EURO boosted French economy by over €1.2bn

UEFA EURO 2016 was an undoubted success for the French economy with an injection of over €1.2bn from visitors to the country during the tournament.

Football fans flocked to France for UEFA EURO 2016
Football fans flocked to France for UEFA EURO 2016 ©Getty Images

The 13 cities hosting matches at UEFA EURO 2020 could be in for a potential financial windfall, after a study revealed that UEFA EURO 2016 boosted the French economy to the tune of over €1.2bn.

The report, undertaken jointly by the Limoges-based Centre for Sports Law and Economy (CDES) and the KENEO agency, found that the impact of officials and participating teams, coupled with 613,000 visitors, swelled French coffers by €1.22bn.

"There is no doubt that hosting a UEFA EURO is a massive financial benefit to any region," said the CEO of UEFA Events SA, Martin Kallen, who was also the tournament director for UEFA EURO 2016.

"UEFA EURO 2016 showed that fans are willing to travel en masse to follow their respective countries, and the figures from the report showed just how much the money spent helped the local economy," he added.

Last summer's tournament featured 24 teams for the first time. Foreign visitors stayed in France for an average 7.9 days and spent an average of €154 per day. The total amount spent by those visiting the UEFA EURO 2016 host country was €625.8m.

The event was an undoubted success for France from an economic point of view, with the financial benefits easily cancelling out the €200m in public money spent getting France ready to host the tournament.

Jacques Lambert, the President of UEFA EURO 2016 SAS, said that the benefits of hosting the tournament far outweighed the initial costs.

"Major sporting events can be expensive in terms of investment," he explained, "but there are both direct and indirect benefits [for the host country]. It has been demonstrated that events like these have a positive economic impact."

UEFA EURO 2020 will adopt a different format to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first European Championship in 1960. The tournament in three years' time will take place in 13 cities across the continent, giving fans throughout Europe the opportunity to watch high-quality national team football.

"It is good for Europe to show diversity in football, to show friendship, and to show that east, west, north and south can come together," said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.

UEFA EURO 2020 has already reached one milestone, with the logo launches for all 13 cities finishing with the final event in St Petersburg on 19 January.

"This will be a special tournament," said Mr Čeferin, adding that "it will be a true festival of friendship" across Europe.