Sport works for local business

I'm not a big fan of killjoys but I am a big fan of sport.

I was therefore not especially impressed by a report published today by the hitherto unknown (to me at least) What Works Network which claimed that major sporting and cultural events return no measurable economic benefit.

Shuttlecocks, I say.

Having in recent weeks shelled out hard-earned cash for 2015 Rugby World Cup tickets - for games in Leeds and Cardiff - and flight tickets so I can attend next year's North West 200 motorcycle races in Northern Ireland, I must question where these academics think my additional spend will go.

I'll be in Cardiff for at least one night, requiring the need for a hotel.  And I'll have to eat and drink (watching rugby tends to be thirsty work).  Similarly in Northern Ireland, where I will be "put up" but will also be out and about - requiring regular refuelling - for four solid days.  And I have little doubt that my kids will be expecting presents brought back.  

Around 80,000 people will fill the seats at Elland Road over the two days when Leeds hosts its Rugby World Cup games.  The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff holds 72,000 spectators and will be home to several high-profile games over the duration of the six-week tournament.  And, with fair weather, the North West 200 can be expected to attract around 200,000 race fans around the famous 8.9 mile circuit.

So no benefit for the respective local economies?    I suspect many business owners would say something very different.