Interactive graphic: Rugby World Cup crowds - how have they changed?

By NZ Herald staff

The first Rugby World Cup in 1987 kicked off to little fanfare with the final between the All Blacks and France failing to sell out.

Things have changed since however with the tournament becoming the third biggest global sporting event behind the Olympics and FIFA World Cup.

The below graphic shows the total crowd attendance for each of the last six World Cups and how despite the 2011 edition being supported by a 'stadium of four million', the number of bums on seats takes a fall for the first time since 1987.

World Cup attendance since 1987

World Cup attendance since 1987

  • 1987 - 604,500 fans
  • 1991 - 1,007,760 fans
  • 1995 - 1,100,000 fans
  • 1999 - 1,750,000 fans
  • 2003 - 1,837,547 fans
  • 2007 - 2,263,223 fans
  • 2011 - 1,560,000 estimated fans

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- Infographic by Claudia Ruiz
Rotorua spectators watch the action during the Fiji and Namibia clash. Photo / Getty Images
Rotorua spectators watch the action during the Fiji and Namibia clash. Photo / Getty Images

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