The new Pairc Ui Chaoimh opened recently to much fanfare and hype. As is normal with such developments a variety of figures, running in millions, have been thrown about estimating just how much this will be worth to the local economy.
The stadium's first major fixture was held recently and saw the meeting of Tipperary and Clare in an All-Ireland Senior Hurling semi-final. A local fixture was held three days before and attracted more than 10,000 spectators! In attendance on at the first inter-county game, were the President of the International Sport Economics Association Joel Maxcy and 2017 European Sports Economics Association Conference host Bernd Frick.
Those that could not get a ticket for Saturday had another chance the following day as Waterford met Wexford in the second quarter-final. I was amongst these spectators and natural supported the Deise. The new stadium is a sight to behold and rivals many locations I have been to both nationally and internationally. The value of Pairc Ui Chaoimh to the local economy is another question entirely and is complex.
There are certainly winners. All the pubs within walking distance of the stadium must be delighted to see the return of regular fixtures. The hospitality sector in and around the stadium was a big winner. The extend to which "Cork" wins depends on how many people travelled from outside the county. You need to be very careful here. I travelled to watch Waterford but added nothing to the local economy as I am here anyway. Corkonians that when to take a look at the new stadium also fall into this bracket. The local economy only grows by the extend to which people travelled from Clare, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford and spent their money in Cork.
Such economic impact assessments require a level of analysis rarely afforded to them. Take any figure estimating the economic impact of such events with a pinch of salt.