An independent report by Deloitte into the potential economic impact of Rugby World Cup to host nations has indicated that the tournament is
one of, if not the most cost effective major sports events in the world.
The RWC is estimated to have the potential to generate up to £2.1 billion in
economic benefits while capital expenditure costs are among the lowest for an event of this magnitude.
“The IRB has worked very hard since the inaugural tournament in 1987 to develop a Rugby World Cup that delivers world class sporting action,
surplus revenue for reinvestment in the game, plus the provision of major benefits to the
host nation from a sporting and economic standpoint.
This report highlights all of these objectives are being met,” said IRB Chairman Bernard
“Rugby is a sport that has an ethos almost unique in the modern sporting environment that includes traditions such as large numbers of
travelling supporters, sportsmanship, and social and business networking. Add this to elite performance on the field and it makes Rugby World
Cup very attractive to any potential host nation.”
“The report confirms that the tournament is now the third biggest in the world in terms of spectator attendance and the influx of international
visitors. This creates many challenges and no such event can now be delivered without the input of several key stakeholders especially
“We believe the potential economic benefits of up to £2.1 billion for Rugby World Cup, combined with low construction expenditure due to a
policy of utilising existing stadiums, is extremely cost effective against a tournament financial hosting model that requires a minimum
guarantee,” Mr Lapasset added.
Deloitte reiterates in the report that there has been an increasing realisation of the significant benefits to be earned from hosting major
international sports events. Many cities and countries now actively pursue hosting major events as a strategic priority and ensure that they
leverage the event to the maximum.
“Major events can drive significant numbers of visitors to a country leading to increased business activity and potential inward investment.
Rugby World Cup attracts travelling supporters in huge numbers bringing colour and vibrancy to the event in addition to significant additional
expenditure. The attributed Gross Value Added figure of up to £1 billion is very significant,” said Dan Jones, Partner in the Deloitte Sports
“Innovative methods of promoting Rugby World Cup make the tournament available to those beyond the ticket holders. Live sites and festivals
have successfully been introduced to enhance the visitor experience and deliver increased economic benefits in all regions of the
“With limited stadium developments required to host a Rugby World Cup, there is greater certainty over costs. This results in reduced financial
risk for the event, and is likely to increase the return on investment for the
“The recent decision to award two consecutive tournaments to
host nations concurrently gives the host nation and other stakeholders further
certainty, which in turn allows them additional preparation time to maximise the economic impact of the tournament.”
“The fact that in August, 10 nations had expressed an interest in hosting RWC 2015 and RWC 2019 demonstrates the global prestige associated
with this event and confirms our findings about the potential impact of Rugby World Cup,” added Mr Jones.
Key findings of Rugby World Cup impact and benefits
£610 million - £2.1billion total economic impact to a Host Nation, including indirect impact ripple effects.
£260 million - £1 billion in Total Gross Value Added (the accepted measure of additional economic impact) to the Host Nation
£200 - £810 million in direct expenditure into the Host Nation Economy by RWC visitors
£100 million potential additional sales tax income to a Host Nation Government
44-day event leads to high visitor numbers and impact
Limited stadium investment is required compared to other global sports events (such as Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, Euro 2008 and Commonwealth Games)
Impact spread across whole of Host Nation due to spread of matches
Rugby World Cup 2007 delivered:
Over 4 billion global cumulative TV audience in 238 countries
2.3 million paying spectators
94% average stadium utilisation
350,000 international visitors
28% increase in registered Rugby players following tournament
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