Michael Burgess is a sports writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Rugby League World Cup seats affordable for families

New Zealand league fans will be able to see the Kiwis play at next year's World Cup from as little as  $20. Photo / Getty Images.
New Zealand league fans will be able to see the Kiwis play at next year's World Cup from as little as $20. Photo / Getty Images.

New Zealand league fans will be able to see the Kiwis play at next year's World Cup from as little as $20, with the ticket pricing for the tournament set to be released today.

Event organisers are aiming to fill the stadiums across New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea, with the most competitive pricing for a major sporting event on these shores in recent memory.

Local supporters could see all five Kiwis matches in this country (assuming New Zealand make the semifinals) for slightly less than the cost of a single category D ticket to a Lions-All Blacks test next year.

It might not be a strictly like-for-like comparison, but the cheapest Lions test tickets are around 270 per cent more expensive than the most economical ticket to the League World Cup semifinal in Auckland on November 25.

Tickets for the pool games in New Zealand, where the Kiwis will play Samoa (October 28, Auckland), Scotland (November 4, Christchurch) and Tonga (November 11, Hamilton), start from $20, with the cheapest family tickets priced at $45.

Single admission for the semifinal at Mt Smart - which could see the Kiwis face England if games go to form - is available from $40, with family pricing from $120.

In the first release of tickets, which commences at midday on Thursday, there are a limited number of Category A single tickets to the Auckland semifinal priced at $80.

In contrast, single tickets for the Lions test matches next year range from $149 (for Category D) to $449 for the best seats in the house. The Lions' five matches against Super Rugby teams are priced from $49 to $129, while tickets for the clash with the Maori All Blacks will cost from $59 to $149.

Seven of the 28 World Cup matches are in New Zealand, with three Kiwis' pool games and the Pacific clash between Tonga and Samoa in Hamilton. Christchurch and Wellington both stage quarter-finals, before the semifinal at Mt Smart.

"Our number one priority was to set ticket prices that represented great value for money and made the tournament an accessible event for everyone," said 2017 World Cup CEO Andrew Hill.

"New Zealand hasn't had much international league for a number of years so we wanted to do as much as possible to encourage sports fans, and particularly families, to come and see the World Cup."

Hill added that fans should move quickly to secure "the best seats at the best value", as there are a limited numbers of tickets in the cheaper categories.

The final three spots in the 14 team event will be decided by November 15, with the European qualifying tournament to start this weekend.

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