US targets $1 billion in ticket revenue for 2031 and 2033 Rugby World Cups

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The US bid hopes to generate nearly $1 billion in ticket revenue from the 2031 and 2033 Rugby World Cups, while tournaments could be moved to avoid a scheduling conflict with the NFL.

It is estimated that the total expenditure for the organization of the 2031 Men’s World Cup and the 2033 Women’s World Cup will be close to $500 million, and there is optimism that the two tournaments will see a remarkable return on this investment close to the $1 billion mark in return, according to ESPN sources.

Asked about the tournament’s potential return, World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin said: “The ambition is to continue what we are doing which is to deliver a better result for the game.” By comparison, the 2019 Men’s World Cup in Japan generated $350 million in ticket revenue.

Confirmation of host status for the United States came on Thursday, alongside England hosting the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup and Australia hosting the men’s competition in 2027 and then the women’s competition in 2029.

The United States has long been a market that rugby has tried to break into, and the nine-year-old track allows World Rugby to work with local organizers to deliver a remarkable series of competitions.

Nearly 30 stadiums have expressed interest in hosting games in the 2031 and 2033 competitions, including some on NFL grounds. This could create a scheduling conflict, as the Men’s World Cup traditionally takes place in October and November, which would coincide with the NFL season.

Sources say World Rugby would be willing to move the tournament out of its usual October window to November.

“We want to use the best venues possible,” said USA Rugby CEO Ross Young. “We can fit them into any window, but we have a 10-year-old track. Some of the NFL stadiums may not exist anymore, but fitting into the schedule is something where they can work with we.”

The US bid is also targeting an average of 55,000 spectators per game in the men’s tournament.

“The United States is the golden nugget that everyone wants to grab,” said World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont. “It’s the biggest sports market in the world. It will give many, many people the opportunity to experience our great game.”

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