Rugby proved to be the most popular event at last year’s World Games in Cali, Colombia, the organisers have revealed, giving a further boost to the sport as it prepares to return to the Olympic Games in two years’ time.
Out of 31 official sports and five invitational events, the biggest crowd recorded was 17,950 at the final of the Rugby Sevens tournament between South Africa and Argentina in the Pascual Guerrero Stadium on August 2 last.
In total, the figures show that 408,198 tickets were sold, out of 520,000 distributed, while venues were on average 76 per cent full across the entire World Games. These figures will be presented to the forthcoming AGM of the International World Games Association when the Board gives its report on the ninth edition of the event.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Rugby is excited to be at the top of this list and we are proud that we helped to make the World Games such a popular success.
“As we prepare to introduce Sevens to the Olympic Games summer programme at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, it is encouraging for us that we are proving to be a hit at other multi-sport events, especially given this was also in South America.”
A more detailed look at the ticket sales shows that 64 (of 106) events were sold out or almost sold out (more than 97 per cent of tickets sold). The largest crowds were attracted by the opening and closing ceremonies, with 31,000 spectators at each.
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