Almost 900,000 ticket applications were received for the initial phase of the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup ticketing programme, with demand significantly exceeding supply.
A total of 864,000 applications were counted for the international tournament’s Team and Stadium packages, with more than 100 nations showing interest in the opening priority sales phase.
The ticket sales programme for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan launched on January 19, as organisers began the process of selling almost two million seats.
Bundle package applications were initially available for priority members of Japan’s ‘rugby family’ for one week, as the multiple ticket entries went on general release from January 27 to February 12. Bundle packages consist of multiple tickets to follow particular teams or venues.
As the first phase comes to a close today (Wednesday), the team package highlights include more than 100,000 ticket applications for the Japan team pack, more than 50,000 for the England team pack and more than 30,000 applications each for the New Zealand and Ireland team packs.
World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: “We are delighted with the initial demand for Rugby World Cup 2019 tickets more than a year out from the tournament, which demonstrates the domestic and international attraction of Asia’s first Rugby World Cup.
“Rugby World Cup is all about the fans and the players and today’s announcement reinforces our belief that Rugby World Cup 2019 will be a very special celebration of rugby and Japanese culture. It really will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Host city demand was also strong with the Yokohama pack attracting more than 200,000 ticket applications and the Tokyo pack generating 140,000 ticket applications.
According to World Rugby, the global governing body of rugby union, Japan is on track to become the ‘most accessible’ Rugby World Cup ever, with at least 1.8 million tickets available for the first edition of the tournament in Asia.
More than 50 per cent of applicants opted into the Mastercard ‘Double your chances’ promotion when entering the ballot, doubling their chances of securing tickets by committing to pay by Mastercard in a special benefit that the official payment partner is offering consumers.
Rugby fans who were unsuccessful in the ballots for this phase have the chance to secure the tickets they want via future phases.
Japan Rugby 2019 chief executive Akira Shimazu said: “This strong demand for tickets reflects the excitement that we are feeling the length and breadth of Japan. Significant applications from the host cities show that this tournament is connecting with people beyond the host cities, while the team packs show that this nation will warmly embrace all teams and visiting fans.
“We urge the successful applicants to pay for their tickets by the 23:30 JST deadline on 7 March as after that date tickets will be released.”
Image: World Rugby