boost to the British gross domestic product. Broadcasting rights have gone to 205 countries, and 466,000 visitors are expected to come to England for the games.

Ticket sales stand at 93 percent sold and that has brought in 200 million pounds. The Times article included an estimate from the commercial side of the tournament, Rugby World Cup Limited, that the “surplus” (profit) would be 150 million pounds with much of that to be reinvested in the game through tournaments (the Las Vegas Sevens, for example), development of the women’s game and enhancement of the game in Africa and Asia.

Broadcast rights are 60 percent of the income and more comes from the sponsors, most notably Heineken, Land Rover and Emirates airlines.

Pubs are also expected to do well. Evans and Souster ended the article with this quote from a pub owner comparing football (soccer) fans to rugby’s: “People who like rugby tend to arrive at pubs earlier than football fans. They stay all day and they drink more.”

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