— Published 8 November 2023

A record year for rugby villages

There’s no time to lose. With the curtain only ten days old on the Rugby World Cup 2023 in France (8 September to 28 October), the association Territoires d’Evénements Sportifs is already taking stock of the rugby villages set up in the tournament’s ten host cities. Like the competition itself, they have been a real popular success, with a total of 1,598,203 visitors, up 40.5% on the 2019 edition in Japan. A peak of 166,025 people on a single day was recorded on 15 October, for the quarter-final match between France and South Africa. This record attendance for the whole competition can be explained by the French team’s performance, the good image of the event and of rugby, and the very favourable weather. The aim of the villages was to bring the World Cup to as many people as possible, beyond just the pitch. Each host city could adapt the site to its own image and culture. Average cost of a rugby village: €2.78 million. For the first time, World Rugby authorised the presence of local partners in categories not covered by global or national sponsors. France 2023 has contributed €1 million, or €100,000 per host city. Finally, the French government has contributed its share of the funding for the “Rugby Markets”, for a total of €2 million, i.e. up to €285,000 for each of the seven cities that have deployed this concept.