III. THE 1999 CRICKET AND RUGBY WORLD
26. Judged in terms of the income generated and the
number of spectators and viewers attracted, the Rugby World Cup
ranks as the fourth largest sporting event in the world.
The Rugby World Cup was staged in October and November 1999 by
the Welsh Rugby Union and its partner unions in England, Scotland,
France and Ireland with considerable success.
The Millennium Stadium was completed in time to serve as a fitting
centrepiece for the event.
The profit arising from the event exceeded the forecast.
Thanks in part to financial support from a range of public bodies
in Wales, the event delivered a considerable boost to Welsh tourism
and to the Welsh economy.
27. The benefits to Wales resulted in some measure
from the extent of public involvement and from concerted efforts
to promote the Welsh identity of the event. However, the tournament
structure depended crucially upon the involvement of the Five
Nations and evidence from the Scottish Rugby Union expressed concern
that the benefits were not effectively distributed across the
different countries where matches were held.
Nevertheless, there are encouraging early signs of increased participation
in rugby being stimulated by the World Cup in Scotland and England
as well as in Wales.
28. The England and Wales Cricket Board organised
the 1999 Cricket World Cup with the clear ambition of broadening
the spectator base for the sport in this country.
The event was very successful in this regard, most notably in
stimulating greater interest in cricket among women and ethnic
The World Cup was also a commercial success.
The England and Wales Cricket Board linked its promotion of the
tournament with its support for increased school participation
in cricket, a move which is showing dividends, particularly at
primary school level.
Sport England speculated that England's early exit from the tournament
might have blunted the sports development impact of the tournament,
although the organisers observed that interest rose in the later
stages despite England's departure.
The Government has rightly characterised the Cricket World Cup
as "a resounding success".
While the wider benefits beyond the sport itself may not be as
apparent as with some events, this is almost certainly connected
to the absence of a direct public sector financial commitment
to the tournament.
57 Evidence, p 260. Back
pp 242-243. Back
p 242. Back
p 245. Back
pp 259-262, 271. Back
pp 249, 263. Back
pp 264, 35, 248. Back
(1998-99) 124-I, para 26. Back
pp 199, 250. Back
p 250. Back
p 251. Back
pp 34, 250. Back
p 199. Back
pp 236-237. Back