Critically analyse the direct, indirect and induced economic impact of the Rugby World Cup 2015 for England?

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Introduction

Despite widespread publication of a positive economic impact resulting from the Rugby World Cup in 2015, issues such as overspending, forecasting accuracy, and the focus of the reporting itself, suggests there are also factors which may materially reduce the overall impact. Because of this, it is possible the widely publicised outlook for this event is overly optimistic. This report will critically analyse the direct, indirect and induced economic impact of the Rugby World Cup 2015 for England.

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Beginning with a summary of the economic impact, issues will then be examined with reference to the stated impacts, relevant literature, and comparable events around the world such as previous Rugby World Cups. The analysis concludes that the economic impact of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, while sizeable, may not be as significant as predicted.

Summary of Economic Impacts

A report by Ernst & Young forecasts a number of economic benefits to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, including over $2 million in economic output, and a direct boost to GDP of $463 million (Arnold and Grice, 2015; summarised in Table 1). Media promoting these benefits is widespread, with the Ernst & Young report often cited to describe and support the positive impacts of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The many media examples include Bergson (2015), Menary (2015), and Wilson (2015). Due to the credibility of the financial services firm Ernst & Young (Aubin, 2012), as well as the wide-spread publication of these results, the economic impact by Arnold and Grice (2015) will be used as the basis for this analysis, as summarised in Table 1.

Contribution Type Impact Category Impact Source Amount (millions)
Output Direct Visitor spend Ticket revenue (international) Infrastructure investment Fanzone spend Stadia spend $869 $68 $85 $5 $13
Indirect and induced $1,165
GDP Direct Visitor spend Ticket revenue (international) Infrastructure investment Fanzone spend Stadia contribution $391 $29 $35 $2 $6
Indirect and induced $518

Table 1. Summarised from Arnold and Grice (2015, pp18-20) For the purpose of this analysis, direct impact is considered to be initial spending stimulus arising from the event, including infrastructure expenditure and ticket revenue. Indirect economic impacts result from transactions that occur as a result of the initial spending, such as additional tourism expenditure in other areas. Induced impacts are the result of increased consumer spending due to higher income, such as greater support for sports and health overall.

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