Research claims Open Championship worth £65m to Lancashire

David McCourt

An independent study commissioned by tournament organiser, The R&A, claims last year's championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes delivered a £65m benefit to the region.

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

The report claims a total of 181,400 spectator admissions were recorded at the tournament, spending an average of £155 each.

Sheffield Hallam University's Sport Industry Research Centre carried out the analysis of the commercial involvement in the event after conducting interviews with around 2,000 spectators. It found the vast majority of extra spending, around £25m, took place within the Fylde Coast.

Robin Bell, The R&A's director of marketing, said: "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 research also claims the tourism industry received a boost, with the equivalent of more than 110,000 single night stays by people attending the event.

Cllr Michael Green, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, said: "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."

Cllr David Eaves, Fylde Council leader, 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."

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