Question to Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Mr Leo Varadkar, TD)
To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide details on the value of sporting events to Dublin and other major cities and towns across the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter.- Jerry Buttimer
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 1st October 2013
Sports events are of enormous value to the area where they take place. Not only do such events generate revenue and boost the economy, but they also help to support and create jobs. Examples of some recent sports events which brought substantial amounts of overseas visitors and their contribution to the local economy include the Emerald Isle Classic American football game between Notre Dame and Navy in 2012 which brought 35,000 fans to Dublin and was estimated by the organisers to have generated an economic benefit of around €100 million and helped to increase business at hotels, restaurants, shops and golf courses. The 2011 Six Nations matches against France and England generated €35 million according to the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. In 2007, the Ireland versus England Six Nations Rugby Championship fixture generated between €83 million and €89 million. It was also estimated that the Munster Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Ospreys in Thomond Park Stadium, Limerick in April 2009 generated €10.5 million for Limerick city and the surrounding region.
Other events which are expected to greatly benefit sports tourism in Ireland include the start of the Giro D’Itialia cycle race, which is being co-hosted with Northern Ireland over three days in May 2014, and the American Football game in 2014 between Penn State and the University of Central Florida.
The Programme for Government includes a commitment that event tourism will be prioritised in order to continue to bring major events to Ireland. The hosting of major sports events can provide a great showcase for Ireland, drive international visitor numbers and the media coverage of sports tourism events helps to put Ireland onto travel itineraries as a holiday destination.