Rugby World Cup 2011 officials have thanked Rotorua for its contribution to a hugely successful tournament.
Memories of the All Blacks winning the Rugby World Cup were brought to the fore yesterday at a special event to celebrate Rotorua's contribution to the event. Groundsmen and Events & Venues staff were among those invited to Te Runanga Tea Rooms in the Government Gardens to watch two film montages of the tournament as part of a farewell tour.
Andrew Steele, Rugby World Cup 2011 city liaison manager, also presented two limited edition prints of Rotorua International Stadium during the Samoa versus Namibia pool match to Rotorua Mayor Kevin Winters and Events & Venues operations manager Crispian Stewart. "For us it's a farewell tour," Mr Steele said. "We've been working with the regions for three to four years. We feel it's appropriate to thank everyone.
"We couldn't have done it without our regional partners - it's activated the whole country and we became a stadium of four million." Mr Winters said it had been hard to adjust to life post Rugby World Cup as the tournament had been a major part of the city since it was announced New Zealand had been awarded the hosting rights in 2005.
Rotorua hosted three matches and five teams during the tournament. Mr Steele said the tournament sold tickets worth $269 million, which was 11 times more than the previous biggest sporting event New Zealand hosted, the 2005 Lions Tour.
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