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SBD Global/November 13, 2012/Franchises
Two New Zealand Rugby Clubs Will Have New Owners Next Year
Published November 13, 2012
PROBLEMS AT THE TOP: The WALL STREET JOURNAL blog Deal Journal Australia's Lucy Craymer wrote New Zealand "may have the world's most-successful national rugby union team, the All Blacks, but its governing body is struggling to attract investment in the sport at a regional level." Last year, in addition to the Hurricanes, the NZRU announced it was selling the operating licenses for the Crusaders, Blues and Chiefs. New Zealand hosted, and won, the 2011 Rugby World Cup, "revitalizing support for the game Down Under." The teams "are all household names in rugby mad New Zealand, but with the country still emerging from a '09 recession, ticket sales are down as fans choose to watch matches on TV rather than pay relatively high prices to attend games." The country's small stadiums "also limit returns." Furthermore, the NZRU "has so far struggled" to make the Super Rugby competition "commercially viable" (WSJ, 11/12).