Tickets to the opening match day of Rugby World Cup 2021 have sold out with a record-breaking crowd set to fill New Zealand’s national stadium at Eden Park on 8 October.
Fans will be part of history, seeing the tournament kick-off by becoming the most attended women’s Rugby World Cup match day ever, surpassing RWC 2014 finals day which was recorded as a sell-out at the 20,000 capacity Stade Jean-Bouin in France and RWC 2017 finals day which saw 17,115 watch the Black Ferns claim their fifth Rugby World Cup title.
It will be the first time in history that Eden Park has reached capacity for a women’s sports event and the attendance more than doubles the largest-ever crowd for a standalone women’s sports event in New Zealand. Records show the largest attendance to date in New Zealand was 16,162 for the 2008 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup final between North Korea v USA at North Harbour Stadium.
Opening match day is the second RWC 2021 match day to sell out, with a capacity crowd of up to 4,500 fans set to attend match day four at Waitākere Stadium on 16 October as New Zealand’s Black Ferns take on Wales.
Rugby World Cup 2021 Tournament Director, Michelle Hooper said: “On Saturday night, Aotearoa will send a strong message to the world that women’s rugby is due its rightful place in the spotlight with a sell-out crowd at Eden Park.
Creating history for women’s sport and setting new records for women’s rugby, will undoubtedly elevate the women’s game to new heights for generations to come. We’d like to express our gratitude to fans and to the global rugby whānau for sharing our belief.
“This has been our shared vision from the outset and to see it come to light speaks volumes about the wave of change globally, celebrating wāhine toa and shining the spotlight on them.
New Zealand is now officially on the record for smashing gender stereotypes and creating historical change. On behalf of all our team we acknowledge the trailblazers that couldn’t experience this moment and we honour them with this success.”
Opening match day at Eden Park will set the tone for the greatest celebration of women’s rugby the world has ever seen, with international superstar Rita Ora taking to the stage at the conclusion of match two (Fiji v England), and at half-time of the final match of the day when Australia face the Black Ferns at 19:15 local time (GMT+13).
World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “We are really excited that the opening match day at Eden Park on Saturday is a sell-out and will set a new world record for a women’s test match attendance and new attendance record for a women’s sports event in New Zealand.
“The lucky fans in the stadium will be making history and in doing so, will experience the best of women’s rugby and the best of entertainment at rugby’s greatest family reunion. It promises to be an unforgettable experience.
“With kick-off fast approaching we are seeing excitement levels rise exponentially as fans across New Zealand and around the world engage with the tournament and get behind the teams who will no doubt be inspired to even greater performance levels on the pitch.
“Women in sport and women’s rugby has a real buzz and momentum behind it right now. The development of women in rugby is the single greatest opportunity for our sport to grow in the next decade, as we plan to accelerate the phenomenal rise of women in rugby on a global basis.
“Today’s news is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of our partners at New Zealand Rugby and the organising committee who have had to overcome many hurdles on the journey to Saturday’s kick-off, which will be a special moment for all to savour.”
With the opening matchday now sold out, fans in New Zealand are urged not to miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend Rugby World Cup, which is being played across three venues from 8 October to 12 November.
Fans around the world can find out where to watch Rugby World Cup 2021 here – www.rugbyworldcup.com/2021/where-to-watch-and-broadcast-partners.
Free travel on Auckland Transport buses, trains and special event buses is included for ticket holders to and from Eden Park on RWC 2021 match days. Simply show your ticket to your bus driver or staff present.
A Kids’ Zone near Gate A at Eden Park will provide entertainment for the whole whānau throughout the day with a bouncy castle, face-painting and trampoline.
Rugby World Cup 2021 is taking place in New Zealand from 8 October to 12 November, the first time the pinnacle event has been staged in the southern hemisphere.
It’s the biggest global event in women’s 15s rugby and will be contested by the top 12 teams in the world at three match venues – Eden Park, Waitākere Stadium and Northland Events Centre.
Tickets are still available to matches after opening day, starting from just NZ$5 for kids and NZ$20 for adults*. For more information and to purchase tickets go to tickets2021.rugbyworldcup.com.
*Prices applicable to cash purchases made through Ticketek agents or outlets. Online purchases may attract additional payment processing and delivery fees.