Sunday 18 February 2018

Sport vital to economy

John Greene

John Greene

The report published last week on the economic impact of the Punchestown Festival is the latest reminder of the true value of major sporting events to this country. The tangible and intangible returns on a relatively modest investment are too often overlooked when the question of funding sport is discussed, which is why this latest report from NUI Maynooth is welcome.

The basic finding was that the direct economic benefit of the 2011 festival was a staggering €59.8m. It was reckoned that €24.8m was spent outside the racecourse, and €21.4m inside it, while €6.6m was spent on travel and €7m spent on female attire.

This, we are told, is the year of The Gathering. But well-organised sporting events, national and international, can reap great rewards too.

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