An independent report into the economic impact of the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, has revealed that it generates more than £130million a year for the city and nation and sustains more than 2,500 permanent jobs. The report carried out by Econactive Ltd for the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) concluded that the financial benefits delivered by events at the Stadium are highly significant within the context of Welsh tourism. The results of the report were unveiled Thursday by First Minister Carwyn Jones (pictured left) at the Event Wales International Conference in Cardiff. Jones, said:
This thought provoking report reiterates the importance of major events to the economic development and regeneration of host cities and regions and demonstrates the part played by the Millennium Stadium in achieving this. The stadium is a key component of what Wales has to offer as a host of major events. The stadium has set its sights on attracting high profile events of global importance which have attracted more visitors from outside Wales. We look forward to working with the Millennium Stadium as we continue to expand on our exciting portfolio of events which showcases Wales as a contemporary and dynamic nation.
Econactive concluded that the Millennium Stadium is able to provide and sustain this wider benefit at a time when other attractions are facing significant challenges including a decline in visitor numbers. The report found that some 70% of the visitor spend was non-local in origin which represented a significant additional impact on the Welsh economy. The Stadium attracts around 770,000 paying visitors each year to the main events such as international rugby and rock music concerts and more than 50,000 people visit the venue annually for guided tours. The report highlights an increase in economic impact from a similar study by Econactive published in 2007 which concluded that the Stadium then delivered £100million a year into the Welsh economy and sustained 2,400 jobs. The new report stated that visitor numbers are expected to be bolstered in the years ahead with Heineken Cup Finals in 2014 and 2016 along with eight Rugby World Cup games in 2015. The research found that a significant factor in the Stadium’s success has been the ability of the WRU to secure more events which attract people from outside the local population in Wales. Econactive’s research indicates that more than a quarter of visits to the Stadium will involve people from outside the immediate geographical area. That represents an off-site spend across the period from 2006 – 2016 of around £850million with over half that figure accounted for by visitors staying overnight in Wales. The average spend per head of visitors from Wales was £54 with that rising to £195 for UK visitors and £370 for overseas visitors. During the ten year period covered by the report, it is estimated that more than two million visits to the Stadium will be by non-local people.
WRU Group Chief Executive, Roger Lewis, said:
This report confirms the huge value of the Millennium Stadium to the wider economy and to Wales. Major events at the stadium are invariably seen around the world on television screens and the people who travel to Wales to watch make an important impact on the Welsh economy. We commissioned this report to show the significance of the Stadium and the activities of the Welsh Rugby Union to Wales and we are determined to work hard to ensure we sustain the level of activity that delivers this long term benefit to us all. This is why we constantly strive to work closely with local authorities, particularly Cardiff County Council and the Welsh Government to align our strategies and do the very best we can for Wales.
Dr Calvin Jones of Econactive, added:
There is no doubt from our findings that the Millennium Stadium delivers an important impact on the wider economy of Cardiff and Wales. It is common knowledge that major sporting events offer significant financial impact on the communities where they occur but the Millennium Stadium has the added benefit of being a city-centre, multi-event stadium. There is a combination of factors at work in that the Welsh Rugby Union continues to attract major sporting and non sporting events of real impact and the hospitality sector outside the stadium has adapted well to exploit the opportunities they offer. The number of visitors from outside Wales who attend events at the Stadium and contribute to the economy represent a key factor which enhances the income levels which are outlined in this report.