Based on current ticket purchase data from the priority and general sales phases, as well as official travel and hospitality programmes, England fans are expected to make up 23.9 per cent of the foreign fan contingent, followed by Australia with 15.6 per cent and Ireland with 7.9 per cent. The sixth largest international group will be fans from the USA with 4.6 per cent and The Netherlands rounds of the top ten with 2.5 per cent, demonstrating the global appeal of rugby’s showcase event. The remaining 160 countries comprise a total of 19.7 per cent with fans coming to Japan quite literally from the four corners of the globe, including as far away as Antarctica.
Japan Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee CEO Akira Shimazu said: “With less than six months to go before Asia’s first Rugby World Cup kicks off in Japan, it’s encouraging to see such an incredible response from international fans. While we expected to see large numbers coming from the traditional rugby nations, I am thrilled that both the USA and The Netherlands are in the top ten countries of international ticket purchases.
“From the very beginning, we set out to make Rugby World Cup 2019 a truly ground-breaking tournament, so to have such strong interest from fans in Rugby’s frontier markets like the USA and The Netherlands, as well as countries like Germany, Spain and Brazil is absolutely wonderful. Asian nations are also well represented with more than 3% of international fans coming from countries neighbouring Japan.”
While demand for tickets has been unprecedented across all sales phases to date, new ticket inventory will become available for the next round of first-come-first-served ticket sales set to being at 18:00 Japan Standard Time (JST) on Saturday 18 May and running until the end of July 2019 at www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets. These tickets will be a mixture of seats released from ongoing venue planning and configuration and handbacks from the tournament's commercial programme and unions, and tickets that have been registered for official resale by fans who can no longer attend matches.
Ticket sales from the priority and general sales phases, official travel and hospitality programmes and commercial sponsors currently total around 1.29 million, or just over 70 per cent of total ticket inventory. With a sizeable portion of the remaining inventory due to be released for general sale on 18 May, there is still a chance to be part of Rugby World Cup in Japan. However, with demand for tickets likely to remain incredibly high and ticket availability expected to be tight across all tournament matches, fans are encouraged not to hesitate in purchasing tickets they find available during this next sales period.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont added: “The incredible demand for tickets demonstrates just why we believe that Rugby World Cup 2019 will be one of the great Rugby World Cups and a truly unique experience for fans. It will be a tournament that has fans and teams at heart, celebrates rugby and Japan and will further the reach and growth of the sport across Asia and around the world.”
In addition to the next sales phase, fans can also look to purchase tickets via the Rugby World Cup 2019 Official Resale Service. Due to open on 18:00 (JST) on Friday 31 May, the service will give fans a safe and secure platform from which to resell Rugby World Cup 2019 tickets at face value for matches they can no longer attend. Further details will be released ahead of the opening of the resale service at www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets.
Another option for fans looking to secure match tickets is through the Rugby World Cup 2019 Official Supporter Tour and Hospitality programmes. Ticket-inclusive travel packages provided through RWC 2019 official travel agents are proving extremely popular, with tickets for some of the most popular matches still available. The prestigious Webb Ellis Suite and private hospitality suites are already sold out, however some great matchday hospitality options are still available. Further details can be found via www.rugbyworldcup.com/supportertours and www.rugbyworldcup.com/hospitality.
When purchasing tickets, fans will be able to opt-in and donate to the ChildFund Pass It Back programme. In partnership with World Rugby’s Impact Beyond programme, Pass It Back inspires positive social change through the delivery of an integrated life-skills and non-contact tag rugby curriculum, educating children and young people in areas of leadership, problem-solving, gender equality, conflict resolution and life preparation. For more details visit www.childfundpassitback.org.
With such exceptional demand for tickets, fans are being urged to buy exclusively from official channels to avoid being let down. For more details visit www.rugbyworldcup.com/buy-official.
There will be a further ticket sales opportunity in August for any remaining match tickets. Ticket quantities and available matches are expected to be limited so fans are encouraged not to delay in purchasing tickets they find available during any of the upcoming sales periods.
Mastercard is an official partner and the preferred payment card of Rugby World Cup 2019 and will be offering fans a range of Priceless experiences around RWC 2019.