County’s £65m golf victory

Independent research commissioned by Open Championship organiser, The R&A, has shown that last year’s event at Royal Lytham & St Annes (above) delivered a £65m benefit to Lancashire.

The headline figure includes £28m spent on spectators, organisers, sponsors, the media and the players themselves, as well as a destination marketing benefit worth £37 million derived from exposure on global television.

An analysis of the event and interviews with more than 2,000 spectators, carried out by Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre, found that the vast majority of the extra spending – some £25m – took place within the Fylde Coast.

The R&A’s director of marketing, Robin Bell, said: “We found a worthy winner in Ernie Els at Royal Lytham & St Annes and we are delighted that the Championship also delivered a significant benefit to the local community.

“In one week, the total amount of new money entering the Lancashire economy reached £28 million and the tourism legacy benefit of broadcast images on global television of the Fylde Coast and attractions such as Fairhaven Lake, Blackpool Tower and the Pleasure Beach will pay back in visitor numbers for years to come.

The tourism industry scored with the equivalent of more than 110,000 single night stays by those attending the event.

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[quote-content]Attracting The Open Championship to the county was clearly good for business, not least when you consider as many as eight out of ten spectators travelled here from outside Lancashire.[/quote-content]

[quote-author]County Coun Michael Green, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for Economic Development, Environment and Planning[/quote-author]

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Fylde Borough Council leader, coun David Eaves, said: "The Open is one of the world’s great sports events and through exposure on global television it delivers a healthy legacy for golf tourism in Fylde and inspires participation by local people, young and old, in the sport.” A total of 181,400 spectator admissions were recorded at The Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes and over 3,800 hours of televised coverage was monitored reaching 500 million households worldwide.