Thursday 03 January 2013
Swansea City's inaugural season in the Barclays Premier League was worth almost £60m to the Welsh economy, a study has found.
The report by the Welsh Economy Research Unit of Cardiff University found that while the majority of the economic value was created directly by the club, most of the jobs created and safeguarded were from non-footballing activity.
The most significant element of this was the spending power of visiting fans who visited pubs, clubs, restaurants and stayed in hotels as a direct result of attending games at the Liberty Stadium. Hotels in Swansea have been repeatedly out-performing hotels in Cardiff when it comes to occupation rates in recent months.
"An audience of millions has been introduced to key messages about Wales that challenge perceptions"
The club themselves generated economic benefit of £50.6m safeguarding or creating 125 jobs, with a further £7.9m of economic impact created by non-football club activity, creating or protecting 295 jobs, most of them in the club's city.
Swans chairman Huw Jenkins said the report is "very encouraging".
"For the club to be part of promoting Swansea and the South West Wales, both economically and as a city, is fantastic," he said. "Our partnership with the local council, in particular their foresight in helping to build our Liberty Stadium, has helped us grow to where we are today and catapult Swansea to a global audience.
"It comes as no surprise that our participation in the Premier League has been a major boost to the club and the local economy as a whole.
"These benefits are not just for our first year in the Premier League, but they will continue and grow every year we are competing in the best league in the world. Hopefully with a lot of hard work from everyone, we will retain our Premier League status for many years to come."
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.
"I want to pay tribute to the joint effort between the Welsh Government, Swansea Council, their partners and, of course, the Swans for making sure the economic benefits have been felt alongside the tremendous feel-good factor that’s been generated right across the city."
Cllr Bradley said: "This economic impact assessment has proved that the investment by the Welsh Government and Swansea Council in targeting visiting fans to encourage them to come and enjoy what Wales and Swansea has to offer has paid off.
"We believe it is continuing to pay off this season too with thousands of fans continuing to enjoy the warmth of the Welsh welcome in Swansea."
Welsh Government Business Minister Edwina Hart added: "Swansea City FC's promotion and success in the Premier League has also exposed Wales to a worldwide television audience and provided the Welsh Government with rich opportunities to promote our economic development and tourism messages, not just for the Swansea region, but for Wales.
"As a result, an audience of millions has been introduced to key messages about Wales that challenge perceptions and support our economic development campaigns."