Defeat a heavy blow for provincial economy

MUNSTER’S failure to reach the Heineken Cup knock out stages will have financial implications for the provincial economy.

The side’s Thomond Park quarter-final against Ospreys in 2009 was worth €10.5m to Limerick but the impact of the team’s progression in Europe’s famed rugby competition is felt far beyond the host city in terms of pub trade, hotel stays and merchandising.

Focus Consulting have under-taken a number of studies on the impact major Heineken Cup games have on the Treaty City and its surrounds.

Yesterday, the company’s associate director, Mark O’Connell admitted that the exit of Tony McGahan’s side from the competition is bad news for many businesses in the region.

He explained: “The 2009 home quarter-final against Ospreys was worth €10.5m to the city.

“The impact locally is determined by the opposition, with Welsh or English teams bringing more supporters and typically spending more when visiting.

“On average the visiting supporters spend two nights in Limerick and the surrounding area and spend an average of €520 each. In addition, a large number of Munster supporters from around the country would travel to the city and stay over, with a major impact on pubs, restaurants and hotels,” he said.

“But it is not just Limerick which benefits, you also have people staying in Kerry, Clare and the likes for major European games.

“Our studies have shown that accommodation accounts for 27% of visiting supporters expenditure with food and beverage accounting for 68%.”

Munster’s home quarter-final against Ospreys generated 4,000 bed nights for the city among visiting supporters.

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