Six Nations: How the Welsh economy can score big on the back of the tournament kicking off in Cardiff next week

By Rupert Denholm-Hall

The tournament provides an enormous boost to the city region economy, according to the South Wales Chamber of Commerce

In just over a week Wales will kick off in the first game of the 2015 Six Nations tournament at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Thousands of fans will flock to the city from across the world and millions more will watch the match on televisions around the globe.

But, what will be the real impact on the Welsh economy?

Graham Morgan, director of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Six Nations is certainly a calendar event which captures the imagination of the whole nation and is something that provides a bond between business owners and their employees.

“Indeed, if Wales win, then it provides something of a morale boost for the nation and, I have heard anecdotally that productivity increases for businesses when the team is doing well.

“With a sell-out game at the Millennium Stadium, there are around 70,000 attending, each spending an average of £300 each on food, transport, accommodation and tickets. This is coupled with the 40,000 or so people who travel to Cardiff to watch the game in the city’s pubs on a Saturday afternoon who spend, on average, between £50 and £75 each.

“This obviously provides an enormous boost to the city region economy. Beyond south-east Wales, local pubs and rugby clubs are usually packed with people watching the game, and, most crucially, spending money when they do it.

“The introduction of Friday night and Sunday afternoon games is, however, something that remains an issue for businesses. Takings on these days are significantly reduced when compared with a Saturday afternoon as fewer people travel to Cardiff to watch the games and there is a shorter period of time for people to spend money. It is from this perspective that it is slightly disappointing that the Wales vs England game is on a Friday night as the opener for this year’s campaign.

“Having said that, regardless of when the game is, Wales is generally a much happier, and therefore productive, place when the boys in red are enjoying a successful period!”

Six Nations sponsor RBS released data on the economic impact of the most recent tournament in March last year.

The banking giant’s figures showed there were 300 full time jobs created in Cardiff and 500 across Wales as a result of games held in Wales.

It also found visitor spend makes the Championship worth £375m per year to the participating economies (England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales) while the cities that host the matches (London, Paris, Dublin, Rome, Edinburgh and Cardiff) are expected to have benefited by £150m.

Stephen Boyle, Head of RBS Economics said, “The RBS 6 Nations is more than just a tournament with 15 games of rugby.

“The boost to the local economies and the businesses is very real, especially during what is usually a quiet time in the tourist season.”

Sourced by Wales Online

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