Fans, players and officials alike heaped praise on Milton Keynes after record-breaking Rugby World Cup.
A huge 87,356 fans were in attendance across the three matches, with stadium:mk’s attendance record smashed with each game before eventually settling at 30,048 for Tuesday’s match between Fiji and Uruguay.
For fans of statistics: 7,863 pies and 8,532 hot dogs were bought at the ground, 5,868 cups of tea, coffee and hot chocolate were sold, while 56,187 pints were pulled, and 23,563 alcoholic bottles were served up to the excited rugby masses.
John Cove, the man charged with setting up the huge organisation in preparation for RWC in Milton Keynes couldn’t have been happier with the way the three games went.
“It’s safe to say Rugby World Cup 2015 was a huge success in Milton Keynes,” said the MK Dons director.
“We saw three record attendances at stadium:mk, which resulted in almost 90,000 people passing through our doors.
“The feedback we’ve received from spectators and the teams themselves has been extremely positive and we’re delighted that this worldwide event put the spotlight on Milton Keynes when it was operating at its very best.
“It’s been three years in the planning with our colleagues at Milton Keynes Council and other agencies and there were some great learning curves for us throughout which will no doubt stand us in good stead as we look to fulfil Milton Keynes’ international sporting city ambitions.
“On behalf of everyone at stadium:mk, I’d like to thank England Rugby 2015, all the volunteers, the staff and the teams for playing their part in such a fantastic historic occasion for the city.
“But most importantly, I’d like to thank the people of Milton Keynes who visited the stadium and showed that the city is open to the world.”
John insists now though, that despite RWC moving out of stadium:mk on Wednesday, work must be done to ensure rugby as a sport has a continuing and long-lasting legacy in Milton Keynes
“The work continues, though, with MK Dons Sport and Education Trust helping to deliver the legacy programme and hopefully the whole tournament will have inspired a new generation to pick up a ball and stay active.”