The 2011 Rugby World Cup is well underway, causing a major influx of tourists and dollars and bringing an estimated $654 million in revenue into New Zealand. The world’s third-largest sporting event (after the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup), this year’s contest will feature 20 teams in 13 venues on the home pitch of the world’s most legendary and top-ranked team — the All Blacks. –Alex Konrad
By the numbers:
1,388: The number of Gilbert rugby balls needed for the 48 matches. The teams brought 20 elephants’ weight in gear with them — not including the burly players themselves.
4 billion: The total of viewers worldwide who will tune in to watch the tournament on television. Attendance for the matches is expected to exceed 1.3 million.
$100 million: The expected value of bets placed on the World Cup, up sixfold from eight years ago. Some teams bet on their own performance and use winnings to cover player bonuses.
This article is from the October 17, 2011 issue of Fortune.