Hosting cup gave region $9m lift
Story by: Nelson Mail - Photo by: shuttersport
A final report on Nelson's hosting of the Rugby World Cup scores it a success, with an economic benefit of $9.2 million in new spending.
The main legacy from being a Rugby World Cup 2011 host city was the recognition Nelson has the capacity and capability to host a major event, says the final event report to Nelson City Council's economic development committee.
Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio is confident Nelson can host other big events, with the next in line the city's bid to host a share of the Fifa Under-20 World Cup football tournament being held in New Zealand in 2015.
"Now we have to believe in ourselves – this is the catalyst that we can try to be the best we can as a region, instead of accepting mediocrity," he said today.
Nelson was the venue for three World Cup games and hosted the Italy, United States, Russia and Australia teams.
The report has concluded the city council's spending came in under budget and its financial contribution as host had an economic benefit to the region five times over. The $1.76m contributed to the local economy by the council to host the event resulted in an economic benefit of $9.2m in new spending. Visitor spending made up $5.1m of this.
The event's overall impact on the region, measured by regional gross domestic product (GDP), is $7m. GDP measures the amount of revenue spent that actually stays in the region.
The total revenue generated – a measure that takes the new spending amount and calculates the total impact of the spent money – was $14.2m.
The council came under budget by $96,000, spending $1.76m of a total budget of $1.85m for three matches, four teams, two Fanzones, and a festival.
The report acknowledges that it took up a significant amount of council staff time.
"Although there was a significant staff commitment to the tournament which impacted on the council's work programme, for many of the staff involved, there was some professional development involved through the gaining of new transferable skills and experience," the report said.
The staff hours also came in under budget, it said.
Mr Miccio said the impact of the council's investment was greater than he had expected.
"The economic gains are quite clear, the event was a tremendous financial success. The council made an impact on the local economy with its contribution to regional GDP and the staff managed the event expenditure with supreme care," he said.
"More than the economic benefits, however, I see the benefit of the massive community involvement that was so evident for two months last spring. I'm enormously proud of the community's response to the World Cup and I've never seen us have such a great time together than during the party that was World Cup.
"The strong community spirit combined with the prudent event leadership shows that Nelson is a place where major events can be successful. Nelson was showcased magnificently on the international stage."
The Economic Impact Assessment included in the final report says that total match attendance for the three matches combined was nearly 45,000, with 16 per cent of those spectators coming from overseas. Visitors spent $5.1m in the region, mostly on accommodation and food and beverage.
Mr Miccio said he was quietly confident of Nelson succeeding in its Fifa Under-20 World Cup tournament bid. Its proposal had gone to New Zealand Football, which had come back to ask some questions the council had answered and the next step was a site visit which was likely to take place next month.
He hoped Football New Zealand would take the opportunity to showcase football across the country.
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