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EY report: 2019 Rugby World Cup generated £4.3bn economic impact

Japan players celebrate victory after the Rugby World Cup 2019 against Scotland at International Stadium Yokohama on October 13, 2019. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Nearly £4.3bn ($5.37bn/€4.75bn) was generated in economic output as a result of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, making it the most economically successful event in Japanese sporting history, according to a report published by EY.

The EY report says RWC 2019 stimulated a wide range of consumption activities throughout the host country, including the spending on stadium and associated infrastructure enhancements, together with spending by both domestic and international spectators, at stadiums, fanzones, destination cities and surrounding tourist destinations.

The report found RWC 2019 drew 242,000 international fans from 178 nations, who stayed an average of 17 days, visiting five cities on average and more than 60 per cent of fans were visiting Japan for the first time. The tournament also created or sustained 46,000 jobs and 13,000 volunteer roles.

Spending from overseas visitors to Japan accounted for 54 per cent of overall economic spillover, the report says, with direct spending from spectators totalling £2.59bn. The tournament achieved a ticket sell-out rate of 99 per cent, the highest ever in RWC history, with a total of 1.72 million tickets sold.

Social media numbers also broke records. RWC 2019 marked a significant jump in global attention towards the tournament. Videos related to the games were viewed 2.04 billion times on social media, more than five-fold the previous RWC in England in 2015.

Hosting the 2020 Olympics, however, is not proving so far to be as lucrative for the country. The Games were due to start next month but have been delayed until next July due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tokyo organising committee chief executive Toshiro Muto recently said the extra costs due to the postponement will be “massive”. Media reports in Japan put them between $2bn and $6bn (€1.8bn and €5.5bn).