Leeds set for £53m rugby world cup boost

Yorkshire is set for a multi-million pound boost to its economy for playing a small role in the staging of one of the biggest tournaments in world sport next year.

Elland Road Stadium will host two matches

The hosting of two games at next year’s Rugby World Cup in Leeds is estimated to have an economic impact of £53m on the city, according to a report.

Elland Road football stadium hosts two pool matches on the weekend of September 26-27, with Italy facing Canada on the Saturday and Scotland taking on the USA the following day.

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Leeds is one of 13 cities across England and Wales that will host games with the tournament as a whole set to generate a total output of £2.2billion, which translates into a contribution of £982m to the national GDP.

The study, which was undertaken by EY on behalf of the Organising Committee for Rugby World Cup 2015, states that Rugby World Cup 2015 is expected to attract more international visitors than any previous tournament, with an estimate of up to 466,000 visits.

Through spend on items including travel and accommodation, visitors are expected to contribute up to £869m in direct expenditure.

The direct impact on local cities is measured on infrastructure development and stadia refurbishment in the planning phase, and ticket revenue, match day food and drink, fanzones and tourist spending during the days of the games.

Post-tournament legacy factors, including lasting tourism effects and the increase in participation and interest in the sport, are also taken into account.

As well as the two fixtures, five sites around the city will host the competing teams during their stay in Leeds, which will also 
contribute to the economic footprint.

The report looks at Exeter and Newcastle as case studies. It is estimated that in Exeter the tournament will generate economic output of £39m and, of this, £17m will be added to the local economy.

For Newcastle, the economic output is estimated at £93m of which £43m will be added to the local economy.

Twelve thousand people are projected to visit Exeter for three games and 51,000 forecast to travel to Newcastle for three matches.

Given Leeds’s forecasted economic impact is in between the two cities but closer to Exeter’s, then it would be fair to assume that around 20,000 fans are expected to descend on the city for the two games to be held here in Yorkshire.

Chief executive of England Rugby 2015, Debbie Jevans, said: “Rugby World Cup 2015 is set to create a wide range of economic opportunities across many different sectors.

“Whether through investment in infrastructure, supporting jobs or generating revenue in fanzones, the economic benefits will be shared around our 11 host cities and beyond.”

The author of the report and EY director, Peter Arnold, added: “Our forecasts are based on a whole range of direct, indirect and induced benefits of Rugby World Cup 2015, from the investment that will be made in 
infrastructure to the ticket and tax revenues that will be generated.

“The tournament creates economic activity and employment throughout the supply chain, which has the potential to bolster the growth of the host cities as well as the UK overall.”

A Leeds Council spokesman said: “