Hosting mountain bike Worlds pays off for Pietermaritzburg

After the dust has settled and the wheels stopped turning, the local organising committee of the UCI Mountain Bike Masters and Elite Mountain Bike World Championships triggered an economic boom for the city of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa and its broader regional economy worth R3 billion in direct economic activity and media exposure. (1 Rand = US$0.10 and 1Rand = 0.06 GBP at the time of this posting. -ed.)

The masters competition alone had 591 competitors, largely South African but, if you include support staff and families the number of people that were in the city sits at an estimated 1,491 people over the duration of the event.

The elite UCI MTB World Championships was seen as the signature event of the whole stay and 903 riders were accredited to compete in the event. This coupled with the large support crews that the teams brought with them brought the overall figure to 1,866 people staying for the duration of the elite Worlds.

The economic impact can now be estimated, and they have worked out a conservative estimate as to how much money each of the events would have brought into the city. Over the masters event, the estimate was slightly over R10.3 million. The elite event saw the city pull in just under R33.7 million. These amounts were just for the competitors and crews over the two weeks of the competitions.

The media contingent was just over 200 strong and that meant that they too were responsible for bringing in a fair sum of money into the city. It was estimated that the entire media contingent brought in just over R2 million in Pietermaritzburg over the duration of the Worlds.

Adding up all of these figures means that all-in-all the event brought in an estimated total of R46,038,700 over the duration of both events. This, coupled with the benefits that the event brought to the community of Pietermaritzburg, tends to suggest it was a resounding success.

In the final financial report from the event, it is stated that the amount of spending from the participants in the event in the city cannot be accurately gauged which means that there is still a fair amount of money unaccounted for that has been injected into the local community through spending at restaurants, shops etc.

The impact that the television production had on the event and on promoting the city was substantial due to the fact that the event was broadcasted all over the world. The event report suggests that the minimum coverage of the event will amount to a grand total of 196 hours which equates to a monetary value of approximately R 2.94 billion.

The event was broadcasted to five different continents with a number of television networks taking the feed from the venue in order to broadcast in their countries. Along with the television coverage the Redbull Media TV broadcasted the event and logged record traffic on the site throughout the event.

The local organising committee spent over R3 million in the local communities and all of the people that were employed by them were locally sourced. All of the marshals, volunteers and any other person who was employed during the event gained skills and experience and this will benefit KZN MTB.

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