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7 Apr 2009

Report says Rugby World Cup could mean millions for region

Nelson City Council’s proposal to host Rugby World Cup games, a team, a festival of rugby, and live site is expected to be rewarded with millions flowing into the region during the event according to a newly-released economic impact assessment (EIA). Huge long-term benefits from the city’s association with the RWC are also projected, especially from regional exposure on the global media stage and marketing efforts to both domestic and international tourists and visitors.

The proposed funding is included in the draft Nelson Community Plan, now open for public comment and the EIA has been released to aid community discussion during consultation on the Community Plan. The previously confidential EIA formed part of Council’s rationale for making the Rugby World Cup bid. By John Cook & Associates and BERL Economics, the report projects increased revenue of $3.12 million for a single game, with associated downstream revenue of $10.68 million. These benefits are likely to increase with Nelson now awarded two RWC matches.

Hosting a team and a live site (matches broadcast on a big screen), will likely generate an additional $1.78 million and $0.3 million respectively. It has been confirmed that Nelson will have a live site and team hosting will be announced in December.

The following summarises the projects output revenue and includes additional GDP figures.

Summary of projected economic impact

Total Economic Impact Holding a game Hosting a team Live Site only Live Site if hosting
Output ($m) - includes downstream revenue 13.8 1.78 0.30 0.87
Additional contribution to regional GDP ($m) 5.26 0.77 0.14 0.39

The $13.8 million figure is the sum of direct (short-term) revenue of $3.12 million for a single game and downstream revenue of $10.68 million resulting from the upgrade of Trafalgar Park. Although there are no projections for the long-term financial benefits of hosting a RWC game, it is anticipated to be considerable.

The downstream or long-term benefits to the region are greater because the upgrades to Trafalgar Park will make it a multi-purpose event venue that can attract large-scale events such as concerts and other sporting events including rugby.

Council’s proposed investment of $1.6 million (subject to approval through the 2009/19 Nelson Community Plan consultation process) is spread out over three years, and includes:

  • $684,700 to host two games
  • $429,300 to host a team(s) – still to be announced, by December 2009
  • $100,000 for contingency
  • $486,000* for two live sites, the Festival of Rugby (celebrating Nelson as birthplace of New Zealand rugby) and city theming
    *$100,000 of this figure is budgeted contribution from Tasman District Council

Council’s contribution to the match and team hosting are capped figures; any cost over budget will be the responsibility of Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd (RNZ), the national organising body for the RWC. However, Council is responsible for any expenditure over budget for the Festival of Rugby and the Nelson live site.

Nelson Mayor Kerry Marshall says, “The opportunity to have the Rugby World Cup here in Nelson brings so much more than just a game to this region. Of course the upgraded Trafalgar Park will be a venue that can host a range of events in the years to come, but the games also give us the chance to showcase Nelson on the world stage as the most beautiful spot in New Zealand, so expanding our region’s tourism potential.

“Participation in the Rugby World Cup will also encourage business expansion and investment within the region.”

The economic impact assessment report was originally prepared for the Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency on behalf of the RWC Regional Coordinating Group. Since then, Nelson City Council has become the contracted lead agency with RNZ.

The Nelson Community Plan is open for public consultation and the community can have its say until 8 May. Copies of the Nelson Community Plan and the economic impact assessment report are available at the Council office at Civic House, 110 Trafalgar Street, Nelson.