Sports events can move millions, and football, often called the most popular sport in the world, is a great example of that. A recent study by Onefootball.com and GoEuro.com about the impact of the UEFA Champions League, the biggest club competition in Europe, for instance, clearly showed how much of an effect international competitions have on tourism and transportation, as fans follow their favored teams around the continent.
In this study it is possible to gauge how much a team/city could make from the away supporters visiting their home stadium, when transportation and accommodation costs, as well as other factors such as the price of beer – a staple for any team supporter when killing time away from home – are taken into account.
Astonishingly enough, this research reveals that the UEFA Champions League has created a mind-blowing €237 million in travel income, and the possible income for a host city when their team reaches as far as the semi-finals in the competition is just short of €6 million.
The research also shows that while having two teams from the same city (e.g. Madrid) facing off in one round might be a great honor, it is not a favorable situation for business, as almost €2 million are lost in travel income. On the same note, the UK have suffered great losses with the elimination of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City from the competition, as any of those teams would have made just short of €2 million in travel income for their city had they won in the round of 16 stage.
Finally, and based on the study’s findings, it is estimated that the upcoming UEFA Champions League final, which is set to take place in Berlin in the beginning of June could still earn the city, whose home team is still in the competition along with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus, up to €36 million, of which €21 million come from travel income alone, especially if Bayern gets knocked off by Barcelona, meaning two away teams will be playing the Allianz Arena final.
With numbers like these, it is definitely hard to argue against any government’s investment in sports infrastructures, as this kind of event can mean a huge boost in tourism income, which can really make a difference in the economy of some of Europe’s countries.