THE economic value of Thomond Park and Munster Rugby to Limerick and the region was driven home at City Hall this Monday.
Munster Rugby chief executive Garrett Fitzgerald told councillors that the overall economic impact of a regular ten match season clocks in at over €50 million a year for Limerick and the region. The direct expenditure from this equates to more than €30 million into the local economy.
Since the stadium re-opened in 2008, the overall economic impact adds up to €500 million with direct expenditure in that timeframe, bringing in €300 million to local businesses.
On match day, Mr Fitzgerald said, Thomond Park generates employment for about 650 people. Contracts with over 40 local companies and suppliers give additional business and employment on an annual basis.
Thomond Park also runs over 100 non-match day conference and corporate events a year with an average attendance of over 5,000 people. Fifty per cent of these require accommodation in Limerick delivering business to local hotels and the hospitality sector.
“We are running a business and have to be really frugal. We are not breaking even at the moment,” he claimed.
Councillors were chomping at the bit to say nice things about the stadium.
“Thomond Park is wonderful. It is a top-class stadium,” Independent councillor John Gilligan said.
“It is an iconic stadium, an iconic brand and it’s important we protect it,” Labour’s Joe Leddin declared.
“It is a gem of a place,” Solidarity councillor Paul Keller added.
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