UCI World Championships generated â‚¬31.2 million for Denmark
Sport Event Denmark, a government initiative aimed at promoting Denmark as a leading sports nation, has announced that the economic impact from September's UCI Road World Championships in Copenhagen 'exceeded the expected estimate by several millions DKK'.
According to Sport Event Denmark's figures, the week-long event, the showpiece of which saw Mark Cavendish triumph in the men's elite road race, generated a total tourism economic turnover of approximately €31.2 million - a result that Danish Cycling Federation managing director Jesper Worre called "more than satisfactory."
The figures show that of the €31.2 million total, €23.7 million was generated by international tourists.
'A total live audience of 545,000 spectators viewed the six days of cycling,' read the Sport Event Denmark press release. 'Approximately 40 per cent of the spectators where tourists (non-local Danes and international tourists) standing along the routes, cheering for the cyclists. The majority were young <25 years.
"The championships were a huge success in terms of the numbers of people that turned out"
'A total of approximately 118,000 bed nights were generated by the Championships, hereof approximately 24,000 non-local Danish bed nights and 94,000 international bed nights.
'The derived effects generated by the event amounts to 262 fulltime jobs.'
In 2008, Copenhagen's commitment to cycling, both at a professional and quotidian level, was recognised when it was named as the UCI's first 'Bike City'.
Since gaining the award, the Danish capital has hosted no fewer than six major international cycling events.
Speaking to SportsPro at the conclusion of last season, UCI president Pat McQuaid expressed his satisfaction with how the 2011 World Championships played out, praising both the quality of the sporting competition, and the enthusiasm and sheer volume of the spectators that came to watch.
"The championships were a huge success in terms of the numbers of people that turned out," McQuaid said. "The initial information we have is that the viewing figures were very good. The TV images themselves were very good because there were great crowds and the race was pretty interesting all the way through, so from that point of view it was good."
McQuaid did concede, however, that the event, which generates the bulk of his organisation's revenue each year, did not perform spectacularly on a commercial level.
"It wouldn't have been one of our best from the UCI's point of view, nor indeed from the organiser's point of view in Denmark," he said. "I mean, it paid it's way. There are no problems following on from it. But it wasn't a hugely marketable event because Denmark is a very small market."
The full, comprehensive interview with UCI president Pat McQuaid appears in the February 2012 edition of SportsPro magazine. Subscribe today.
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