Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) today marked another milestone with the announcement of kick-off times for Rugby's most prestigious event.
The announcement comes after the opening of applications for Individual Match Tickets as fans around the world look to book their place at the world's third largest sporting event.
"We have achieved a good balance." said Martin Snedden, CEO for Tournament Organisers Rugby New Zealand 2011. "If New Zealand is to make the most of the platform RWC 2011 gives us to showcase our country to the world, then we need to ensure we maximise the global television audience for key matches.
"What has now been agreed with event-owner Rugby World Cup Ltd (RWCL) will help all hosting regions to promote themselves to the world and help fans, both domestic and international, to get on with planning their RWC 2011 experience with the start of the Tournament now less than a year away.
"The mix of match times should really contribute to the whole festival atmosphere of the Tournament. Ten of the 48 matches will be played in the afternoon including the New Zealand v Canada pool match. A further 12 matches will begin by 6pm and another seven at 7.30pm."
Eden Park, the scene of the venue for the inaugural RWC Final in 1987, will herald a nationwide six week celebration of world-class Rugby and REAL New Zealand Festival events when it hosts the Opening Ceremony on Friday, September 9 starting at approximately 7.30pm. The Opening Match between New Zealand and Tonga will kick-off at 8.30pm.
The Tournament will culminate in Auckland at the redeveloped Eden Park with the semi-finals and Final. The kick-off time for these matches was confirmed at 9.00pm when the Match Schedule was announced in March 2009.
"Today's announcement represents another significant milestone for Tournament planning and preparation," said RWCL Tournament Director Kit McConnell.
"With applications for individual match tickets having opened, this is a very exciting time for New Zealanders and the global Rugby family alike.
"RWC 2011 will be a special Tournament that global Rugby can be proud of. Those who go to New Zealand will see an irresistible mix of matches, live sites, festival activities and the best of Kiwi hospitality. We are all counting down the days to Rugby's showcase event."
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