Extra provisions sought thanks to rugby fanzone

PUBLISHED: 13:30 01 October 2015

Archant

The extra facilities will be in place for Saturday’s crunch match - England vs Australia, which is being shown on a large screen in the Exeter Fanzone from 8pm.

Exeter’s Rugby World Cup 2015 Fanzone is proving so popular, extra provisions are being brought in to cope with a high demand from thirsty fans.

The extra facilities will be in place for Saturday’s crunch match - England vs Australia, which is being shown on a large screen in the Exeter Fanzone from 8pm, along with two other matches earlier in the day.

Sandy Park is providing the extra bars in the Fanzone after queues developed in the bar area during the England v Wales screening.

Exeter City Council leader Pete Edwards said the atmosphere in Exeter was like a ‘wave of positivity sweeping the city’.

He said that on the day of the Tonga v Namibia match at Sandy Park - Exeter’s first ever Rugby World Cup 2015 match - hotels across the city were fully booked, adding: “We tried to make a number of last-minute bookings at hotels in Exeter for contractors working in the Fanzone but had to give up in the end and go for somewhere outside the city.”

Being a host city for Rugby World Cup 2015 will generate £39million of additional economic activity for Exeter, with £3.5million alone being spent in the city by fans attending the three matches at Sandy Park and the thirteen days in the Fanzone.

Exeter’s already cosmopolitan vibe has been given extra resonance, with staff at the Exeter Visitor Information and Tickets in Dix’s Field helping rugby fans from America, Australia, Tonga, France and Germany, who have been touring the country for various Pool matches.

Fans from Namibia, including sprinter Frankie Fredericks, and Tonga attended the match at Sandy Park and at the Fanzone.

An extra 136,000 visitors are expected in the city as a direct result of being a Host City for Rugby World Cup 2015, with 12,000 coming from overseas.

The Rugby World Cup 2015 Exeter Fanzone is proving popular, with 11,200 people enjoying the free match screenings, entertainment and food and drink.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the people of Exeter,” said Mr Edwards.

“Over the last week there has been a wave of positivity sweeping the city - virtually everyone I have spoken to is enjoying the feel good feeling as a result of us being a Host City for Rugby World Cup 2015. Long may it continue!”

Exeter hosts two more matches at Sandy Park: Namibia vs Georgia on Wednesday, October 7 and Italy vs Romania on Sunday, October 11.

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