All Black fans soak up the game day atmosphere in Nelson. Photo: Barry Whitnall/Shuttersport.

All Blacks got our tills ringing

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Nelson now has a blueprint for how to run large scale events after the resounding success of the inaugural All Blacks test.

The historic test pumped almost $10 million into the local economy with retailers enjoying record sales, the Nelson City Council heard last Thursday.

Tasman Rugby marketing manager Les Edwards told councillors that September’s test celebrated the city and the region.

“I’ve met heaps of people since and the vast majority are overwhelmingly supportive of what it did for the city.”

He said Nelson now had a playbook of tools for how to run events. “It was a credit to the city and will be remembered for years to come.”

Presenting to council on Thursday, Les and Nelson Regional Development Agency CEO Mark Rawson showed the economic report reflected the success.

The sell-out occasion saw 21,404 fans pack Trafalgar Park.

From the All Blacks arrival on the Sunday through till the day after the game, retail spend throughout the CBD was 13 per cent higher than the previous year and the second-highest in the last six months, only by surpassed Easter.

Mark said the economic impact of the event was $9.9million, with accommodation up 35 per cent, food and beverage up 24 per cent, and boutique retail up 13 per cent. “All retail categories were up for the week.”

This was partly down to the success of the Game Day App that popped up in the Nelson App, giving punters information on what was going on during the event.

Les said the All Blacks loved the experience of being in Nelson, thanks in large part to them being able to walk freely through the CBD.

The test audience reached well over a million people, with the city being showcased through Sky Sport in a number of countries including Japan, South Africa, France and the United Kingdom.

“The legacy there is outstanding,” Les said.

Les cited Sky Sport commentator Tony Johnson’s comments in the aftermath of the test.

He said it was the best experience he has had around an All Black test rugby since the 2011 Rugby World Cup.