RLWC2017 Looks To Lebanon And Tonga Effect To Fill Stadiums

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26 October 2017

The Rugby League World Cup 2017 kicks off tomorrow (Friday 27th) in Melbourne, co-hosts and favourites Australia taking on another of the “big-three” teams, England in Melbourne, the first of 28 games in 13 cities that will culminate in Brisbane on December 2nd.

Selling tickets for games between Australia, New Zealand and England should not pose a problem to RLWC2017 chief executive, Andrew Hill and his team. But it’s the popularity of the other fixtures that will act as a key indicator of success for the tournament, shared between Australia (18 games), New Zealand (7) and Papua New Guinea (3).

A modest profit is forecast after covering tournament costs of around A$40m (£23.3m or €26m). There’s a potential for selling over 750,000 tickets and each step closer to capacity stadiums is money for developing rugby league for the RLIF.

An interview in the Australian Financial Review points to how engaging the immigrant populations behind the smaller participants may be Hill’s key to success. He will know the tournament will be heading for success when he sees long lines of fans queuing to get in for the two Lebanon games at the Sydney Football Stadium (capacity 45,500).

Plenty of players across NRL teams in the city are of Lebanese descent, and Hill and his team have worked hard to pique the interest of the large Lebanese community in order to get them to turn up to matches against England and Australia on November 4 and

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