Rugby fans celebrating at the All Black test match in Nelson earlier this month. Photo: Barry Whitnall/Shuttersport.

More than half of ticket holders from outside Nelson

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They came from all over the globe to witness history, according to new ticket sales data provided to the Nelson Weekly.

The city’s inaugural All Blacks test drew punters from as far as the United Kingdom, with local ticket sales making up just under half of the total bums on seats.

The rest came from mainly Auckland, Canterbury and West Coast, Wellington and Blenheim.

The men behind the test say that it’s testament to the pulling power the game and the city had.

Local businessman Shane Drummond says All Black fever took over the town.

“The community embracement was special.”

Not only did fans come in droves, they spent up large.

Shane says the commercial reward for a lot of our businesses was outstanding.

“Many businesses had their best day in business.”

Tasman Rugby Union CEO Tony Lewis says he can’t walk down the street now without someone buying him a beer to thank him.

Tony says hosting a test isn’t just about the game itself.

“It starts at 11 on the day and goes through till 3 o’clock in the morning, and we showed the rest of the country that little old Nelson can put on the best show in town.”

He says the hectic preparation went on behind the scenes.

“It was 18 months work of planning but there is a great deal of satisfaction.”

TICKET SALES BREAKDOWN:

AUCKLAND – 11%

WAIKATO – 5%

HAWKES BAY – 2%

TARANAKI/MANAWATU – 2%

WELLINGTON – 9%

CANTERBURY/WEST COAST – 11%

OTAGO/SOUTHLAND – 3%

BLENHEIM – 9%

NELSON/TASMAN – 48%

AUSTRALIA – 251 TICKETS

EUROPE – 83 TICKETS

UK – 51 TICKETS

AMERICA – 75 TICKETS

ELSEWHERE – 89 TICKETS