News broke on Friday that the island of Ireland is to officially bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. The IRFU has formally announced it's intention to submit an all-Ireland bid, which if successful, will see venues on both sides of the border used to host the biggest rugby event on the planet. If Ireland is successful in attracting the tournament here in nine years time what a wonderful day that will be, for not only Irish sport, but cross-border relations on the island.
Already there has been speculation as to how much the event might cost, how much the state may have to pay and what the economic impact might be on the island.
Major sporing events like these rarely, if ever, generate an economic surplus for a state, create sustainable long-term employment or even dramatically increase tourist numbers. I have written and spoken extensively, both national and internationally on this here, here, here, here and here.
There will be winners of course, the biggest one being World Rugby (formerly International Rugby Board), but this tournament, if it comes to Ireland, will cost the state money.
It's like throwing a big party, the biggest this country has ever seen. Anyone that's ever thrown a party will know you don't make money from them. But what fun it will be.