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Rugby World Cup 2023 in France could smash tournament attendance record

By Ian Cameron
The crowd reacts during a test match in New Zealand. (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)

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The 2023 Rugby World Cup in France could potentially surpass the tournament attendance record, should organisers reach their ticket sale target.

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Most of the current attendance records are held by the 2015 Rugby World Cup, including total tickets sold. That tournament saw a total of 2,477,805 tickets scooped up by eager punters.

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France could theoretically beat that total by over 130,000 if they meet their target of over 2.6 million ticket sales. Although 100 per cent is all but impossible, the French should come relatively close.  The 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan saw over 99 per cent of tickets sold – a figure in excess of  1,718,000 tickets.

The English edition four years previously saw 98 per cent of tickets sold. If France 2023 sell the same percentage of tickets, they should hit a total of approximately 2,548,000 tickets, breaking the record.

It won’t however beat the individual RWC game record, which looks like it’ll remain with the 2015 iteration. On September, 27th, 2015; 89,267 fans attended the Ireland versus Romania pool match at Wembley Stadium, surpassing the previous record-breaking Rugby World Cup crowd of 89,019 people who attended the New Zealand versus Argentina game staged the previous weekend of the same tournament.

The biggest stadium in France – the Stade de France – has a capacity of 80,698 people for rugby union.

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Tickets for Rugby World Cup 2023 will go on sale from 15 March, 2021 at 12:00 CET after the France 2023 organising committee announced details of the tournament’s ticketing programme.

Tournament organisers say: “A total of 2.6 million tickets will be available for the 10th edition of the men’s event which kicks off on 8 September, 2023, making France 2023 the most accessible Rugby World Cup ever, and fans can now start to plan their experience.”

Tickets will go on sale through a phased process from 15 March, 2021 at 12:00 CET on tickets.rugbyworldcup.com with an exclusive pre-sale period for fans who have registered to join the 2023 Family by 23:59 CET on 13 March.

In the first sale phase from 15 March, tickets will be sold in two formats, either by city or by team. The Follow My Team pack includes all four pool matches from a qualified team, with the possibility to add an optional quarter-final should the team makes it to the knockout phase. Twelve Follow My Team packs will be available, one for each qualified nation.

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The City Pack includes either three or all pool matches in each of the nine host cities. In the ‘three matches’ format, fans will need to select two fixtures in addition to one compulsory. Only the opening match won’t be available in this format.

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Rugby World Cup 2023 in France could smash tournament attendance record

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