Hundreds of thousands of punters will descend on Aintree racecourse for the Grand National over the next few days hoping to line their pockets with cash but is there more than one winner of the event?
Tourist board officials have put the value of the race meeting to the local economy at £10 million. More than a hundred thousand people visited the three-day festival last year leading to bustling restaurants, increased hotel occupancy and a surge in tourism. Hairdressers, beauty parlours and dress shops are suddenly in demand in the run up to the event not to mention the bookmakers. This year Liverpool John Lennon airport is expecting a 15 per cent increase of visitors on many routes.
Horse racing isn’t the only sport to bolster business for SMEs. The sports ticket business in the UK is worth an estimated £24billion per year alone. Research by Deloitte reveals more than 70 million tickets were sold for sporting events in 2015, which, in turn, had a positive ripple effect for small and medium sized enterprises and the economy.
Here are the big winners:
Top 10 attended annual sporting events in the UK in 2015 (‘000s)
Source: Event organisers; Deloitte analysis
There were three horseracing events in the top 10 in 2015. Royal Ascot, in third-place overall, attracted almost 300,000 visitors over the five days
Alan Switzer, director in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, commented:
“British racecourses are on track for record attendances of 6.2m in 2015. Flagship events such as Royal Ascot, the Cheltenham Festival and the Epsom Derby are firmly established in the top tier of best attended annual UK sporting events, whilst the breadth and depth of other meetings throughout the year ensure horseracing remains one of the UK’s most popular spectator sports.”
With that track record it might not be too long before we see the Grand National in the top 10 with business booming even more!