The All Blacks begin their build-up today to their third Rugby World Cup final. As the Big Night Out looms, we'll be looking at the match from all sorts of angles; it's the one sporting occasion that we've been hanging out for.
In other RWC news, 900 tickets to Sunday night's final go on sale at midday today. They are tickets left over after the two teams and their respective unions' ticket requirements have been met, and are Category A, B and C. The temptation is strong, but the budget is not in great health after our recent shift, so we may have to resist the opportunity to witness in person a second France vs New Zealand RWC final.
But today's sales, and the remaining tickets available for the play-off match on Friday night seem poised to push the organisers past their sales target of $268.5 million. At the start of this week, they were within a million dollars of target, and with premium finals tickets poised to fly out the door this afternoon, it seems certain that the target will be exceeded. That is an outstanding result in the current economic climate. The target was set at 85% of maximum revenue; that means that RWC stadia have, on average, been 85% of full capacity; fantastic.
Even the IRB is starting to concede that this has been the best RWC yet, and the English organisers for 2015 have already stated that there is now way that they will be able to match the way that New Zealand has embraced the 2011 version. For that we can all take a pat on the back.