Wellington's $94 Million Rugby World Cup Bonanza

15 February 2012

Rugby World Cup 2011 injected an estimated $94 million into the Wellington region's economy.

An economic impact report, prepared by research consultancy firm Angus & Associates, found the total economic contribution of Wellington's eight RWC2011 matches - six pool and two quarter finals - was just over $94 million. A total of 268,000 people attended the matches at Wellington Regional Stadium.

The $94 million includes direct spending by domestic and international visitors who attended RWC2011 matches in Wellington, and spending by teams, officials, staff and media.

Angus & Associates excluded from its economic impact calculation any spending by residents in the region and visitors drawn to Wellington by RWC 2011 who did not attend the matches. The research shows that people who visited Wellington but didn't attend games may have spent a further $13 million.

Angus & Associates director Cristine Angus says it is appropriate to conclude that the direct economic contribution of RWC 2011 to the Wellington region is "at least $94 million." This eclipses an earlier forecast of $46.3 million, prepared by Horwath HTL in 2008, which was based on an assumption of four matches, and before Wellington received an extra match as a result of the Christchurch earthquake.

Of those who came to Wellington during RWC 2011, international visitors stayed an average of five nights, while domestic visitors stayed three nights. In addition to economic gain, Wellington scored highly - an average 8.2 out of 10 - on the question of overall satisfaction with local residents and other New Zealanders who attended matches.  

Research found 13 percent of residents in the Wellington region attended RWC 2011 matches at Wellington Regional Stadium, with 20 percent visiting the FANZONE at Odlin's Plaza on at least one occasion and 8 percent attended at least one RWC 2011 related event in Wellington. 

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says Wellington easily surpassed the three critical success factors.

"We had high expectations and the result exceeded our expectations, which is great for the city," the Mayor says.

"We more than doubled our expected economic input, international visitors were overwhelmingly positive about their time in the city and local residents were proud of the job Wellington did."

The Council's Economy Portfolio Leader, Councillor Jo Coughlan, says RWC 2011 has been an outstanding economic success for Wellington and the benefits will continue to flow for years to come.

"This is the largest economic impact prediction to date for a major event hosted in Wellington," says Cr Coughlan.

"It shows the power of a big event if you get it right."

The Council's Sports and Events Portfolio Leader, Councillor John Morrison, says Wellington successfully delivered a quality and memorable experience for locals and visitors.

"The city's track record as a leading sports and events destination has undoubtedly been enhanced by hosting Rugby World Cup 2011," says Cr Morrison.

"What this has done is set the stage for 2015 when we co-host the cricket world cup and host the FIFA Under 20 world cup. Bring it on."

To see the report:

Economic Impact Report - RWC 2011 Wellington Region (1.44Mb PDF)