Glasgow’s hosting of the 2018 European Championships was watched by a television audience of 1.4 billion, generating £256m (€283m/$318m) of PR exposure for the city, according to a new study commissioned by Glasgow City Council.
Glasgow co-hosted the inaugural European Championships, a new multi-sport event incorporating the existing European Championships for athletics combined with aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing, triathlon and golf, with the city of Berlin last year.
The report suggests the total £90m public investment in the new event, with 70 per cent of contributions from the Scottish Government and 30 per cent from Glasgow City Council, delivered tangible economic benefits to the Scottish city.
According to an independent economic assessment, there was £34.3m of additional spending in Glasgow, £11.2m in the rest of Scotland, with £2.1m accruing to the rest of the UK as a result of the event. The report added that the championships generated an estimated £24m in contracts for Scottish companies, with £8.5m of those going to companies based in the Glasgow city region.
Final attendance figures showed 137,000 tickets for sport were issued with 53 out of 73 sessions at more than 85 per cent capacity. More than 54,000 attended free sporting events such as the Cycling Road Race on the streets of the city, and the Open Water Swimming at Loch Lomond. Most of the those attending ticketed sporting events were from the rest of Scotland (54 per cent) and the UK (24 per cent).
The BBC reported an average audience of more than 1 million with a total reach of 20 million for the UK television coverage.
With online and social media coverage included, the report calculates that the audience for the 12 sports across Glasgow and co-host Berlin, which staged the athletics, reached 2.9 billion people.