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John Key

2 August, 2010

Giant Rugby Ball heads to Sydney

Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism John Key says the eye catching 25-metre-long Giant Rugby Ball will be placed alongside the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay, with views of the iconic Sydney Opera House, between 2 and 12 September.

"I am delighted the Giant Rugby Ball's final international outing will be in Australia, New Zealand's largest international tourism market and one that will be of huge importance for next year's Rugby World Cup."

The inflatable Ball is a state-of-the-art venue which takes five days to construct and can fit 220 people inside. It will cost Tourism New Zealand $1.4 million to put up in Sydney.

During the day the Ball provides a multi-media experience promoting New Zealand's tourism offerings and at night it will be used to host trade and industry events showcasing the best of New Zealand. 

"With the start of Rugby World Cup 2011 only one year away, the Giant Rugby Ball will showcase New Zealand's culture, landscapes and heritage to Australians to raise awareness of what's in store for rugby fans travelling here for the tournament," says Mr Key.

The Giant Rugby Ball's presence in Sydney has been timed for the beginning of the one year to go countdown to Rugby World Cup on 9 September and the Bledisloe Cup match to be played in the city on 11 September.

For more information: www.tourismnewzealand.com

To download images: http://www.tourismnewzealand.com/media/download-images-from-the-campaign


About New Zealand's Giant Rugby Ball

  • The Ball itself is a temporary inflatable venue that measures 25 metres long, 17 metres wide (at its widest point) and 13 metres high. It can hold up to 220 people.

  • A key feature of the Ball is a 10-minute audiovisual show that transforms the interior of the Ball into a variety of New Zealand environments from the depths of the ocean, beaches, volcanoes and bush walks, to the sidelines rugby games.

  • The venue takes five days to construct.

  • The air system works by two air pumps expelling 8,000 litres per second.  A revolving door allows the movement of people in and out of the Ball while maintaining the interior air pressure.

  • The Ball can house an estimated 600,000 conventional rugby balls.

  • 1500 sq metres of PVC blockout fabric is used in the Ball.

  • The Ball was created by New Zealand's Inside Out Productions, which was also responsible for the three-storey Louis Vuitton suitcase that toured the world for Louis Vuitton's 150th anniversary celebrations.

  • It was designed and built by New Zealand's Fabric Structure Systems, global specialists in inflatable and temporary structures.

  • In October 2008 the Ball was awarded a Gold Award in the Design Institute of New Zealand's BeST Design Awards.

Sydney event specifics:

  • The Ball will be open to the public from 3 September to 12 September 2010. It will be officially opened on 2 September.

  • It's presence in Sydney is timed to correspond with the Bledisloe Cup match being played in Sydney on 11 September.

  • The Giant Rugby Ball will be managed by Tourism New Zealand; festival activities outside the Ball will be managed by New Zealand 2011.

  • Tours will be run every half hour from 11.00am each day the Ball is open. It is free to the public.

  • In the evenings, the Ball will provide a unique setting for a number of planned corporate and sector showcase events.

  • Up to 18,000 people are expected to visit the interior of the Rugby Ball venue. The daily shows will promote New Zealand as a place to live, work and do business.

Opening ceremony:

  • An opening ceremony and blessing will take place at 7am on 2 September.

Previous appearances for the Giant Rugby Ball:

  • The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France - October 2007: The Giant Rugby Ball was installed in front of the Eiffel Tower in central Paris during the 2007 Rugby World Cup. During the 15 days the Ball was open, an estimated world-wide media audience of over 137 million was exposed to coverage of the Ball; 24,000 people passed through the interior of the Ball.

  • Potters Field, London, England - November 2008: 7,500 people visited the Ball when it was installed alongside London's iconic Tower Bridge in November 2008. As well as hosting the Queen, Prince Phillip, the touring All Blacks side and Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the Ball was the venue for the International Rugby Board's Rugby World Cup 2011 pool draw. Media coverage reached an estimated 200 million people around the world.

  • The Tokyo Tower, Tokyo, Japan - October 2009: An average of 2,000 people per day visited the Ball during the six days that it was located in downtown Tokyo. Media coverage reached millions and visits to Tourism New Zealand's Japanese consumer website (www.newzealand.com/travel/japan) spiked at nearly 8,000 visits per day.

  • Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia - September 2010

  • John Key
  • Prime Minister
  • Tourism