Rugby World Cup 2019 will be a tournament like no other. Asia's first Rugby World Cup has captured the imagination of the Japanese and fans around the world with more than 80 per cent of available tickets sold to fans from more than 170 nations with purchasers set to travel from as far north as Russia and as far south as Antarctica.
A record 400,000 international visitors are anticipated to arrive in Japan between September and November, while more than 100,000 tickets have been purchased by rugby fans through Official Travel Agents, surpassing the total sold for England 2015.
Excitement continues to build across the 12 host cities with awareness in the host nation breaking the 90 million mark as the iconic Webb Ellis Cup gets set to embark on a 100-day, 15-city tour of the country that will attract more than a million fans.
With rugby’s fanbase having grown by more than 20 per cent since the last Rugby World Cup, an innovative approach to fan-engagement will see the sport inspire a new generation of fans and participants beyond its traditional strongholds. It is set to be the most engaged, viewed and consumed rugby event ever.
Beaumont said: “Rugby World Cup 2019 will be a very special global celebration of rugby that has fans and players at heart.
“With 100 days to go I am confident that Japan 2019 will be a game changer on every metric – the most socially and economically impactful, the most transformational, the most-viewed and engaged and, we believe, the most competitive Rugby World Cup to date.
“Rugby World Cup is about bringing people together to celebrate rugby, its values and to have fun and I am predicting a truly spectacular event on every level. It has been wonderful to see this event fully embraced by the people of Japan from Sapporo in the north to Kumamoto in the south.
“From the stadia to the fan-zones and across the host cities, we are looking forward to a unique festival atmosphere as the world’s best players bid to win rugby’s greatest prize – the Webb Ellis Cup.”
Long before the opening match, Rugby World Cup 2019 will be confirmed as a game-changer. The tournament's legacy programme - Impact Beyond 2019 - has already attracted more than 1.16 million participants in Asia, while dedicated development programmes in Japan continue to introduce children to the sport.
Beaumont added: “We awarded the hosting rights to Japan 10 years ago recognising the clear and compelling opportunity to unlock the rugby potential of Asia, the world’s most populous and youthful continent. I am delighted that we have already converted that opportunity, attracting more than one million new participants (over 200,000 in Japan) and raising more than £1.5 million for the remarkable ChildFund Pass It Back programme, which will transform the lives of more than 25,000 disadvantaged children across Asia.”
The 100 days to go milestone was marked by the unveiling of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Tudor countdown clock in Tokyo and the beginning of a domestic trophy tour that will see the iconic Webb Ellis Cup visit all 12 host cities as well as historic Kyoto before arriving at Tokyo Stadium for the opening match between Japan and Russia on 20 September – a match that is widely anticipated to smash the domestic broadcast audience record of 28 million (Japan v Samoa at Rugby World Cup 2015 via Japanese broadcasters).
Its arrival in Japan will mark the end of an incredible international trophy tour that saw the Webb Ellis Cup visit 19 countries, including a first-ever stop in Chile, and a moving trip to India where more than 17,000 children turned out in one day to see the famous symbol of rugby unity. The trophy has so far travelled 200,000 miles and inspired more than 80,000 people during the largest ever Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour.
A game-changing tournament in numbers
1st Rugby World Cup hosted in Asia
6 worldwide partners renewed in record time with record value
9th Rugby World Cup
12 host cities from Sapporo in the north to Kumamoto in the south
55 team camps
83 teams involved in qualification
207+ broadcast territories
3,000 media in attendance
13,000 volunteers (no side)
25,000 disadvantaged children in Asia who will benefit from ChildFund Pass It Back support
100,000 tickets sold via Official Travel Agents
400,000 international visitors
1.16 million Impact Beyond Asia 1 million project participants to date
£1.5 million pledged to ChildFund Pass it Back from fans and commercial partners
1.8 million attendance
5.5 million tickets applied for to date
14 million rugby fans in Japan
90 million RWC awareness in Japan (70% of population)
112 million rugby fans in Asia
Y216.6 billion added value to the Japanese economy
-Story by World Rugby