The United Kingdom is set to host this year’s Rugby World Cup and the action is anticipated to bring more exposure to the game. The locals can anticipate that the games will bring something much better than exposure for tourists as well.
According to Joanna Bournel of The Independent, England and Wales are expecting around 500,000 international visitors to watch the games in this year’s tournament. In an economical impact study from the Rugby World Cup’s official website, the tournament is expected to generate up to £2.2 billion (over $3.3 billion) for the UK economy.
The study project is more good news for the expected economic fortune the host nation will receive. The six weeks of rugby is expected to add almost £1 billion (almost $1.5 billion) to the value of the UK’s GDP value. This is thanks to an anticipated record number of overseas tourists who will come and visit the island during the tournament.
The nation’s workforce expects significant benefits from the World Cup as well. The economic study estimates £85 million will be invested into the infrastructure, which will support 41,000 jobs.
Businesses in the eleven host cities are excited about the international travelers too. Local economists see the event as an opportunity to help fast-growing regions of the UK get extra attention from the oversea visitors and it should potentially benefit overseas business opportunities.
The anticipated economic success from the 2015 World Cup can be seen as a great accomplishment for the sport of rugby and the host nation while recent skeletons haunt the governing body of their international rival–FIFA.
Regardless, FIFA will still dominate the World Cup stage — from an economic standpoint — with more popularity and corporate backing around the globe. The interesting angle of this conclusion is that a brief comparison to the economic result of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil shows that rugby’s finals can leave the host nation better off than the soccer finals did.
Paul Kiernan of the Wall Street Journal reports that in June 2014, during the soccer World cup, Brazil had 25,363 net hires, which is the slowest production of job creation in 16 years. Industry also declined in the country, as production from the steel industry dropped 4.9 percent from the previous year and both domestic and international sales plummeted with it. The automotive sector fared worse, as production fell by 33 percent in the same month.
The popularity of soccer is not going away anytime soon and the success of its World Cup will not be questioned next to rugby’s. Although the numbers show that the smaller event can gain some ground because it leaves a more positive impact on the host nation.