Key Points:

Tickets for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand could cost anywhere from $35 to $40 to watch the minnows in pool play to $1400 for the final.

Rugby NZ 2011 said tickets to the knockout games are expected to be similar in price to those when France hosted the cup last year, where the final sold for 200 to 600 euros ($490 to $1470).

Its briefing to Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully said tickets to the knockout games "will be well in excess of anything previously seen before in New Zealand".

The briefing says most of the 40 pool games will cost the same or less than a home All Blacks test, which last year was about $40. Some of the minor pool games will be "substantially less".

Rugby NZ 2011 is a joint venture between the New Zealand Rugby Union and the Government. The union is set to take one-third of the expected losses and the Government the rest.

In the briefing, Rugby NZ 2011 chief executive Martin Snedden said achieving capacity crowds and the budgeted financial result was going to be "incredibly challenging".

The briefing shows the only form of revenue will be ticket sales.

Mr Snedden said balancing ticket revenue generation against achieving the "stadium of four million" was an "issue of immediate importance".

This related to the allocation of the 40 pool games around New Zealand, to be decided in February.

"Some stadia hold more than others. If we wanted to, we could shut down the venues to a smaller number and drive a higher return, but that would be contradictory to our philosophy of a stadium of four million people."

The IRB wants 10 venues; 16 have applied. Mr Snedden said although he did not believe the IRB would agree to 16, the goal was "to use as many [venues] as we can".

Increasing the ticket prices for minor matches in smaller grounds would not make much of a difference, as the big matches drove the revenue. This was the "trade-off" with the big prices in major games.

Asked if Rugby NZ 2011 could make more of a loss in order to get games to more grounds, Mr Snedden said it had to be reasonably responsible.

Mr McCully said making a loss was not a decision for the Government, but for Rugby NZ 2011's board.