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New report reveals economic and social benefits of the UK hosting sporting events

3 min read Partner content

Following a hugely successful year for hosting major sporting events, a new report commissioned by UK Sport has revealed the huge benefits that hosting major events delivers for the UK.

Alongside delivering a direct economic impact of £132m (with Birmingham 2022 data yet to be published), supporting 1,600 jobs and a 6:1 return on investment, The Value of Events Report 2022 sets out how hosting 12 events in 25 cities, backed by government funding, brought millions of people together, united communities and positively impacted millions of people’s lives through spectating, volunteering and community activation opportunities.


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On top of these significant economic and social benefits, the report finds that hosting major sporting events promoted the reputation of the UK around the world, provided a platform to showcase and promote British cities and regions to a global audience and also created a strong sense of pride in the UK as a world-leading host nation for major sporting events.

Highlights of the report – the first of its kind assessing the value and return on government investment for major sporting events, outlining the diverse impact across the UK – include:

  • Over 4 in 5 Britons (83%) are proud that the UK hosts major sporting events, and almost 3 in 4 (70%) said that watching or attending major sporting events positively impacts their happiness;
  • 2.7 million people attended events in 25 locations, bringing in new money and ensuring that economic benefits are felt across the UK;
  • A 6:1 return on investment, delivering a direct economic impact of £132m and supporting 1,600 jobs;
  • More than 23,000 people were provided with the opportunity to volunteer at major sporting events in the UK in 2022, helping them to develop new skills;
  • Hosting major sporting events on home turf boosted British success, delivering 315 medals including the Lionesses’ first ever major tournament and an additional 46 medals for Home Country athletes at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games compared to four years ago in Australia;
  • Hosting future major and mega events showcases the UK and our cities and regions, promotes Britain on the world stage and enhances our global reputation, with 92% of other event destinations agreeing that the UK is a world class host which other nations aspire to learn from.

The report has been launched as UK Sport gears up to support the delivery of a significant major events programme in the coming years, including the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, the 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships, the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup and the 2026 European Athletics Championships.

Simon Morton, Deputy CEO at UK Sport, said:

“This new report serves as powerful evidence demonstrating that hosting major sporting events can make a significant economic, societal, reputational, sporting and environmental contribution to the entire UK.

“In the face of a challenging economic environment, hosting major sporting events continue to deliver a return on investment for funding provided by the UK government and The National Lottery.

“Crucially, as this report shows, the benefits of hosting events are felt in communities right across the country. Hosting events also enhances the UK’s reputation on the world stage and creates the opportunity for extraordinary sporting moments that can reach, unite and inspire the nation.

“Looking forward it is absolutely vital that we capitalise on the benefits and legacy of a momentous year of sporting events in the UK. We must now build on this momentum and continue to attract and host the very best global sporting events that deliver so many benefits to our country.”

The report was published at Event Partners Day, which provided an opportunity for the UK’s high-performance community, sports, cities and venues to come together to discuss plans to bid for, secure and host even more major sporting events in the coming years.