PREMIER & TRADE

Brisbane farewells rugby's greatest party.

Brisbane farewelled Rugby World Cup 2003 with record attendances, excellent crowd participation and a huge party atmosphere Premier Peter Beattie said today.
"Brisbane has embraced rugby fever in record fashion with 92,970 spectators attending quarter finals matches resulting in the city's tournament total of 406,330," Mr Beattie said.

"This is a fantastic result and again demonstrates the magnificence of Suncorp Stadium, particularly as it has attracted more people than any other venue.

"Thousands of interstate and international visitors visited Queensland during the tournament and we hope their enthusiasm for rugby will encourage them to return in the near future."

Tournament traffic and transport arrangements played a key role in the efficient delivery of the event. "Coordination of spectators in and out of the stadium was another success with 88 per cent using public transport," Mr Beattie said.

"My government's free public transport offer supported the positive integration of infrastructure and services. Rugby World Cup 2003 has surpassed many expectations and we anticipate a strong result for Queensland's economy.

"While it is too early to calculate an exact dollar benefit, we have received positive feedback from local businesses and tourism."

Examples of local benefits include:
- A Brisbane-based company won $400,000 tender from the Australian Rugby Union to supply 80 per cent of training equipment for the tournament
- Pubs, clubs and restaurants reported high visitation

The Queensland Government will complete its evaluation of the immediate impact of Rugby World Cup 2003 on Queensland by the end of the year. The longer term legacy of these types of major events will continue to be monitored as part of ongoing business development and tourism operations.

The International Rugby Board and the Australian Rugby Union are proudly staging Rugby World Cup 2003 in Australia.

Media contact: Steve Keating 3224 4500