November 20 - England 2015 Rugby World Cup chief executive Debbie Jevans claimed here today she is "confident but not complacent" about delivering sold-out arenas for the tournament.
Ahead of the official match kick-off times and ticket pricing announcement next week, Jevans told delegates here at the United City Global Sports Summit England 2015 organisers are ready for the challenge of shifting the more than two million tickets that will be available for the 48 matches taking place over the six-week tournament, due to kick-off at Twickenham on September 18, 2015.
"We're not shying away from that challenge," said Jevans.
"If we achieve a total sell-out for the sport in 2015 that will be the most spectators ever coming to a Rugby World Cup.
"In 2015 the Rugby World Cup is the biggest show in town.
"I'm not complacent about that but I am confident people will come out."
Jevans, formerly Director of Sport at London 2012, believes England 2015 will benefit from the feel good factor and interest generated in sport by the Olympics and Paralympics as well as the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
"Our country loves major events," she said.
"Look at what's happening in Glasgow, the enthusiasm and how quickly those tickets have been selling."
Jevans also stressed the need to be proactive in the lead-up to big events in terms of promotion and engaging the public saying "you can't just sit on your hands" and revealed that a number of "innovative ideas" will be launched next week.
In all, a total of 13 venues across England and Wales will host Rugby World Cup 2015 matches but in reality only four of those could be classed as traditional rugby arenas,Twickenham in London, Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Gloucester's Kingsholm Stadium and Sandy Park in Exeter.
Some within the wider rugby fraternity have questioned the lack of recognised rugby stadiums on the list believing that a Rugby World Cup should be held in venues were the sport is played regularly.
While appearing to sympathise with these concerns, Jevans claimed that organisers' hands were tied by International Rugby Board (IRB) regulations regarding the minimum stadium requirements for hosting the third biggest sporting event in the world.
"We have requirements laid down by the IRB," she said.
"The lay down specific criteria in terms of what each of those venues have to deliver.
"They do a site visit and they are the ones who approve of those facilities.
"We have to apply the rules laid down by them and we have worked hard to try and use rugby venues where we could but inevitably when you put all those things together we have to go to football venues."
A third of the matches will be played at recognised football stadiums in Birmingham, Leeds, Leicester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle and here, at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, with the rest taking place in what Jevans referred to as "sporting arenas", such as Wembley and the Olympic Stadium.
"Looking at that list of venues we have, I am very proud of those venues," she said.
"I think they are right and we do need the capacities without question.
"Equally we need the facilities to back up those capacities in terms of facilities for players, media and spectators.
"It wasn't simply a question of adding capacity by putting stands in.
"We are actually doing that at venues that we can in Gloucester and Exeter to allow those to be venues for the Rugby World Cup.
"And I am not in the least bit embarrassed by that.
"In the future [when the Rugby World Cup is next staged in England] we hope to able to say we have all of those venues and they are rugby venues because they have increased that capacity and improved the facilities that they have."
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