The 2023 Rugby World Cup, hosted in France, generated as much as €1.8 billion ($1.85 billion) of spending towards the country’s economy, according to a government report.

Commissioned by the French Ministry of Sport and produced by professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY), the report found that the quadrennial event, the rugby union code’s tentpole showcase, made a net gain to the country of €871 million.

This figure was calculated from what the report calls “direct impact” (€690 million), “indirect impact” (€143 million), and “induced impact” (€38 million), minus the €929 million of expenditure from domestic organizations, payments made to the World Rugby governing body, as well as the crowding out effect the high volume of tourists had on local economies.

Direct impact refers to direct spending entering France, minus the spending leaving the country, and primarily relates to tourism. Indirect spending meanwhile was generated by suppliers and service providers, while induced impact refers to the wages of those who worked on or around the tournament.

The French state itself generated €84 million in tax revenue from the event, primarily value-added tax on goods, which covered the €70 million of taxpayer funding it spent on stadiums, event security, and erecting fan zones around the country.

2.4 million tickets were sold to games across the tournament, more than the 1.7 million sold in Japan in 2019, and close to the 2.5 million sold in the UK in 2015.

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The 2023 Rugby World Cup was staged from September 8 to October 28, and the French national team was a firm favorite to win but faced an untimely exit to South Africa in the quarter-final.

Despite this, in January World Rugby cited a record viewing hours total for the competition, a testament to its popularity globally as well as in France.

The competition recorded a viewing hours total of 1.33 billion, making it the most-viewed rugby event in history.

The figure of 1.33 billion represents a rise of 19% from the total at the 2019 RWC in Japan, and of 30% from the previous edition of the tournament, in England nine years ago.

Unsurprisingly, the market with the highest viewing figures was France, with 481 million viewing hours. In total, eight out of 11 markets analyzed – Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, and the US – have seen strong Rugby World Cup viewership growth since 2015.