Lions tour to reap $300m for economy: ARU
The British and Irish Lions tour to Australia next year is set to generate up to $300 million for the local economy, says Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill.
The Lions will play nine matches in Australia including a three-Test series with the Wallabies and O'Neill said on Wednesday the ARU had already received about 26,000 enquiries about ticket packages.
O'Neill was speaking at a Sydney media conference with Lions tour manager Andy Irvine almost a year out from the first Test between the Wallabies and Lions at Suncorp Stadium on June 22 next year.
Irvine said discussions were continuing with Six Nations-winning Welsh coach Warren Gatland about leading the Lions on the tour.
O'Neill also revealed a personal dream to have a combined Australia and New Zealand team play the Lions in 2015 to mark the centenary of the Gallipoli conflict in World War 1.
He also floated the possibility of a SANZAR - South Africa, New Zealand and Australia - team playing the Lions in 2015 following the World Cup.