English rugby fans spend average of €639 in Dublin for Six Nations opener

Teneo’s findings indicate match generated €12.4m for local economy

English rugby fans, who travelled to Dublin for the Six Nations opener against Ireland earlier this month, spent an average of €639 exclusive of travel/ ticket and accommodation, generating just under €10 million for the economy, research by communications group Teneo indicates.

About 15,000 English fans travelled over for the match, staying on average 2.47 bed nights in the city.

Teneo’s report on the economic impact of the match, which was based on a survey of 377 travelling fans on match day, found the match generated an additional €9.6 million for the local economy, rising to €12.4 million when accommodation was included.

"It was a massive game at the Aviva and while the result didn't go our way there were lots of winners off the field as well as England winning on the field," Teneo said.



While not a guaranteed additional spend in the economy given the existing high occupancy rates in the city, the total spend on accommodation by travelling fans was estimated at just under €3 million, comprising €2.3 million for hotels and €554,000 in B&B-type accommodation.

The average hotel accommodation spend was €250 while the average Airbnb costs were €125. The majority (61 per cent) of fans opted for hotel accommodation while just under 30 per cent stayed in B&B or Airbnb accommodation.

The findings indicate the value of hosting major sporting events to the economy and the potential benefit from staging future events such as forthcoming Rugby World Cup and European Soccer Championship matches.

Similar to exports, large sporting events and concert tourism have the capacity to generate significant additional growth for the local economy.

Teneo also noted that a bigger number of people watched the Ireland-England match on Virgin Media than the corresponding Grand Slam game last year.

The average viewership was almost 980,000 with a peak viewership of 1.45 million or 30 per cent of Ireland’s population. England won the game 32-20.

Last year one in four people here subscribed to a paid TV sports channel package, while 10 per cent have purchased pay-per-view access to a one-off sports event, separate Teneo research suggests.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times