Government sanctioned report over Ryder Cup hosting costs to be under lock and key

Tiger Woods swings towards Adare Manor at the 2022 JP McManus Pro-Am. Photo: Eóin Noonan.

THE government has ordered a review of the estimated cost to the taxpayer for the hosting of the Ryder Cup in Limerick’s Adare Manor in 2027, but the review will not be published, the Department of Tourism and Sport has told the Limerick Post.

This comes in the wake of People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy stating in the Dáil that “the public is to pay more than €60million to host the Ryder Cup in Adare”.

In July 2019, the government approved €31m to the European Tour for the event, to include a licence fee of €22.5m, paid by the Irish Exchequer, and €8.5million for the annual Irish Open golf tournament and other tour event supports. An additional €8million was approved by the government to market the event.

All of the amounts are exclusive of VAT, which will be in the order of €5m.

The government also agreed in principle to allocating an additional €19.36m “for the operational budget to support the staging of the tournament” to include “transport, security, local authority costs, ceremonies, and fan zones”.

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The cost analysis review, which is being undertaken by national tourism development agency Fáilte Ireland, “is expected to be delivered in the coming weeks and, due to commercial reasons, it is not proposed to publish the review”, the department stated.

The estimated cost for improving roads around Adare for the golf tournament, which is expected to attract an additional 17,000 cars to the Limerick village, is as yet unknown.

However, when the Limerick Post asked the Department of Transport for figures on funding allocation for road, rail, and other infrastructure in Adare around the Ryder Cup event, it revealed that “the government will be investing approximately €150million in delivering the (Adare) bypass”.

“The bypass will remove unnecessary through traffic from Adare town and eliminate a major regional point of congestion on the national road network,” the department said, adding that “if delivered before the Ryder Cup, the bypass could assist traffic management during this busy period”.

However, the department, headed up by Green Party leader and Transport Minister Eamon Ryan, pointed out “there are risks which may materialise during construction which could slow delivery” of the bypass, adding that “TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland) and Limerick City and County Council will endeavour to ensure that it is ready in time for the event”.

A spokesman for Limerick City and County Council (LCCC) told the Limerick Post it is currently involved in “ongoing discussions with the government in relation to funding associated with the regions preparations for the Ryder Cup”.

The council spokesman would not comment specifically on funding amounts, but said that “spending requirements are still being considered”.

“It is the ambition of Limerick City and County Council that the staging of this global sporting event would leave a positive, lasting legacy for Adare, Limerick, and the wider region,” he said.

“The council is seeking funding for necessary local road improvements to facilitate the staging of the Ryder Cup and, in addition, all other transportation and mobility requirements are being assessed in conjunction with relevant government departments and transport agencies.”

Fáilte Ireland’s new economic impact study, commissioned by the department of tourism and sport “will include amended figures for the costs of hosting the Ryder Cup, including capital and current investment, total revenue directly generated, and a breakdown of revenue impacts, including the indirect impact and the induced impact”.

The department said the hosting the Ryder Cup at the K Club in 2006 “was worth €143million to the Irish economy and the department is confident that the Ryder Cup 2027 (in Adare) will be worth well in excess of that to the Irish economy”.

Some have already estimated that the prestigious golfing event may be worth as much as €160m to the local economy.

Department of Sport officials previously told the Public Accounts Committee that they did not know how much Adare Manor owner and Limerick horse racing mogul JP McManus was paying for the right to hold the Ryder Cup at his five-star hotel and golf resort.

The Limerick Post was awaiting a reply at the time of going to print about the sum involved from a representative of the billionaire Adare Manor owner, who has held six charity Pro-Am tournaments at the luxury venue.