Sports events 'can earn cities £500,000 a day'

Cities that agree to host sporting events can look forward to earning £500,000 a day from spectators, participants and journalists, figures show today.

Analysis commissioned by the Government's sports agency showed that the majority of events hosted in the UK since 1997 have earned £1.5m in additional revenue.

UK Sport is likely to use the findings to persuade British cities to take on sporting events despite concerns over the costs of policing and congestion.

It commissioned economists to devise an accurate model to forecast revenues after rough estimates showed the Euro 1996 football championship brought in £120m of revenue.

UK Sport commissioned the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University to analyse the economic impact of 16 more minor events since 1997. SIRC looked at world and European level badminton, boxing, cricket, athletics, swimming, golf and show jumping events as well as the London Marathon. Excluding the marathon, which earned £25m because of the sheer number of people taking part, it found that a typical event raised £500,000 a day. Almost two-thirds of the extra revenue came from spectators.

The study is the first of its kind that can be used to develop a robust forecasting model to predict the income for future events. However, the research did not attempt to calculate the costs to the local area of policing the event and from traffic congestion.

John Scott, the director of major events at UK Sport, said economic impact was a key factor for local councils to take into account when deciding whether to bid for an event.

The findings will be used to support Britain's bid to host the 2012 Olympics. Lord Coe, who is heading the campaign, said: "This research demonstrates how staging the Olympic games in London would benefit the country as a whole."

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