Really interesting those stats. Shows how much of it is down to presentation. The worst World Cup in 2000 was only 2k less that the best World Cup in 1995. The last World Cup, regarded as a massive improvement on 2000 was only 30k more than 2000!
There can be no argument that this World Cup has been the best organised and planned of any of the world cups. There is a real sense of occasion about this World Cup, so not only should the crowd record be broken, but the whole event should feel so much more special.
It's worth noting the 1995 World Cup only had 15 games versus 2000 which had 31, so whilst it drew a smaller aggregate, it had a higher per average per game.... That said 95 worked so well because it over achieved in many's eyes. No one was expecting a big crowd for the opening clash at Wembley, but over 40,000 turned up. England then drew 26,000 against Fiji and 14,000 against South Africa which meant any highlights looked great.
Compare this to 2000, a lot of promise of a big crowd at Twickenham yet only 33,000 there. Throw in then 5,700 for England v Russia and 10,000 for England v Fiji, the tournament didn't really redeem itself in terms of attendances until the Final, which was too late.
The RWLC's goal, though, was to sell 500,000. If the 280,000 is accurate - and we don't actually know that, it's just a figure quoted in the press - then we are a long way from the tournament's target figure.
We might still be a distance from the target, but we are on track for record World Cup attendances which is worth being positive about. I sincerely hope we make the target, or better yet exceed it, but if we get to the end of the tournament, and we end up with 350K plus, and the crowds at Cardiff, London, Manchester, and the other England games are great, then I won't be complaining.
The vast majority of people who will interact with our tournament will be with those games, either by attending, reading about or watching on BBC. So lets hope they are all successes and lets hope for a strong England performance. The media won't care about who plays for Scotland if England does well in the World Cup.