'€800m boost if we host Rugby World Cup here'
A NEW study has found that hosting the Rugby World Cup here in 2023 could deliver an €800m boost to the economy.
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar is set to brief the Cabinet about the new feasibility study which reveals that the tournament would bring in an additional 337,000 visitors.
Consultants Deloitte said in their study that it would be realistic to have a cross-border bid.
It said there are sufficient stadiums in the country, given that the GAA had voted last March to allow Croke Park and other GAA stadiums in Belfast, Thurles, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Castlebar to be used as part of a bid.
A Government source said that this was in addition to rugby stadiums such as the Aviva Stadium, Thomond Park in Limerick and Ravenhill in Belfast.
"The key benchmark is New Zealand which is of comparable size and population. They used a diversity of stadiums to deliver the last Rugby World Cup," he said.
The Government will have to decide on making a bid before the deadline of 2016 – which is its final year in office. The winner will be announced in 2017.
There will be a requirement for a financial commitment from the State towards a tournament company to run the competition. But the Government source said the study was "quite positive" on this aspect and had predicted that a surplus would be made.