The Auckland Nines rugby league tournament has given the city's economy a boost of more than $9 million.
The estimated of $9.35m GDP increase was well ahead of Auckland Council forecasts for $3.8m from this year's inaugural tournament, which it expected to rise to $6.8m by year five.
The figure was made up of $6.1m spent by domestic visitors during the two-day tournament in February, and $3.24m of new money that came into the New Zealand economy from overseas. It did not include any money spent by Aucklanders.
The GDP number was lifted by larger-than-expected crowds at the league and greater tourist numbers.
The tournament, won by the North Queensland Cowboys, generated an estimated 68,360 visitor nights, more than twice the forecast of 32,877.
And the average crowds of 45,000 a day at Eden Park (90,000 total) beat forecasts by nearly 9000 a day.
As well as being well attended by Aucklanders, the event drew 16,000 other New Zealanders and more than 6000 from Australia.
It drew a maximum TV viewership of 110,000 in New Zealand and more than a million people in Australia.
The tournament is being funded by Auckland ratepayers to the tune of $12m over the first five years, including $9m for sponsorship.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown said the Nines had blown away all its first-year targets.
"It once again illustrates the value of major events to this city and proves that with the right concept and support Auckland can develop its own events with great outcomes," he said.
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