Record-breaking Open was big business for Sefton
More than £20 million of business was generated for the Sefton economy by hosting The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale last year.
Businesses the length and breadth of the borough benefited from staging The Open which brought record crowds to Southport and the surrounding area in 2017.
An independent report from the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University estimates the event delivered at least £20.9m of business for local hotels, shops, restaurants, bars and transport providers. The wider Liverpool City Region, including Sefton, is estimated to have received a business boost worth at least £35.2m.
Off-course spending by spectators is the largest proportion of the money spent locally, with goods and services bought in the area by players, sponsors, media and event organisers included in the calculation.
Executive Director of Championships at The R&A, Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, said: “The Open is a firm favourite with sports fans in the North West with Royal Liverpool in 2014 and Royal Birkdale in 2017 attracting 465,000 spectators between them.”
“We were particularly pleased that 30,000 fans at Birkdale were under the age of 25 including 15,000 under-16’s admitted free of charge. It is right that major sports events are mindful of their responsibilities to the local community and to the legions of fans that make The Open the one the best players in the world want to win.”
The Open at Royal Birkdale, from 16-23 July 2017, attracted 235,000 spectators, a record crowd for the Championship in England.
In a further boost to the tourism economy, an independent monitor of global television coverage of The Open captured graphic, scenic and verbal references to Royal Birkdale, Southport, England’s Golf Coast and the Sefton Coast totalling 707 hours and worth £50.9m in advertising terms.
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “The Open was an outstanding success for business locally and will stay long in the memory for some 10,000 local residents who took the opportunity to experience a global sports event on their doorstep.”
He added: “it is also pleasing to learn from the independent research that 9 out of 10 people who came to The Open were visitors to Sefton and that 55% intend to return within the next twelve months for leisure or a short break.”
Cllr Ian Maher, Sefton Council’s Leader, said that “the figures quoted in this study are pretty spectacular and reinforce the fact that we can host amazing sporting events that showcase the borough right across the globe. So many different sectors across the Liverpool City Region benefited from The Open and hopefully it is not too long before we welcome The R&A back to Sefton.”