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Thursday 18 January 2018

Fans' spend may top €3,000 for French adventure

Fans go wild in Lille after Robbie Brady scores for Ireland Photo: Arthur Carron and Inpho
Fans go wild in Lille after Robbie Brady scores for Ireland Photo: Arthur Carron and Inpho

Wayne O'Connor and Ralph Riegel

Irish fans will have to fork out up to a further €1,000 if they wish to travel to Lyon to see the Boys in Green take on France.

Last night, some 35 hotels in Lyon were registered as having availability - with the average room costing €170 per night.

The rooms are expected to be snapped up quickly - if fans relocate to Lyon today, they will be looking at an average cost of €680 for four nights' accommodation.

As for flights, it will cost fans between €50 and €100 to change their flights to a date after Sunday.

However, the new flights may cost more than those that were booked initially, which will be an additional cost on top of the change fee.

Face-value match tickets for the last 16 knock-out match against France will cost between €25 and €140.

So far, fans have spent more than €200m supporting the Boys in Green in France. A further €100m has been generated for the Irish economy by fans watching games at home.

On average, fans have spent €2,000 each on travel, accommodation, food and drink. This figure could rise further when trips to Disneyland and other excursions are taken into account.

Economist Jim Power said this was indicative of renewed confidence in Ireland's economy.

"A lot fewer people travelled to the championships in Poland four years ago because it was more financially difficult for people to do so than today."

The €200m spend came as 20,000 fans travelled to all three venues and attended all three matches since June 13. However, tens of thousands more travelled to one or two venues for matches - while thousands more travelled to Paris, Bordeaux or Lille without going to the games.

Irish supporters' groups estimated that even the most cost-conscious fans faced a bill of between €1,500 to €2,000 for a two-week stay. That included food, accommodation, travel expenses and match tickets.

Ireland's qualification also boosted business at home as fans flock to pubs and restaurants to watch the matches.

Irish Independent

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