According to the New Zealand Herald and (possibly, reports are kind of sketchy since the “official” remains unnamed) the International Rugby Board (IRB), the city of Auckland in Kiwiland might be selected over, well most of the rest of the country, to host more matches for the upcoming 2011 Rugby World Cup.
These additional matches come at the expense of the rebuilding Christchurch, which SuperSite fans, and anyone who takes the time to read the news in the last month or so, know took a serous amount of damage from a recent earthquake.
Instead of spreading the games around to attract travelers to other New Zealand venues, as well as show the Rugby Universe that the rest of the nation could pull together to help the potentially overtaxed Christchurch, the IRB short-sightedly decided to dump all of the games on Auckland.
A “senior IRB official” was quoted as saying that he felt that Auckland was the only city capable of coping with the extra matches.
Apparently this “senior unnamed official” hasn’t heard of Wellington, or Dunedin, or Whangarei, or Hamilton or Tauranga, or any other New Zealand rugby venues that could host one or two of the matches and benefit from the additional tourism.
This is short sightedness on the part of the IRB, who appear to be unknowingly willing to shaft the rest of the country for what appears to be no more reason than the unwillingness to look at a map of New Zealand for 30 seconds. The final decision has not been made yet, and hopefully more than just one “anonymous senior official” will have their say at where these games need to be held.
(And maybe if Christchurch is able to rebuild enough in time, one of the matches can be held there, and the locals given a chance to catch a game for free as some kind of morale booster. Just an idea there, IRB)
(H/T to Kevin Hare for the tip)