Rugby is the sport where no matter what the outcome or the level of the match, we just can’t get enough of it. The atmosphere, competition, crowds and dramatic moments all combine to make this marvelous and muddy competition one of Scotland’s favourite spectator sports.
In 2014, it was reported by RBS that in a typical season, visitors to Edinburgh for RBS 6 Nations matches generated £52 million of revenue for the Scottish economy, with £30 million of that directly boosting Edinburgh’s economy. The RBS report also showed that £35 million (£24 million in Edinburgh) comes from match attendee’s spending money in local area. Spending on hotels, restaurants and bars contributed a generous £17 million to the Scottish economy with £6 million of that spent directly on facilities in Edinburgh.
These stats are thought to have been greatly increased thanks to the most recent RBS 6 Nations in 2017. Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “The RBS 6 Nations games always create an exciting and friendly atmosphere in Edinburgh and across Scotland. These world class sporting events provide more than just entertainment, they represent a multi-million pound tourism opportunity which delivers economic, cultural and social benefits”.
The current Scotland team has made a strong connection with rugby fans, especially after their string of strong performances at the 2016 Rugby World Cup where the squad demonstrated a hunger for success. This positive improvement has had a direct impact on the Scotland rugby supporters which has since been reflected in the record levels of demand for tickets for the international matches at BT Murrayfield.
Due to a promising autumn test series, the Scotland team are set to play in front of a full house against Italy for the first time at BT Murrayfield which is the final match of the 2017 RBS 6 Nations. This is the first time the Scotland v Italy match has sold out in Edinburgh since Italy joined the competition in 2000.
This sell out match follows in the footsteps of the two previous sell out home matches against Ireland and Wales where the Scotland squad won both matches sending the home fans into a frenzy of celebrations on both occasions. The sellout match against Italy marks the first time all home games in the 6 nations have been sold out, filling the impressive 67,144 seater Murrayfield stadium.
Overall the total number of tickets sold for the tournament in Scotland exceeds 200,000. This in turn generates a significant financial benefit for Scottish rugby and the Scottish economy. The previous largest crowd when Italy have played in Scotland was 62,188 from 2015 and so to sell-out all three RBS 6 Nations matches at BT Murrayfield for the first time is an outstanding achievement for both SRU marketing efforts and the commitment of the RBS 6 Nations supporters.
It is thought that new forward thinking ticket pricing strategies alongside the growing support for the Scotland team have combined to generate the highest ever number of fans to cheer on Scotland in their RBS 6 Nations battle.
The economic impact of rugby events such as the 6 Nations enhances local and national businesses with cash generated used to make local improvements and funding local rugby clubs. All that’s left to say now is good luck to the Scotland squad as they get ever closer to the final 6 Nations sell out match on the 18th March 2017, let’s hope the success continues for Scottish Rugby and positive knock-on effect for the Scottish Economy.