Attracting more big ticket sporting events to Dublin would provide a multi-million euro boost to the Irish economy, according to Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

On July 2nd the Dublin Chamber published the results of an independent survey which found that travelling fans spent an estimated €11.5m here during the Six Nations Ireland versus England rugby game in March this year.

The study, carried out on Dublin Chamber’s behalf by UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, estimates that the match added €21.3m in all to the economy.

According to Dublin Chamber CEO Gina Quin: “The findings of our study show the value of hosting large sporting events to the economy. If one match between Ireland and England is worth €21.3m, this offers an indications of how much the country could benefit from staging future events such as the 2023 Rugby World Cup and European Soccer Championship matches in 2020. Similar to exports, large sporting events, and also concert tourism, have the capacity to generate growth in Ireland’s economy. Big sporting events do wonders for the Irish brand and help to put Dublin and Ireland in the shop window for tourists around the world. The country’s hospitality sector relies on major events and a strong events programme is key to growing tourism numbers.”

Dublin Chamber said that the aim for Ireland should be to have a year-round schedule of events which will provide a regular flow of visitors from overseas.

Ms Quin added: “A 12 month diary of events would include big sporting events, arts festivals, concerts and exhibitions. Lots of great events take place already, but the challenge is to ensure that events are spread throughout the year. A year-round schedule will help to maintain and increase job numbers in the services sector. A lot of events take place in Dublin each year, but there remain large gaps in the calendar when nothing big happens. The lack of a major festival in Dublin during the summer months, when attention is focused on other places such as Galway, Tralee and Kilkenny, is a missed opportunity for the city.”

Main findings of the survey:

•             An estimated 15,000 out-of-state visitors attended the Ireland versus England rugby game in the Aviva Stadium on 1st March 2015

•             On average, game attendees spent €764 per person during their trip to Dublin

•             The average stay of attendees in Dublin was 2.6 nights

•             The estimated total direct spend of out-of-state visitors was €11.5m

•             The estimated total direct spend of €11.5m added €21.3m to Irish GDP after accounting for multiplier effects including in-direct, induced and Government recycling

•             Visitor spend contributed the equivalent of nearly 200 jobs over the course of a year

•             Just over half of the total spend (€6.3m) was on pre-paid items, including hotels and restaurants (€2.9m), transport to Ireland (€1.9m), and the cost of a game ticket (€1.7m)

•             Of the remaining spend, just under half €5.2m went on out-of-pocket spending (shopping, food, alcohol, domestic travel etc) while in Dublin for the game

•             Alcohol represented the highest out-of-pocket spend item at €2.2m, followed by €1.3m on food

Background to the survey:
Dublin Chamber is regularly asked to provide an estimate of the economic worth of large events to Dublin and the country. The Chamber is able to accurately forecast the economic impact of events as a result of research we have done into how much visitors to Dublin typically spend when they attend events in the city.  In order to refresh and update our base data, Dublin Chamber has commissioned a series of surveys to be carried out at major sporting events and concerts over the course of 2015. The first of these studies was carried out during the weekend of the Ireland/England Six Nations match in Aviva Stadium in March this year. The study was carried out on the Chamber’s behalf by UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. The report on the findings was compiled by Dr. Paul Hanly, School of Business, National College of Ireland. The findings are based on 304 responses.