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The NRL today welcomed the release of new figures showing the inaugural Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines delivered more than $9 million in economic benefit to the city.

The Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) today released an economic impact statement on the tournament, which brought together the 16 NRL clubs in Auckland for one weekend in 15-16 February.

The NRL’s Head of Commercial, Paul Kind, said the tournament demonstrated the strength of rugby league as an exciting and popular game.

“The Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines succeeded because it was a great and innovative event – fast and exciting action on the field by the game’s best players,” Mr Kind said.

ATEED found the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines outstripped all of its first year targets by delivering:

$9.35 million in GDP to Auckland – more than double the forecast return on investment.
Attracting 6,000 Aussies from across the Tasman, plus a further 16,000 Kiwis from around New Zealand – all of whom stayed an average of three nights in Auckland.
Delivering more than 68,000 visitor nights for Auckland’s accommodation sector.
Providing more than one million television viewers from Australia (the tournament was televised on Fox Sports).
Mr Kind thanked Auckland Council for its support for the tournament, which was delivered through a three-way partnership with ATEED, event promoter Duco who approached the NRL with the idea, and the NRL.

“The NRL has a track-record in partnering with governments to deliver major events with strong economic returns – and the State of Origin series is another perfect example of this commitment,” he said.

The agreement for the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines will see the event hosted in Auckland for a further four years to 2017.

The date of next year’s event will be announced in the coming months, however, Mr Kind said it was again expected to be at the beginning of the year prior to the Indigenous All Stars in mid-February 2015.
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