Yesterday it was announced that Wellington would host two of the quarter-finals in the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Here is the announcement from the Minister of Sport, Clayton Cosgrove (emphasis mine):
“In terms of hosting major global sporting events, Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2011 is like New Zealand’s ‘Olympics’. It is the third largest sporting event in the world. An event of this scale and significance offers every city and town a rare opportunity to realise a wide range of benefits across the sport and business sectors, as well as the community.”
The third largest? Really?
In the spirit of Wikipedia: citation needed.
Clearly the Olympics and the Football World Cup are #1 and #2. But, it seems to me there are a lot of other more global sports that could claim third position ahead of rugby:
- Football: European Champs or Champions League
- Golf: The Ryder Cup (or any of the four majors)
- Tennis: Wimbledon (or any of the four majors)
- Cycling: The Tour de France
- Basketball: World Champs or NBA Playoffs
- Athletics: World Champs
What about the Commonwealth Games? Surely that’s bigger?
What about the Superbowl? Isn’t that the most watched sporting event?
What about the Winter Olympics?
Can you think of any others?
I guess it all depends how you measure it.
This post from the WSJs “number guy” is worth a read:
Either way, I’m sure it will be a big weekend in Wellington when the worlds largest sporting event involving teams of 15 people playing with an oval ball comes to town!