World Cup organisers say the opening men’s match between England and Samoa at 52,400-capacity St James’ Park, Newcastle on Saturday, October 15 is heading towards a sell-out.
More than 250,000 tickets have already been snapped up for the tournament, which comprises 61 matches across the men’s, women’s and wheelchair events at a variety of English venues.
And with the help of a major national television advertising campaign which is due to start later this month, organisers believe more than 500,000 will have been sold by the opening day, which also features a men’s clash between holders Australia and Fiji at Headingley, Leeds.
The men’s and women’s finals take place as a double-header at Old Trafford, Manchester on Saturday, November 19, with the wheelchair final at the Manchester Central Convention Complex the previous evening.
All eight of the wheelchair games to take place at Sheffield’s English Institute of Sport, one of three venues alongside London’s Copper Box Arena and the Manchester Central Convention Complex, have already sold out.
There will also be a Physical Disability Rugby League World Cup in Warrington from Sunday, October 23 until Sunday 30.
“We are delighted to hit such a significant milestone for ticket sales at this stage,” said the tournament’s director of revenue, Mick Hogan.
“We are incredibly excited that this year’s World Cup is going to be the best attended in the long history of our sport.
“What has been particularly encouraging to see is the appetite for tickets across all three tournaments, with our opening fixtures for the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions all selling well.
“We want to inspire the next generation of Rugby League players and fans alike, which is why we have created a ticket pricing strategy that will make the tournament one of the most affordable and family-friendly international sports events in history.”
The tournament was originally scheduled for 2021, but postponed after the withdrawal of Australia and New Zealand, who cited “player welfare and safety concerns” related to Covid.
The ‘National Lottery Trophies Tour’ will kick-off in Newcastle on Friday week, August 26, marking 50 days until the big kick-off.
The men’s, women’s and wheelchair silverware will be taken across the country to host towns and cities.
The tour will also take in Super League, Championship and League One clubs and a variety of other events.
The trophies will be on show in Huddersfield on Monday, August 29 to celebrate the 127th anniversary of the birth of Rugby League.
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