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Tyne Talk

What Is Newcastle United Worth To Local Economy?

7 years ago
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SJP2How much is a football club worth? The simple answer to that is whatever amount somebody is prepared to pay, a bit like selling your house.

What about though the value of a football club to its community in terms of what financial benefit it brings to the local economy?

The 2011/12 season saw Swansea City spend their first year in the Premier League and a study was commissioned to find out what the financial spin-off was to their local economy.

The answer they found was £58m and an estimated 400 jobs, 340 of them in Swansea, were created or protected according to the study.

Nick Bradley, Swansea Council’s Cabinet member for Regeneration, said:

“The Swans’ Premier League adventure has been an incredible success story for the club, for Wales and for Swansea.

The value of the Swans success to the local economy is even greater than Chelsea’s wide;ly reported prize money for winning the Champions League.

The economic benefits have been felt alongside the tremendous feelgood factor that’s been generated right across the city”.

The reports said that while the majority of economic value was created directly by the football club, most jobs created and safeguarded were from non-footballing activity.

The most important element of this was the spending by visiting fans visiting pubs, clubs, restaurants and staying in hotels as a direct result of Swansea’s home Premier League matches.

So what about Newcastle Upon Tyne and our football club?

I don’t think there are many better places to be than Newcastle city centre on a match day, on the odd traditional 3pm Saturday kick-off from mid-morning there is a buzz around the city. Countless fans of other teams have told me that they love it with the ground slap bang in the city centre and of course the numerous pubs and other amenities within walking distance.

Almost unique in the Premier League, I’m just so grateful that Sir John Hall’s plans to move out of St.James’ Park to Newburn or Gateshead never got off the ground, anybody who has visited the likes of Bolton, Derby and others that have been built next to retail parks with easy motorway access will testify to the soulless existence you find there.

Walking round St.James’ Park pre-match, or in the pubs, you can’t fail to notice the number of foreign visitors from the likes of Holland and Scandanavia. Football tourism is big business and I remember reading a statistic that at your average Barcelona home match there can be as many as 20,000 neutral football tourists.

It would be interesting to find out the outcome of a compatible study to Swansea’s but what is for sure is that a successful Newcastle United brings benefits to every aspect of life on Tyneside. If Swansea think the benefit is £58m and hundreds of jobs, just imagine how many times you could multiply those figures in Newcastle’s case.

Maybe no other English city needs a successful football club more than Newcastle, which is further proof as we all know, that NUFC is more than just a football club.

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