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.
- Wednesday 30 July 2014 - RWC 2015
Krasnoyarsk, the heartbeat of Russian rugby
- Wednesday 30 July 2014 - Women's RWC 2014
Captains' excitement as WRWC2014 gets closer
- Wednesday 30 July 2014 - HSBC Sevens
Golden Blitzboks turn attention to Series
- Tuesday 29 July 2014 - Women's RWC 2014
Women's Rugby World Cup launched in Paris
- Monday 28 July 2014 - Women's RWC 2014
Sevens stars touch down for Women's World Cup
- 30 July - South Africa's Warren Whiteley on winning Gold in Glasgow
- 30 July - Sean Fitzpatrick on the extraordinary 1995 World Cup
- 29 July - Sean Fitzpatrick on his early obsession with rugby
- 28 July - Hong Kong's Dai Rees and first, Zimbabwe's Liam Middleton on the repechage
- 28 July - Pablo Lemoine on future of rugby in Uruguay
- 25 July - Barbados prepare for Commonwealth Games in Sutton Coldfield
- Listen to this week's Total Rugby show
- 23 July - Development of rugby in Colombia
- 22 July - The Netherlands team profile
- 21 July - In-depth look at rugby in Russia