Ukrainian businessmen, who hoped to make money on the European Football Championship, are disappointed. There were fewer foreign football fans than it was expected, and these fans were reluctant to spend money. Will the long term investments pay off?
Ukraine has been preparing for these three and a half weeks for five years: built new stadiums, airports, hotels and roads. According to official data, the state spent more than four billion EUR on the organization of the European Football Championship. The lion’s share of money (500 million EUR) went on the reconstruction of the Olympiyskiy Stadium, in the heart of Kiev, which hosted the final match of the tournament on July 1, Deutsche Welle writes.
The budget of Donetsk earned around 30 million EUR during the championship, the Mayor of Donetsk Alexander Lukyanenko said, stating the results. According to him, a little less than money of private investors made up a little less than a half of this amount.
The Western-Ukrainian Lvov earned more than Donetsk, even though it housed by two matches less than Donetsk. Lvov organizers claim that the city’s treasury earned 50 million EUR. While 1.2 billion were spent on the organization of the tournament. So it seems that Euro-2012 expenses exceeded earnings several times in Donetsk and Lvov. A similar situation is present in two other cities of Ukraine – Kharkov and Kiev.
The number of European football fans that came to the tournament turned out to be less than expected. According to estimates, Ukraine was visited by more than one million tourists. Organizers of fan zones and benefited the most from their presence. This also applies for owners of bars and hotels located next to stadiums. According to the data from the authorities of the capital, nearly 200 000 litres of beer was sold during the two weeks of the Euro-2012.
According to some research, every third foreign tourist spent around 30 EUR per day in Kiev, preferring cheap beer and sausages to expensive restaurants.
Owners of Ukrainian hotels also lacked profits from Euro-2012. After a wave of critical publications in European media and criticism from the management of UEFA prices in some hotels were reduced right before the beginning of the tournament. Only those people who delayed their bookings to the last, benefited from this. However, the number of tourists turned out to be lower than expected and most rooms remained empty.
In any case, analysts believe it to be too soon to make conclusions. They note that the funds invested in the construction of new stadiums, airports and hotels cannot pay off so fast – those are long term investments.
The most expensive stadium in Ukraine – Olympiyskiy, in Kiev – for example, will soon start receiving earnings not only from football. It will be rented out for superstar concerts in the nearest weeks. Starting from the end of July, there where the finals of Euro-2012 between Italy and Spain took place, will house the concert of Red Hot Chilli Peppers. And Madonna is expected to perform there in the beginning of August.