This time last year the city staged perhaps one of the greatest upsets in Rugby history when underdogs Japan defeated South Africa during Rugby World Cup 2015. Suddenly the city was plunged into the global sporting spotlight, with Japanese press referring to the game as ‘the miracle of Brighton’.
A recent study into the economic impact of the tournament, shows that Brighton & Hove’s involvement brought an estimated £23 million gross added value and total output of £47 million, including tourism spend on food, drink and accommodation, to the city.
The council and Brighton & Hove Albion football club worked together on the successful bid to bring two Rugby World Cup 2015 games to the city last year over the weekend of 19 to 20 September. Matches between South Africa and Japan, and Samoa and USA, were held at the Amex Community Stadium while the council organised a specially created fanzone featuring activities on Madeira Drive, a big screen on the beach and a visit from the prestigious Webb Ellis Trophy. Over the host weekend, the Fanzone attracted 50,000 spectators who were able to watch matches and enjoy a carnival atmosphere on the seafront.
Of the 58,000 match tickets sold, 26 per cent of international visitors, 52 per cent domestic visitors, and 22 per cent local fans attended the games in Brighton.
The matches were shown on screens around the world with some of the city’s main attractions, including the beach, coast and countryside featured.
Commenting on the report, chair of BHCC’s economic development and culture committee, Alan Robins, said:
“Council officers were among those who worked hard on the bid to bring the tournament to the city, beating off stiff competition from other UK cities who were just as keen as us to host the rugby matches. We had to show we had the infrastructure and facilities to meet stringent guidelines laid down by the international board and we are very proud to have been a part of making this happen.
“This particular study is testament to the value that hosting major events brings overall. The rewards are far reaching, not only in helping showcase Brighton & Hove on an international sporting stage but in highlighting the city as a key tourist destination.”
Brighton & Hove Albion, executive director Martin Perry added: “Rugby World Cup 2015 presented an ideal opportunity to showcase our facilities to a new sporting audience and was a fantastic experience for us here at the stadium.
"We’re very proud to have worked alongside Brighton & Hove City Council in delivering this world class sporting event which has left such a positive legacy for the city.”
Brighton & Hove hosts hundreds of events in the city each year. Regular fixtures on the busy line-up include The Brighton Marathon, Veteran Car Run and Great Escape Music Festival.
The report ‘The economic impact of Rugby World Cup 2015’ (PDF 4MB) was produced by Rugby World Cup 2015 and EY
Photo credit: www.snapitnow.co.uk