Rugby World Cup: England exit prompts ticket resale bonanza

Disappointed fans of the tournament hosts are offloading tickets to knock-out stages on the internet after Australia defeat

England Rugby team captain Chris Robshaw
(Image credit: David Rogers/Getty Images)

Demand for tickets to the knock-out stages of the Rugby World Cup has "plunged" in the wake of England's sorry group stage exit at the weekend, according to resale websites.

With the hosts out of the tournament there has been a rush to sell on tickets to matches that England now have no chance of contesting.

"Fans who had shelled out hundreds of pounds on quarter-final tickets in the hope that England would emerge from a 'pool of death' that included Wales and Australia started to offload them on secondary ticketing sites," reports The Guardian.

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Tickets to England's crunch match against Australia were listed on website Viagogo for as much as £60,000 according to the Daily Star, and says that some had actually changed hands for £4,000.

The most outlandishly priced ticket to the World Cup final on the same website comes in at £50,000, while others are available for under £600. Tickets to England's final group game against Uruguay are available for just £30 on the website.

It is relatively good news for non-England fans, but the hosts' departure is a blow for the tournament's sponsors.

"For brands such as O2 which have thrown their marketing muscle behind England, their early exit is nothing short of a disaster," says the Guardian.

TV advertisers will bear the brunt.

"England have been by far the biggest ratings draw for ITV in this World Cup," explains the Daily Mail. "Their first two matches, against Fiji and Wales, drew the biggest audiences by a margin in the first fortnight of the tournament, averaging 8.7m and 10.4m viewers respectively. The next biggest audience was for New Zealand v Argentina at Wembley on September 20 (4.1m viewers) but no other match attracted even 3.5m viewers, with non-England matches averaging 2.1m."

Others are less downbeat. Marketing website The Drum argues that while sponsors will suffer because of the "damaging cost of association", they have "insulated" themselves.

Headphone brand Beats has tie ups with other sides, including France and New Zealand, while O2 took the precaution of concentrating its activity on the tournament build-up rather than the event itself.

Global brands like Heineken will suffer in England, but with Wales, Ireland and Scotland set for the quarter-finals there will be no shortage of demand in those markets.

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