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Christchurch gears up for Rugby World Cup 2011

9 July 2007

Christchurch has begun to gear up to secure the city’s share of the games and teams allocation for the Rugby World Cup 2011, thereby cashing in on the estimated $500 million economic impact for New Zealand.

A Christchurch Rugby World Cup 2011 Steering Group has been formed to work together to build the infrastructure and co-ordinate the region’s activities to host the globe’s biggest celebration of rugby.

The Steering Group – Christchurch City Council, Canterbury Rugby Football Union, Police, Vbase, Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism and Canterbury Development Corporation – met for the first time this morning.

Steering Group spokesman, City Council Chief Executive Tony Marryatt said work began in January to ensure Christchurch was ready by 2011 to help New Zealand deliver a world-class tournament on a scale not seen in this country before.

"As New Zealand’s Southern Rugby Capital, Christchurch sees its role in the Rugby World Cup 2011 as second only to Auckland.

"Christchurch has a world-renowned reputation for its warm hospitality and friendly sporting rivalry, the city boasts an internationally acclaimed sporting venue in Jade Stadium, work has already started on building the infrastructure necessary to host an event of this size and there will be a festival programme of associated events which tourists, visitors and locals can relax and enjoy while watching some of the world’s best rugby in our city."

He said the Rugby World Cup 2011 will be the third largest global sporting event, expected to attract more than 70,000 international visitors and a television audience of 4 billion viewers.

"Christchurch and Canterbury welcomes the opportunity to host the world at this event and is well placed to help the Rugby New Zealand 2011 Limited to deliver its promise of a world-class event for players, officials, spectators and fans.

"The Steering Group has undertaken to be proactive in promoting Christchurch and Canterbury as New Zealand’s premier destination for international visitors to be based to enjoy the Rugby World Cup in 2011.

"The Group is working on a number of initiatives to raise the city’s profile both nationally and internationally and ensure it secures its share of the economic windfall expected to be generated by New Zealand hosting this event."

Mr Marryatt said the Group has developed a comprehensive communications plan which will see it report back quarterly to its key stakeholders, including the public, on progress in preparing the city for the event. "This is important to ensure all those who will play a role in ensuring the success of the Rugby World Cup in 2011 are kept well-informed.

"Beamed to a world-wide audience of 4 billion viewers, this is our chance to showcase Christchurch and Canterbury to the world as New Zealand delivers the best-ever Rugby World Cup in 2011."

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