The French economy was boosted to the tune of more than €1.2billion as the country reaped the benefits of hosting Euro 2016.
Ten venues welcomed 24 countries as part of an expanded European Championship, with Portugal eventually beating Didier Deschamps’ France in the final at the Stade de France.
And a report undertaken jointly by the Limoges-based Centre for Sports Law and Economy (CDES) and the KENEO agency has found that the impact of officials and participating teams, combined with 613,000 visitors, poured €1.22bn into the French coffers.
“There is no doubt that hosting a UEFA Euro is a massive financial benefit to any region,” said CEO of UEFA Events SA, Martin Kallen, who was also the tournament director for Euro 2016.
“UEFA Euro 2016 showed that fans are willing to travel en masse to follow their respective countries, and the figures from the report showed just how much the money spent helped the local economy.”
The report found that visitors stayed in France for an average of 7.9 days and spent an average of €154 per day, amounting to a total spend of €625.8m.
“Major sporting events can be expensive in terms of investment but there are both direct and indirect benefits [for the host country],” added Jacques Lambert, president of UEFA Euro 2016 SAS, with the rewards having far outweighed the €200m in public money that was spent on the tournament.
“It has been demonstrated that events like these have a positive economic impact.”