Rugby Village attendance at Rugby World Cup 2023 has already surpassed the record set in Japan four years ago as France 2023 continues to smash records, tournament organisers have announced.
Some 1.16 million people have now visited the 10 official Rugby Villages the length and breadth of the host nation, surpassing the 1.13 million set at Rugby World Cup 2019.
With eight knock-out matches left to be played, France 2023 is poised to reach the 1.5 million Rugby Village attendance milestone, a figure that reflects the enormous passion for the tournament, rugby’s greatest celebration of togetherness.
Meanwhile, match attendance has reached 1.8 million, surpassing the 1.7 million total for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.
Fans have descended on France from all corners of the world with the Netherlands and Germany among the top 10 nations in the ticket purchasing rankings, while fans from debutants Chile, 2007 returnees Portugal and 2019 hosts Japan have all added to the special atmosphere.
Record Rugby Village and stadia attendance builds on the wider success of the tournament with cumulative match attendance of almost two million and on target to set a new overall record.
Broadcast and social powerhouse
Broadcast ratings in France also reflect the ‘rugby buzz’ sweeping the nation with a total cumulative audience of more than 164.5 million (more than the total French audience for RWC 2019) and matches involving the host nation rated the most viewed programmes of 2023 on TF1.
Meanwhile, the tournament is attracting a whole new generation of fans. Launched a week prior to the tournament, the official fantasy game is being played by more than 500,000 people.
In addition, official social media accounts have attracted 1.8 million new followers with more than a third from Spanish-speaking nations and 400,000 from USA, highlighting the rapid growth in fans across the Americas in particular in recent years. More than 1.1 billion views of Rugby World Cup content have been achieved so far, thanks to collaboration between World Rugby and the teams.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “We set out to make Rugby World Cup 2023 rugby’s greatest celebration of togetherness, the sport’s ultimate birthday party, and it is certainly capturing the imagination, attracting and exciting fans in record numbers.
“With a variety of fun activities, partner activations and live screening of all the matches, the Rugby World Cup 2023 Rugby Villages have become one of the major attractions of a special tournament. They are much more than a destination to watch matches, they are bringing together domestic and international fans in celebration of rugby, France and friendship.”
France 2023 Chairman Jacques Rivoal added: “We are pleased to see how successful France 2023’s Rugby Villages have been throughout the pool stage. As I travel across the country, I am met with joyful scenes of local and international rugby fans coming together to celebrate our sport.
“I want to thank the host cities and host metropolises that have worked tirelessly over the past months in making these 10 Rugby Villages a reality. It is a wonderful expression of the popular success that Rugby World Cup 2023 is here in France.”