XX Commonwealth Games Visitor Study: Economic Impact Report

This report estimates the economic impact of visitors (including volunteers and associated media) to the XX Commonwealth Games.

1. Introduction

1.1 This report sets out an analysis of the economic impact of spending (excluding tickets) by visitors to the XX Commonwealth Games (termed Glasgow 2014) and the Festival 2014 events, including the Merchant City Festival.

1.2 For the purposes of this report, the term 'the Games' has been used to described the combination of Glasgow 2014 and Festival 2014 events and activities which took place between 23 July and 3 August 2014. Glasgow 2014 included ticketed and non-ticketed sporting events, some of which took place outside Glasgow, and the official Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Festival 2014 included the Opening and Closing Celebration events, other activities taking place at Live Zones across Glasgow and numerous other organised cultural events across Glasgow City including the Merchant City Festival.

1.3 Ticket spending is excluded from the analysis in this report as it is included in separate analysis of the impact of the activities of the Games Organising Committee, Glasgow 2014 Ltd[4].

1.4 The economic impact which is measured is that created by the expenditure of three broad groups of visitors who attended the Games:

  • Event visitors - the 690,000 unique visitors to the Games i.e. the Glasgow 2014 sports events, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and Festival 2014 events, including Merchant City Festival
  • Clyde-sider Volunteers - the 12,467 Clyde-siders who volunteered at Glasgow 2014 sports events and the ceremonies
  • Media personnel who attended the Games

1.5 When taken together the combination of these groups is termed 'All Visitor Groups'.

1.6 Athletes, officials, sponsors and contractors attending the Games are not specifically included in the analysis as most of the expenditure associated with their attendance is assumed to have been captured in analysis of the impact of the Organising Committee's spending and activities, Glasgow 2014 Ltd (including the Games Safety & Security budget).

1.7 The assessment has been undertaken using an approach consistent with the eventIMPACTs toolkit of resources to help event organisers improve their evaluation of the impacts associated with staging cultural and sporting events[5].

Data Sources

1.8 The data on the expenditure of event visitors (i.e. those attending Glasgow 2014 and Festival 2014 events) was collected by the visitor survey work conducted by TNS and which has been reported in full separately[6]. This work provided highly detailed expenditure estimates which are set out in Section 2. Spending by this group accounted for 95% of all the estimated expenditure and thus represented by far the greatest part of the economic impact.

1.9 It is theoretically possible that some media personnel and Games Clyde-sider volunteers would have been "caught" by the survey giving rise to a risk of double counting. However, Clyde-sider volunteers were requested not to take part in surveys while working and most media personnel will have been working when survey work was undertaken. The risk and extent of potential double counting is thus considered to be very small.

1.10 Data on expenditure by the Clyde-sider volunteers was collected through a survey conducted by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH). This information was combined with an analysis collated by the Games organisers, Glasgow 2014 Ltd, which provided a breakdown of the "population" of volunteers by place of residence. Further details of the calculation of volunteer expenditure are provided in Annex A.

1.11 So far as media are concerned, the first step in producing the impact estimates was to establish the number of media personnel attending the events.

  • From records of media accreditations, it is estimated that 3,182 broadcasting staff were accredited by Glasgow 2014 Ltd. Of these, 609 were BBC or contract broadcasting staff working for the BBC of which it is estimated that one third of the BBC staff were Scottish based.
  • For other (non-broadcasting) media there were 1,454 such accreditations
  • Data provided by the Destination Media Hub (DMH) indicate that 1,266 media personnel registered for accreditation, with total media footfall through the DMH being 1,127. Of this footfall, 361 visits were made by broadcast media personnel[7]

1.12 Given the varying data sources our best estimate is that over 4,100 media personnel attended the Games of whom 86% were from outside Scotland.

1.13 No data have been collected on daily spend by broadcasters or mean days of attendance. Estimates of spend per media "person" have been made based on other research and are discussed in Annex A.

Structure of Report

1.14 This report is set out as follows:

  • Section 2 provides results relating to the total expenditure of the three visitor groups, namely, event visitors, Clyde-sider volunteers and media.
  • Sections 3 and Section 4 present the estimates of economic impact and the geographical distribution of impact. The flow chart below (Figure 1.1) explains the structure of these sections, which are the core of the report. The flow chart shows the sequence of the analysis and the location of the key tables and results.
  • Annex A provides analysis of the expenditure estimates which underlie the calculations of economic impact.
  • Annex Bcontains detailed expenditure tables.
  • Annex Cprovide an analysis of the impact of the individual events.
  • Annex Dprovides a glossary of terms used in this report.

1.15 The flow chart (Figure 1.1) details the content of Sections 3 and Section 4.

  • Section 3 is concerned with the unadjusted or "gross" impact of all the spending discussed above. The effects of event visitor spend were analysed (as explained in more detail in Annex C) using Scottish Government Input-Output Model[8]. The effects of media and Clyde-sider volunteer spend were then "added in" by scaling up modelled findings.
  • Section 4 adjusts these gross impacts to allow for offsetting effects, specifically:
    • Displacement (the degree to which spending related to the events may have been "shifted" from other activities)
    • Deadweight (the degree to which visitor spend would have taken place even if the events had not been held)
  • The end point of these adjustments is a measure of net (additional non-displaced) economic impact of the Games. This is the gain in economic activity resulting from visitors to the Games.

Figure 1.1. Structure of Section 3 and Section 4

Structure of Section 3 and Section 4


Email: Duncan Whitehead

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