Netball World Cup boosted Liverpool economy by more than £8m

More than 112,000 spectators and competitors from across the world attended the event at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena and more than 6m watched across the globe. Tony McDonough reports

Vitality Netball World Cup
The Vitality Netball World Cup took place at ACC Liverpool in 2019. Picture by Alex Whitehead

 

New figures show last year’s Vitality Netball World Cup, held in Liverpool, contributed an estimated £8m to the city’s economy, new figures show.

More than 112,000 spectators and competitors from across the world attended the event at the M&S Bank Arena on the city’s waterfront in July 2019 and its success illustrates the importance of the ACC complex to the city centre economy.

Research, conducted by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, calculated the additional expenditure in Liverpool as a result of hosting the tournament from non-local, event specific attendees and event organisers.

The £8.18m boost was generated by the influx of fans (£6.04m), other attendee groups such as the media and event personnel (£1.32m) and the organisers (£0.82m). It was estimated more than 6m people watched the event worldwide.

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The tournament was worth significantly more to Liverpool than either the UCI Track Cycling World Championships of 2016 (£3.41m) or the European Aquatics Championships of 2016 (£4.74m) were to London and is on a par with the 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup in London (£8.31m).

Other findings from the research included:

  • Physical wellbeing – 160,000 British women were inspired by the event to start playing netball or play netball more.
  • Mental wellbeing – 68% of UK spectators felt happier than normal when attending the event, and a similar proportion had a sense of doing something worthwhile.
  • Individual development – 51% of all GB adults who interacted with the event (and 64% of UK female spectators) acquired more knowledge about netball while 46% of UK female spectators felt more confident about their ability to take part in sport and active recreation.

Esther Britten, head of major events at UK Sport said: “The Vitality Netball World Cup in Liverpool last summer is a superb example of the wider societal benefits that the hosting of global sporting events bring in the UK.

ACC Liverpool
Fan park at ACC Liverpool during the Vitality Netball World Cup in 2019

 

“Not only do fans enjoy the chance to watch their heroes up close, but there are wide ranging positive benefits to the region, local residents and the UK as a whole. As we build towards the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer there are still a whole host of world class sporting events for UK fans to get involved with.”

Bob Prattey, chief executive of the ACC Liverpool Group, operators of M&S Bank Arena, added: “This was the biggest global sporting event we have ever hosted at M&S Bank Arena Liverpool and the effect on the wider region, thanks to the tens of thousands of fans who visited the city during the tournament, was reflected in the incredible economic impact that this spectacular event generated.

In addition to the significant economic boost, its legacy is of the utmost importance in helping to pave the way for more major sporting events in the future at our venue and across the city.”

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