Sporting spotlight shines on the West Midlands image

Based on existing West Midlands Growth Company and EY data, Villa’s promotion back to the Premier League to join Wolverhampton Wanderers is expected to attract additional tourists to the region, providing significant financial benefits. 

  •  £113 million – football’s impact on the West Midlands’ visitor economy
  • 700,000 – international visitor trips made for Premier League football
  • 800,000 – domestic trips made by away fans to watch Premier League football
  • £32.1 million – an economic boost for Birmingham from hosting 2019 Cricket World Cup
  • £526 million – boost expected to the region from 2022 Commonwealth Games

‘Huge rewards’

Roger Mendonça, Chief Operating Officer at the West Midlands Growth Company, said:

“Aston Villa’s playoff victory is fantastic news for the West Midlands. 

“Premier League football brings huge rewards for a region’s visitor economy. Now the West Midlands has two Premier League football clubs – with West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City hopefully battling for promotion next season – the region’s reputation as a top destination for sport is only set to rise.” 

Region’s sporting specialism  

The West Midlands has proven itself as the home of major international sporting fixtures in the UK, highlighted in recent years by the quality and variety of world-class events held in the region.

These include the ICC Champions Trophy, World Indoor Athletics Championships and Rugby World Cup.

So far this year, the region’s sporting highlights have included the Gymnastics World Cup at Arena Birmingham and the Coventry Half Marathon. 

Last month, the women’s international football friendly between England and Denmark at Walsall’s Banks’s Stadium ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

Still to come in 2019

  • Five fixtures of the Cricket World Cup at Edgbaston Stadium, including England v India and the second semi-final.
  • Nature Valley Classic tennis tournament at Edgbaston Priory Club
  • Birmingham Grand Prix athletics at Alexander Stadium
  • Snooker’s Champion of Champions at Ricoh Arena.

‘Globally recognised brands’

The region’s sporting success will also support its inward investment offer. Roger Mendonca added: 

“The USA and China are two major target markets for inward investment into the West Midlands – and each has a huge fanbase for Premier League football. 
“The growing reputation of both Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers as globally recognised brands will help us to put the West Midlands firmly in the spotlight, helped by the international investment that has supported the success of both clubs.”

Commonwealth Games gains

It is anticipated that between 500,000 and one million additional visitors are expected to arrive in Birmingham for the 2022 Commonwealth Games (source: PwC economic impact analysis)

Construction work has begun on the Games’ £520 million Athletes Village, which will be converted into more than 1,400 homes for the people of Birmingham after the event. 

The £60 million Sandwell Aquatics Centre, which will provide the borough with a state-of-the-art leisure centre post-Games, received the go-ahead in April.