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European Athletics Championships in the red

The European Athletics Championships, which took place at the Letzigrund Stadium in Zurich in August, were beneficial for tourism and local businesses but caused a CHF3.2 million loss ($3.3 million) for the event organisers because not enough tickets were sold.

The athletics championships with the men’s marathon were beneficial for tourism and local businesses in the city of Zurich Keystone

About 150,000 spectators watched the competitions. The stadium was filled to 81% capacity during the evening and afternoon sessions, but was only 65% full in the mornings. That meant that the profit targets were “clearly missed”, the organisers said on Monday.

Massively cheaper ticket prices would have boosted the utilisation of the stadium, but at the same time the profit from the ticket sales would have been even lower, the organisers explained.

The budget for the event was CHF33 million. The resulting loss will be covered by the equity capital of the organisers, by private investors, as well as by public funding from the city, the canton and the country.

The championships generated sales of CHF146 million throughout the country, and about CHF95 million in the Canton of Zurich. The gross value added came to CHF65.7 million – about CHF40 million in the canton.

Tourism particularly benefitted, the organisers said. Visitors generated more than 60,000 overnight stays, making up for business due to a rainy summer, they added. In addition, as many as 358 million sports fans followed the events on television.

The major sports event not only inspired visitors and athletes but also provided a new stimulus for sports, tourism and the economy in the entire country, the organisers said. And the city of Zurich was also able to prove its quality as a host city for international large-scale sports events.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR