Ticket sales for the Rugby World Cup have passed the one million mark.
Tournament organiser Rugby New Zealand 2011 said it had seen a surge in sales since all remaining tickets were put up for grabs this week.
It said the recent sales had boosted ticket revenue by $17 million to $220 million.
That is 82 per cent of its revenue target of $268.5 million - an operating loss of $39 million.
RNZ 2011 chief executive Martin Snedden said he was thrilled with how ticket sales had gone so far.
The tournament had more than nine times the revenue of 2005 British and Irish Lions tour - which held the previous record at $24 million, he said.
"This has been a tremendous start to our final ticketing campaign and we are thrilled with the way fans in New Zealand and around the world have responded.
"This is a fantastic result and is about where we expected to be with little over two months until the Tournament kicks-off."
The Christchurch earthquake on February 22nd certainly had a big effect on ticket sales. Although the matches scheduled for Christchurch were reallocated, smaller ground capacities at the new venues threatened to blow a hole in the ticket sales budget.
Those fears seem to be easing, and it sounds as though there has been a great response to the final round of pre-sales this week, and passing the million ticket sales mark will have given tournament organisers a real fillip.
And as we mentioned on Friday, She Who Must Be Obeyed and we are part of that million. We're really looking forward to going to see the All Blacks play Canada in Wellington on a spring afternoon; what a prospect; day-time rugby!
That will probably be the only RWC match we go to, unless we make a spur-of-the-moment decision to go and watch a match in Palmerston North or New Plymouth if walk-up tickets are available. Other than that, we'll be relying on the trusty widescreen to bring RWC into our living room.
We're sure that the Rugby World Cup is going to be a huge success, but it's likely to come at a cost. We considered getting tickets to watch the All Blacks vs Springboks Tri-Nations match at the end of the month, but decided that a spring afternoon in Wellington trumped a winter night, even if the quality of the opposition is not quite as good. We're sure that others have chosen likewise.
Rugby World Cup 2011 is now only 64 days away; bring it on!