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IAAF World Championships Delivered $145 Million Impact to London

Usain Bolt of Jamaica during a lap of honor at the IAAF World Championships in London. Photo: REUTERS/Phil Noble

London hosting the International Association of Athletics Associations (IAAF) World Championships and the World Para Athletics Championships had a direct economic impact of over $145 million, a study has revealed.

Delivered by The Sports Consultancy, in partnership with Nielsen Sports, Gracenote and PCSG, the report hails the impact of the two events, which were attended by a total of more than a million people.

The study claims staging them brought “unprecedented” results.

London was the first city to host the two Championships in the same stadium and in the same year.

The event impact study has revealed London reaped the economic benefits of doing so.

The IAAF World Championships, held from August 5 to 13 at the Olympic Stadium on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, contributed a direct economic impact of $107 million to the London economy.

The total contribution to GDP was between $61.3 million and $89.7 million, the study said.

Ninety-one percent of respondents to a survey agreed hosting the IAAF World Championships provided positive benefits for London.

The figure for the World Para Athletics Championships was 95 percent.

The study showed there were a potential 1.6 billion impressions recorded for the official hashtags of the two events.

Hero the Hedgehog, the official mascot of the IAAF World Championships, generated four million impressions through two highlights programs, the study showed.

“It has been a phenomenal year of athletics, at the epicentre of which were the outstanding IAAF World Championships London 2017,” IAAF President Sebastian Coe said.

“We witnessed the greatest number of athletes, the highest level of performances and largest stadium audiences ever seen across the event’s 16 editions.

“This report shows the positive impact of hosting an IAAF World Championships.”

The direct economic impact figure for the World Para Athletics Championships was revealed to be over $38 million.

The study also showed that the Championships had a total economic impact ranging between $52.5 million and $76.8 million.

This resulted in a a total contribution to GDP of between $21.8 million and $32 million, according to the event impact study.

The study showed 47 percent of attendees were inspired to take part in Para sport or recreational activity more often than before after visiting the Championships.

A total of 95 percent of those who attended the event, staged from July 14 to 23, felt the World Para Athletics Championships had a positive impact on London’s communities.

The 2017 World Para Athletics Championships were, by some distance, the most successful in the event’s 23-year history.

A total of 305,000 tickets were sold for the Championships, just 10,000 less than what was sold for last year’s Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The total amount of tickets purchased was more than the amount sold for all eight of the previous Championships combined.

Only 15,000 tickets were sold for the 2015 edition in Qatar’s capital Doha.

Following the success of the Championships, London was considering bidding for the 2019 event but eventually decided against it.

“When it comes to hosting global sports events, this unforgettable summer proved once again that nobody does it quite like London,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan said.

“Our great city made a huge success of hosting both the World Para Athletics Championships and the IAAF World Championships – the first time both events had ever been staged in the same stadium, in the same year.

“London 2017 provided a lifetime of memories and showed that London is, without question, the sporting capital of the world.”

By Liam Morgan

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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