I remember one Citizen A where Selwyn Manning and Martyn Bradbury were almost wishing that the World Cup would be a failure so that it hurt john Key’s chances. They moaned about the stadium at Eden Park, which has been sold out most games and they moaned about the business opportunities and they moaned about how people were going to be injured in the crowds. Unfortunately that doesn’t look like any of that is going to happen:
Cup organisers yesterday said they had passed their $268.5 million target, set more than two years ago.
Rugby New Zealand 2011 chairman Brian Roche said 87 per cent of all tickets had sold, taking the total sales to $268.7 million.
“This is a tremendous achievement and one that all those who have contributed to the success of this tournament across New Zealand should be proud of,” Mr Roche said.
The revenue eclipses by more than 11 times the previous largest-grossing event in New Zealand history, the 2005 Lions rugby tour.
Sunday’s sold-out final alone has made more than $50 million, twice as much as the Lions tour.
Business is looking up too:
Central Auckland was bustling yesterday and hospitality and food businesses and other retailers reported a long-awaited boost.
Dine by Peter Gordon restaurant manager Jenny Kiihfuss said a lot of extra customers had eaten there this week.
“It just seems like there’s more of a vibe in town. Everyone is in good spirits.”
Grove Restaurant co-owner Annette Dearth said dinners were almost fully booked this week.
“It’s definitely improved. Last week was pretty good and this week is just flat out, not for lunch but for dinner. We have been full every night, and then some.
“I think the people who are here want to spend money now. You have more of the high-rollers.”
Michael Hill’s Queen St branch manager Carrie James said business was good and the store’s tax-free sales – especially of diamonds – were up.
Kiwi Town Souvenirs owner Benny Li said business at his Queen St store was up about 20 per cent.