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Rugby League World Cup generates record return for RLIF

The Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) has announced that the 2013 Rugby League World Cup national team competition generated a record financial return of more than £3.7m (€4.5m/$6.2m) for the organisation.

The 14-nation showpiece tournament took place in England, Wales, Ireland and France from October 26 to November 30. In the event’s official Tournament Review, organisers said the competition’s 28 games at 21 venues attracted a total of 450,000 spectators while 18.8 million people tuned in to watch coverage on television in the key territories of the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

The post-event report also said that the direct economic impact of the tournament for hosts England and Wales was £9.6m, while host towns and cities also benefited “significantly” from the event. The RLIF said the direct economic benefit to Cardiff of hosting the opening ceremony was £8.5m, the semi-final double header at Wembley stadium in London generated a direct impact of £12.3m, and Manchester experienced a direct economic impact of £8.4m from hosting the final.

In addition, over 30,000 people said they had been inspired to become more involved in rugby league while 14,000 people who had no previous engagement with the sport said they now intend to become involved. More than 12,500 people also said they had been inspired to begin playing rugby league, or play more than they had previously done.

Sally Bolton, general manager of organising committee RLWC2013, said: “The staging of the tournament was always focused on generating increased interest in and engagement with the sport and these findings show the opportunity that the sport now has to grow.”

The 2013 World Cup saw Australia defeat defending champion New Zealand 34-2 in the final at Old Trafford on November 30.