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United Kingdom / Analyst Insights
Cricket World Cup 2019: Industry Impact

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by Thomas Falconer, Industry Analyst
May 28 2019

In its 12th edition, the 2019 Cricket World Cup (CWC) takes place in England and Wales for the fifth time this summer. Between 30 May and 14 July, a total of 48 matches are scheduled to be played in 11 venues across 10 cities, including London, Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester and Cardiff. With the hosts joined by nine other nations, including Australia, India and the West Indies, the spectacle will undoubtably attract audiences from across the globe. According to a representative of the International Cricket Council (ICC), the recognised global governing body of cricket, the event could have a global television audience of 1.5 billion viewers.

Meanwhile, the ICC received over three million applications  from 148 different countries for 800,000 tickets, which were made available over two ballot phases. With a further 50,000 tickets touted via general sale, in addition to corporate and hospitality tickets and tickets sold via tour and travel packages, the CWC is set to be a sell-out event as demand overshadows supply almost four-fold. Considering the global appeal of the CWC, a successful tournament in terms of hosting excellence has the potential to enhance regional economies in England and Wales, primarily by way of tourism and hospitality, and cement the UK’s status as a world-class venue for future events. Based on match-day spending by domestic and international attendees, including on hospitality, food, drink and merchandise; and expenditure on international travel, accommodation, and matchday tickets, IBISWorld estimates that the United Kingdom could benefit from a £435.5 million economic boost by hosting the 2019 CWC.




The CWC will attract cricket fans from across the globe – according to the ICC, tickets were sold as far and wide as Madagascar and Mexico – meaning hotel chains, travel agencies, and airline operators will benefit from additional bookings this summer. Typically, May, June and July are strong months for UK tourism - according to the Office for National Statistics, there were over 3.9 million overseas visits to the United Kingdom in July 2018 –  and inbound tourism is likely to spike further as a direct result of the CWC. IBISWorld estimates that approximately 109,980 internationals will travel to the United Kingdom this summer to attend tournament matches, pumping an additional £192.7 million of cash from outside of the United Kingdom into industries that provide accommodation and international travel services.

Meanwhile, of the nearly 490,000 unique UK-domiciled tournament attendees expected this summer, many will have planned short breaks away with friends and family to enjoy matches hosted in various parts of England and Wales. Accordingly, UK attendees, whether booking a two-night break in Manchester, spending a night in London, or organising a weekend trip to Cardiff, are expected to contribute an additional £28.1 million to the Hotels industry (IBISWorld report I55.100), the Holiday Accommodation industry (IBISWorld report I55.200) and other guesthouse proprietors’ summertime income.

H51.101 Scheduled Passenger Air Transport in the UK

I55.100 Hotels in the UK

I55.200 Holiday Accommodation in the UK

N79.110 Travel Agencies in the UK


Aside from expenditure on accommodation and cross-border travel, general matchday spending will burn a hole in the pockets of cricket fans. IBISWorld estimates that the total value of matchday tickets sold to UK or international attendees, whether classed as general sale, corporate seating or otherwise, could rise to £52.3 million, and tournament attendees will undoubtably complement their viewing experience with a crisp beverage at Trent Bridge or Edgbaston’s finest burger and chips. Meanwhile, if the tournament opener at The Oval does not knock spectators for six, many fine restaurants in the nearby London vicinity indisputably will. IBISWorld estimates that the CWC could generate £162.4 million in hospitality revenue at match venues and additional revenue at local restaurants, pubs and bars.

I56.104 Full-Service Restaurants in the UK

I56.290 Food-Service Contractors in the UK

I56.302 Pubs & Bars in the UK

R93.110 Sports Facilities in the UK

Broader benefits:

Tournament Legacy

Given that the ICC keeps broadcast and sponsorship revenue associated with the international broadcasting of the CWC, and considering the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) keeps publications and ticket revenues, the economic benefit of CWC attendee expenditure and international viewership to some sectors is indirect, and often realised through the long term. For instance, the ICC and ECB has pledged to invest the income they earn from the CWC back into the sport, providing grants to schools that wish to kick-start cricket-related programmes that engage with youths, and to cricket clubs that require new or upgraded facilities.

Moreover, business legacy from the CWC’s global exposure can support regional economies beyond the tournament. The CWC provides an invaluable opportunity to showcase cities such as Bristol and Nottingham, which may not be as well known internationally as London, on the global stage, and bring them to the attention of worldwide investors and potential visitors to the United Kingdom.

P85.200 Primary Education in the UK

P85.310 General Secondary Education in the UK

R93.110 Sports Facilities in the UK


While cricket is not traditionally a sport that attracts gamblers at a scale similar to football and horse racing, bookmakers tend to profit from an influx of punters attempting to predict the outcome of major international sporting events, like the CWC. With bookies offering online betting, enhanced odds and evermore obscure bets such as the average speed of a particular player’s bowling through a match alongside more traditional wagers, extensive marketing and live in-play betting, the temptation to take a punt on the CWC may prove irresistible for many.

The CWC offers 48 matches for punters to lay a wager on, with bookies also welcoming top wicket-taker, top-scoring batsman, and overall winner bets, among a plethora of traditional and special request stakes. Operators in the Gambling and Betting Activities industry (IBISWorld report R92.000) are odds on to cash in on punters taking a flutter on the CWC.

R92.000 Gambling & Betting Activities in the UK


For a printable PDF of Cricket World Cup 2019: Industry Impact, click here.

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