Is this RWC final weekend worth $78.1 million for Auckland’s economy?

Total GDP boost from the weekend worth $67.8 million. All Blacks to receive bonus of $100,000 each if they are champions. Sunday night's final to be the country's most watched TV event.

Is this weekend worth $78.1 million for Auckland’s economy?

That’s the estimate of MasterCard, a Rugby World Cup sponsor, as fans descend on Auckland for tonight’s bronze final and Sunday’s grand final..

MasterCard’s research, (titled the Economic Impact on Global Rugby Part V: Rugby World Cup 2011 Final) finds the total GDP impact from hosting the final could be worth $67.6 million to the national economy.

That’s calculated by looking at the short-term business flows through international fans spending in bars, clubs, shops and hotels as well as the marketing spend by sponsors and businesses in and around Auckland.

MasterCard’s research partner the Centre for the International Business of Sport (CIBS) at Coventry University, said tonight’s Bronze Final playoff and Sunday night’s final is likely to see Kiwi fans surge to the host city for the long weekend.

The windfall for the winning nation – New Zealand or France – is estimated to be between $43.7 million to $62.5 million.

The country can expect further commercial perks such as greater player value; bonus payments attached to sponsorship and greater fan numbers at future rugby games.

If the All Blacks win on Sunday, each player will receive a share of a $3 million bonus – about $100 thousand each.

But the French players will get more if they win – about $310,000 or 180,000 euro each if they become champions.

Sunday’s final is expected to be the most watched television event in New Zealand’s history.

The All Blacks’ semi-final against Australia last weekend attracted 1.9 million viewers.