European Athletics is on a roll. The Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships were, by many accounts, one of the best in decades. The financial impact of the championships was analyzed and it just goes to show, unless you totally screw it up (which happens often), that athletics can be a huge moneymaker.
A report analysing the event impact of the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships which European Athletics commissioned the Swiss company RÃ¼tter Soceco AG and the University of Applied Sciences in Lucerne to conduct, has shown considerable benefits accrued by the German capital as a result of staging the championships.
The economic analysis shows that Berlin 2018 – co-host of the inaugural multi-sport European Championships in August last year – added â‚¬144 million in turnover to the German economy and these effects corresponded to creating 1000 additional full-time jobs in Berlin and more than 300 more elsewhere in Germany.
In addition, a tax income of approximately â‚¬11 million was gained by the public authorities in Germany.
Part of the revenue came from the fact that spectators and visitors had almost 270,000 overnight stays in hotels and other accommodation that were directly related to Berlin 2018.
The economic effects were also felt beyond the German borders. A total of 1359 hours of live, replay and highlight TV content was shown across Europe from a week before the event until two weeks after the event had ended on 12 August.
Berlin 2018 was the co-host of the European Championships with Scottish city Glasgow, which staged the six other sports between 2-12 August.
Considering other media formats as well, including newspapers, magazines, radio and online, the report concluded that Berlin 2018 generated an equivalent advertising value of approximately â‚¬91.5 million.
In addition to the immediate financial benefits from the championships, there are expected to be significant long-term returns.
The report shows that 98% of visitors to the German capital from outside Germany would recommend a trip to Berlin to their family and friends and spectator satisfaction for Berlin 2018 was rated at 97%: 72% very satisfied, 25% satisfied. Analysis of the athletes themselves and delegations from Member Federations also gave very high satisfaction ratings, above 95%, for almost every category of the championships.
Culturally and socially, Berlin 2018 also made a considerable impact.
In the five years leading up to Berlin 2018, youth athletics club memberships and associated registrations increased by 30%. The city of Berlin, in cooperation with regional athletics clubs and the organising committee, actively used the momentum of the event to increase athletics participation.
In the Berlin Olympic Stadium itself, European Athletics and local organisers’ sustainability aims were met. Although championships generated 35 tonnes of waste, 98% was converted to refuse-derived fuel.
“The details contained in this report come as no surprise because, I said at the time that it was the best European Athletics Championships ever. Nevertheless, it is gratifying to have the impression we had at European Athletics reinforced and see the numbers in front of our eyes,” said European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen.
“The economic impact, in particular, should encourage existing and future bidders for European Athletics competitions of the benefits that staging our events can bring to host cities. However, issues such as the social impact and sustainability are also very important in this report and are a blueprint for how other competitions can bring significant advantages to their surrounding communities.
“This very positive report comes in the wake of event impact reports of other recent European Athletics competitions, such as the one conducted after the Grosseto 2017 European Athletics U20 Championships.
“A host city for a European Athletics competition does not need to a major European capital such as Berlin, it can be a provincial town; but if the local organisers can deliver an event with efficiency and combine that with creativity and imagination – as Berlin did so well – then the benefits are there for all to see and enjoy.
“What this report also shows, even factoring in Berlin’s excellent organisation and delivery of a magnificent championships, is that athletics remains an attractive and exciting sport to a very wide audience,” added Hansen.