The 2013 Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens is an “asset to the city that is proving to be a success story year on year” said the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium today after a presentation to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on the economic impact of the event.
The in-depth Economic Impact Analysis (EIA) of the 2013 IRB Sevens by Grant Thornton notes that the benefits of hosting the tournament have been significant not only for the city but for tourism, the residents and businesses of Nelson Mandela Bay too.
Attendance at the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in December increased by 63 per cent from 2012 with nearly 60 000 people visiting the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium over the two days.
“The stadium saw foot traffic of 58 569 people over the course of the two days” said Chantal Du Pisani, CEO of Access Management.
“It was clearly evident that people in the Eastern Cape are hungry for top flight rugby. Last year’s (2013) Sevens saw the Blitzbokke win the South African leg of the series, which they last won in 2008. We are ecstatic by the turnout and the support as well as the growing economic impact the tournament has on the city as a whole. The viability of such events can no longer be questioned.”
In 2012 the total economic impact on Nelson Mandela Bay was R154.5-million with some 500 temporary and permanent jobs sustained. This increased to R217.8-million, with 700 temporary and permanent jobs sustained in 2013.
The annualised income derived by employees as direct, indirect or induced impact of the event amounted to R46-million, with an amount of R13.9-million earned by government in respect of tax.
Foreign spend increased to R46-million from R30-million while domestic spend was also up from R29-million in 2012 to R37-million last year.
Tourism surged during the Sevens with an estimated 34 000 visitors from outside the Nelson Mandela Bay region flocking to the city. This number was up from the previous year’s number of 25 000.
Nelson Mandela Bay received high ratings as tourist destination from both foreign and domestic visitors with a staggering 78 per cent of foreign visitors and 80 per cent of domestic visitors rating it as an excellent destination.
“Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism is exceptionally proud of the city for hosting a spectacular event yet again and, further, that the people of the city came out in their numbers to support. It is vital for the private sector, government and all stakeholders to continue with successful partnerships in order to maintain and lobby for events such as the Rugby 7?s in Nelson Mandela Bay,” Mandlakazi Skefile, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism chief executive said.
“Events of this magnitude indicate positive growth for the destination in terms of both brand image and media exposure. The success of the Rugby 7?s indicates the capacity for Nelson Mandela Bay to continue to host event and others like it, which can only positively impact the local economy and tourism industry,” said Skefile.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and city received more than 18 hours of live broadcast coverage locally, with both live and highlight broadcast coverage in over 100 countries.
“The IRB World Sevens Series is a spectacular platform on which cities around the world can showcase themselves,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of the South African Rugby Union. “It brings outstanding elite rugby athletes from the leading rugby nations into one venue over an action-packed two days and is a must-see event at many venues.
“The brand association for hosting cities cannot be under-estimated and extends beyond the hosted round to the other Series events. That comes on top of the significant direct and indirect economic impact of up to 80 000 people intent on having a good time for a weekend.”
Du Pisani said that although it the marketing benefits derived from such an event means that Nelson Mandela Bay had been put in the league of other host cities, such as Dubai, Las Vegas, Wellington, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Glasgow and London: “This all means exposure for our stadium, city and country across global media channels – something we need to drive tourism and interest in our city and country.
EPRU President, Cheeky Watson, said there was no doubt that the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens was growing from strength to strength since moving to the city in 2011.
“Looking at the growing crowd attendance year on year, there can be no doubt that the Sevens tournament is fast establishing itself as one of the premier events on offer in the region, and is becoming one of the must attend events on the calendar for Nelson Mandela Bay residents and beyond,” he said.
Watson said it was also encouraging to see the economic impact of the tournament growing year on year, as this showed that Nelson Mandela Bay and the Eastern Cape were directly benefitting from hosting the tournament.
“We are very excited at these successes and are privileged to have been a part of bringing this competition to the Bay,” he said.
News of the successful hosting of the Sevens come just a day after the SARU announced that the Eastern Province Kings would be included in an expanded version of the Currie Cup this season.
Du Pisani believes that this news and the success of the Sevens should serve as encouragement to city residents to continue supporting events being held at the Stadium.
“We strive to always provide a new experience for our fans and are always trying to find ways of ensuring a great combination of variety and value. We urge fans from all over the Eastern Cape to continue supporting their Stadium,” said Du Pisani.
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