2017 European Rugby Edinburgh Rugby

2017 rugby finals weekend generates major income boost for Edinburgh

September 27, 2017

The 2017 European rugby finals weekend generated a total economic impact of £29.5 million (€32.7m) for the host city of Edinburgh, illustrating the strong legacy of the event beyond the field of play.

The showpiece finals of the European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup were hosted by Scottish Rugby at one venue (BT Murrayfield) on a single weekend for the second time and the direct economic benefits for the Scottish capital were recorded at £21.3m (€23.7m) in a report by The Sports Consultancy, an increase of 58% when compared with the previous season in Lyon.

EPCR Director General, Vincent Gaillard, said: “EPCR has seen a considerable boost in interest from cities, leagues and unions for hosting the outstanding rugby experiences of our finals weekend and this is reflected in the economic impact on Edinburgh.

“It shows that the event engages with all sectors of the rugby community and particularly, the fans, whose passion helps to make the competitions what they are.”

Scottish Rugby’s Chief Operating Officer, Dominic McKay, said: “It is fantastic that our successful bid to bring the pinnacle of European club rugby to Edinburgh and BT Murrayfield generated such a positive financial impact of £21.3 million for the city and £29.5 million for the wider Scottish economy.

“The event drew over 80,000 rugby fans from across the world to the finals and that demonstrates how attractive visiting Edinburgh is, and the huge role that sport plays in the economy. We were delighted to host such a prestigious occasion in the country’s biggest stadium and intend to bring other similar international events to Edinburgh, and Scotland, in the coming years.”

The strengthened and more robust tender process for the finals weekend saw unprecedented interest from cities in both emerging and traditional rugby markets, culminating in the landmark award of the 2018 event to Bilbao and 2019 to Newcastle.

EPCR has received a further boost for 2020, with 18 expressions of interest received for the weekend that will showcase the 25th final of what is now the Champions Cup. The successful venue will be revealed in summer 2018.

Matthew Wilson, Director of Consulting at The Sports Consultancy, added: “Our research shows that hosting the European club rugby finals weekend left a strong legacy locally and a positive impression of Edinburgh as both a holiday and business destination.

“Hosting such a prestigious weekend of sport not only brings significant income into the local economy, it offers a year-round global marketing opportunity, substantially boosting future tourism.”

2017 European Rugby Edinburgh Rugby