An economic impact study released by Munster Rugby has revealed that the Heineken Cup quarter-final against Ospreys in Thomond Park in April 2009, generated ?10.5 million for Limerick City.
The study also stated that the financial contribution to the city and region had grown by over €6million for such fixtures as a result of the new stadium development and increased 26,000 capacity of Thomond Park.
Commenting on the impact of the Heineken Cup games on the city, Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald said "We are delighted that the investment made in the new Stadium is having such a positive economic impact for the Limerick and the wider business community. We were always aware of the level of business activity in the city on the strength of Heineken Cup matches however these study findings confirm the economic potential of stadium events for Limerick City and the Mid West region"
Mark O'Connell, Consulting Director with BDO Simpson Xavier who completed the survey outlined 'the study reveals a number of major profile benefits for the city in addition to the obvious financial boost these games generate. The previous economic impact study conducted for the Munster versus Wasps game in January 2008 highlighted an almost identical spend per visiting supporter of €530 over the weekend of the games. The major difference for the city is now the ability of Thomond Park to accommodate more Munster and visiting supporters and create a much higher level of economic activity across the city.'
He added 'the value of the media coverage for the city and region is also very significant. Games such as the Ospreys game can create a latent tourism spend effect of €12 million for the city based on the international match coverage across all media formats. It was estimated that the value of global media coverage for the city for the past season was €58 million including the All Blacks game last November.'
Other Key Report Findings
? The redevelopment of Thomond Park Stadium has resulted in the creation of a major economic stimulus for the local economy. The Heineken Cup quarter-final match resulted in generating an economic impact of €10.485 million. The direct expenditure from Irish and Welsh supporters was €4.194.
? The application of sensitivity analysis to the economic impact findings highlights an economic range of between €8.388 million and €12.58 that will accrue to city businesses from such events. The match also resulted in 280 part time jobs created over the weekend across local hospitality, food, beverage and retail sectors.
? The study of spending patterns of 445 Ospreys supporters revealed an average spend of €527 per visiting supporter which is similar to the findings of the Economic Impact Study conducted at the Munster versus Wasps pool game where the average spend was €537.
? 27% of expenditure went on accommodation with 68% of visiting supporters budgets spent on Food & Beverage in the city.
? The average expenditure per local supporter revealed a number of average expenditure sub categories ranging from €32 to €260.
? Local accommodation providers are of one of the major beneficiaries with 3912 bednights generated locally for the Ospreys match.
? Visiting supporters stayed an average of 2 nights each while one in four Ospreys supporters stayed three nights or more.
? The perception of Limerick among visiting supporters focused on the welcoming, friendly and sociable nature of the city.
? The exposure received for Limerick through media focus on the match and in the build up is also a major contributor to developing the image and profile of the city. Based on media coverage and the latent tourism spend over the following year the Ospreys game created a further tourism value of €12 million for the region. The media value of the four Heineken Cup games and All Blacks game hosted in Thomond Park was €58 million.
? Analysis of local supporter spend suggest that Magners League games will create an economic impact of between €1.2 million and €3.5 million for the city.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.