RUGBY World Cup chiefs insist they will stick to their pledge of offering some tickets to the 2015 tournament in England for under £10 despite facing increased pressure to meet their revenue target of £80m.
Late changes to the list of available stadia have forced organisers to downgrade projections for seat sales from 2.9m to nearer 2.5m, but they maintain that cheap tickets will not be axed to cover the income shortfall.
The promise came as the list of venues was confirmed yesterday, with London’s Olympic Stadium scheduled to host four pool games and the third place play-off.
“We’re looking now at the ticketing strategy and will announce prices later this year,” said chief executive Debbie Jevans.
“The capacities have reduced but not to any great extent. The figure that was quoted at the bid was always going to be a maximum. We are confident we are going to be able honour the minimum access prices but the detail of the prices will be announced later this year.”
England will begin the tournament against a qualifier from Oceania, likely to be Fiji, on Friday 18 September, one of their three pool fixtures to be played at Twickenham.
The hosts’ final pool match, against a play-off winner, is to be held at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, a late addition to the venue shortlist following the withdrawal of Manchester United’s Old Trafford.
Wembley Stadium is to stage two pool games, including fixtures involving Ireland and New Zealand, while the Olympic Stadium will also host the All Blacks, France and the Irish among four pool clashes.
The Stratford venue is set to have a reduced capacity of 54,000 as the World Cup will take place in the midst of conversion work to prepare for the relocation of West Ham, but Jevans dismissed fears it would resemble “a building site”.
“The roof will be in place, we have a detailed plan for the pitch,” she said. “We think of it as a destination and an opportunity and it won’t be a building site.”
WORLD CUP STADIA
■ Twickenham (capacity 81,605): four games, plus two quarter-finals, both semi-finals and the final
■ Olympic Stadium (54,000): four pool games plus third place play-off
■ Wembley Stadium (90,256): two pool games
■ Brighton Community Stadium (30,750): two pool games
■ Stadium MK, Milton Keynes (30,717): three pool games
■ Villa Park, Birmingham (42,785): two pool games
■ Leicester City Stadium (32,312): three pool games
■ Sandy Park, Exeter (12,300): three pool games
■ Millennium Stadium, Cardiff (74,154): six pool games plus two quarter-finals
■ Kingsholm, Gloucester (16,115): four pool games
■ Elland Road, Leeds (37,914): two pool games
■ Etihad Stadium, Manchester (47,800): one pool game (England)
■ St James’ Park, Newcastle (52,409): three pool games