Rugby players can’t do math, and it’ll cost you $400 million and counting…

Courtesy of the Herald on Sunday:

Hosting the 2011 Rugby World Cup could end up costing New Zealand taxpayers more than $400 million.

A Herald on Sunday investigation has revealed the total public bill for RWC2011 has already reached $507.6m. Economists have cast serious doubt on the event’s much-touted economic benefits.

A report for Cup organisers claimed hosting it would boost New Zealand’s economy by $506m, but Auckland University professor of economics Tim Hazledine said the report was flawed. He said the gain to tourism and the effect of visitor spending has been overstated.

"There might be a genuine economic benefit of spending by fans of around $100m to $150m – and perhaps I’m being a bit generous."

Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully dismissed Hazledine’s analysis as pathetic.

"The idea that we should assess the costs of infrastructure that we will enjoy in perpetuity against the direct economic return from a 45-day tournament is ridiculous."

Yeah…and if you had spent that money on building infrastructure without the RWC, then presumably you’d have had that billion dollar return without the added money spent on the tournament itself. This is not a historic sporting event like the Olympics, it is a glorified fondling convention for white commonwealth countries(and France), that has only been around for 20-ish years. It will be held in New Zealand, and then it will be forgotten.

McCully said the benefits of the tournament in the years following would "run into billions of dollars".

Now who is being ridiculous? To the extent that most of countries involved in the Rugby World Cup have ‘billions’ to spend, they’re normally billions borrowed from countries not competing in the Rugby World Cup.

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