We were thrown the very worst of challenges
The New Zealand Rugby Union have, boastfully, proclaimed victory after losing 'only' NZ$31.3-million after hosting last year's World Cup.
In a statement issued on Wednesday the NZRU revealed the organisers had posted a "lower-than-expected" tournament loss. Rugby New Zealand 2011 (RNZ 2011) announced a loss of NZ$31.3-million from staging the seventh World Cup - NZ$8-million lower than forecast.
"This is a very satisfying way to wrap up the tournament," said RNZ 2011 Chairman Brian Roche.
"Very few global sporting events ever come in on budget. RWC 2011 was an extremely challenging event to deliver, of a scale and complexity never staged in this country so to deliver a significantly better than expected result is an extraordinary achievement.
"We were resolute in our drive to contain costs and achieve our ticket sales target despite the challenging environment we found ourselves in so this result is a real tribute to the team at RNZ 2011."
NZRU chairman Mike Eagle said delivering the tournament well under budget in such a challenging environment was an excellent result.
"Few global sporting events have had to contend with so much," he said.
"We were thrown the very worst of challenges - the global financial crisis coupled with the tragedy of the Canterbury earthquakes, which forced us to shift seven matches less than six months from kick-off."
The NZRU invested NZ$10 million in RNZ 2011 and NZ$10 million in the redevelopment of Eden Park.
"From a rugby perspective, our investment in RWC 2011 is certainly paying off. We are seeing encouraging early signs that player registrations are up on last year and the strong gates and TV audiences we are seeing for Super Rugby are partly a spin-off from the wonderful atmosphere and exciting rugby we saw last year," Eagle added.
World Cup minister Murray McCully said the result capped off a hugely successful event, saying: "Without a doubt, RWC 2011 will generate significant economic benefits for this country for many years to come.
"We welcomed 133,000 visitors to our shores and we were superb hosts for a great six-week celebration. The huge television audiences and extensive media coverage generated by the tournament boosted our international profile.
"We also forged valuable new business partnerships and showed the world we are a smart and innovative economy capable of delivering major global events.
"We made the most of being in the world's spotlight, so this result really is the icing on the cake."
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said RWC 2011 was an exceptional event that furthered the profile of Rugby, New Zealand and the World Cup brand.
Lapasset commented: "This announcement further endorses the strong collaboration between World Cup Ltd, NZRU, RNZ 2011 and the New Zealand Government in delivering a world class tournament that showcased New Zealand on a global stage and continued the exceptional growth and development of Rugby worldwide.
"A partnership with national and local government is an important aspect of event delivery. New Zealand highlighted that through the significant economic returns for the host nation, the growth of major event expertise and experience, business to business opportunities and increases in Rugby engagement, Rugby World Cup is definitely a low-risk, high-return event for a host nation.
"We thank the Stadium of Four Million which New Zealand became in 2011 and the benchmark they set for RWC 2015 and RWC 2019."