Ticket sales strong 100 days out from Rugby World Cup
Japan Today -- Jun 13
Organizers have marked 100 days to go before the opening of the Rugby World Cup by saying the challenges of staging the sport's showpiece event in a non-traditional rugby nation have largely been overcome, most particularly with ticket sales.

The Sept 20 to Nov 2 tournament will feature 20 teams playing across 12 cities stretching from Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido to Kyushu in the southwest.

"Obviously, there was a bit of a language and cultural challenge early on," World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper said Wednesday. "There was probably not a lot of big-event experience here other than the 2002 (soccer) World Cup...but I think those challenges have dissipated over time."

It's the first time the event will be held outside of the traditional rugby strongholds, having started in 1987 with a Rugby World Cup held jointly by Australia and New Zealand. The tournament has also been hosted across Britain and Ireland, France and South Africa.

Ticket sales were a big concern early on but according to organizers, about 5.5 million applications have already been made for 1.8 million available tickets. World Rugby said in a statement that 80 percent of available tickets have been sold with unprecedented demand from fans in more than 170 countries.

Organizers also see the tournament as a chance to tap into the vast potential of the Asian market.

The popularity of the sport has grown since Japan stunned two-time champion South Africa at the 2015 World Cup in England in what was one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament.

News source: Japan Today
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