Dublin Chamber of Commerce have estimated a direct economic dividend to the capital of €21 million based on the overseas visitors alone for this Heineken Cup final.
Over 22,000 visitors are set to travel on the weekend of May 17/18 for the decider between Clermont Auvergne and Toulon at the Aviva Stadium, with Leinster taking on Stade Francais in the Amlin Challenge Cup final at the RDS.
Research following the Cardiff 2011 finals showed that the economic impact on the Welsh capital from the 83,000 fans who attended the games amounted to €30 million.
ERC has entered into a partnership with Dublin City Council to create a European Champions Village fan experience which will be situated on Dublin’s iMerrion Square (South and East) offering a great opportunity for Dubliners to savour the unique atmosphere of a major European rugby occasion.
Opening from 12pm on Heineken Cup final day, the Champions Village will be the focal point for a pre-match and post-match gathering of fans, both local and overseas, serving as a HQ for the colourful supporters of both Clermont Auvergne and Toulon with live music, interactive games, a Heineken Cup trophy photo booth, a big screen live broadcast of the match, Heineken bars and local cuisine.
Working in tandem with Fáilte Ireland, ERC developed 5,000 Golden Ticket packages which offered seats to both finals as well as a one-day Dublin Pass with free admission to more than 30 top city attractions.
Of the 22,000 overseas fans expected in Dublin, more than 3,000 will attend both finals. Research has shown that on average, supporters stay in the host city for 1.9 bed nights, with the stay for those attending both finals rising to 3.7 nights.
Also as part of the build-up to the weekend, ERC has joined forces with Dublin City Council and Leinster Rugby to develop a grassroots programme to encourage children in non-traditional rugby areas of the capital to take part in the European Challenge which will see 24 Under 12 teams playing in a blitz on Wednesday, 15 May in Irishtown.
A Dublinia Under 15s team has been formed and will play its first match against St Michael’s College on the Aviva Stadium back pitch for the inaugural Dublin 2013 Cup on the same day.
ERC Chief Executive Derek McGrath said: “With 22,000 overseas fans set to travel, Dublin has proven to be a hugely attractive setting for the European club rugby finals weekend which has developed over the years into one of the great events in Europe’s sporting calendar.
"We have been working with Fáilte Ireland, the IRFU and Dublin City Council to ensure that supporters who visit the city, both overseas and closer to home, will enjoy a hugely positive experience of everything Dublin has to offer.”