Soccer bonanza beckons for hosts
Media coverage for SA the most valuable gain
HOST cities, teams, and fans from around the world are on tenterhooks before next week’s Fifa World Cup Final Draw, which will deter mine who hosts the likes of Fernando Torres, Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi and Kaka.
The draw will decide which country will play where and against whom.
It’s a bonanza for South Africa’s nine host cities, because this year’s line-up is one of the strongest in World Cup history. Each centre is guaranteed to have great matches throughout the tournament.
Projections updated by Grant Thornton Strategic Solutions indicate that about 480 000 foreign visitors are expected to visit for the World Cup and will spend an estimated R8.5 billion, worth R11.5bn in additional impact on the economy, and sustaining the equivalent of 144 000 annual jobs.
They also expect ticket sales and transport and accommodation bookings to start pouring in once the draw is complete .
Gillian Saunders, head of specialist advisory services at Grant Thornton, said: “We expect around 50% of tickets to be sold to South Africans and, given that South Africans bought 48 percent of the tickets sold to date, this seems reasonable. To be cautious, we used an 85% average stadium occupancy rate, when determining these figures.”
Saunders said the real win for South Africa, though, was the international profiling of the destination before, during and after the event.
There will be 480 000 visitors, 18 000 media representatives, and 26 billion cumulative TV viewers, while millions more will read about it or watch news coverage on it.
“We will be on TV screens for weeks, and this is incomparable free media exposure – it would cost billions if we had to do it as advertising.”
So far 671 914 tickets have been sold for the World Cup, with 360 565 tickets having been bought by South Africans.
The US leads ticket sales of international countries with 360 565 being purchased, followed by UK (481 184), Germany (25 060), and Australia (17 848).