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Auckland celebrates $9m Nines boost

The inaugural NRL Nines tournament pumped $9.35 million into Auckland's economy, securing its spot as the most successful two-day event on the city's calendar.
Auckland celebrates $9m Nines boost
by AAP

AUCKLAND, June 16 AAP - The inaugural NRL Nines tournament pumped $9.35 million into Auckland's economy, securing its spot as the most successful two-day event on the city's calendar.

Auckland Council is celebrating new figures showing the sold-out event which drew more than 45,000 people a day to Eden Park more than doubled its forecast return on investment.

"The NRL Auckland Nines has blown away all its first year targets," says the city's mayor Len Brown.

"It once again illustrates the value of major events to this city and proves that with the right concept and support Auckland can develop its own events with great outcomes."

The February tournament delivered $9.35 million in GDP to Auckland, up from the forecast of $3.8 million.

Hotels enjoyed a boost of 68,000 visitor nights and live television coverage was watched by more than a million viewers in Australia, one of the city's key tourism markets.

In addition to being well attended by Aucklanders, the event attracted 16,000 Kiwis from around the country with more than 6000 people making the trip across the Tasman. Visitors stayed in Auckland for an average of three nights.

"It is the most successful two-day event on Auckland's calendar," Mr Brown said.

Brett O'Riley, chief executive of Auckland's economic growth agency ATEED, credited strong partnerships between promoters for the success, saying the innovative nine-a-side tournament "captured the public imagination".

The event comfortably surpassed all the financial goals set for it in year one, and would surely build on its success in the four years to come, he said.

However, media reports on Monday cast doubt on the future of the event, suggesting that a date clash between the Nines and the Cricket World Cup in 2015 had yet to be resolved.

The cricket tournament will take over Eden Park from January 27, three days before the first match. The NRL says the Nines competition cannot take place before January 30.


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