France’s Women’s World Cup delivers €284m economic boost

Last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France contributed €284m (£255m/$321m) to the country’s economy, according to a new report published by the French Football Federation (FFF) and the tournament’s local organising committee.

A total of nine stadiums were used to host matches during the tournament, which was contested by 24 teams and won by the US. The study required each host territory to collect cash flows and physical data to assess their respective economic and environmental impact.

The study found that the tournament generated a net capital gain of €108m, with the average contribution to the GDP per spectator standing at €142. The nine host cities and regions benefited from a return on investment of between two and 20 euros of contribution to the French GDP for every euro spent.

The report also highlights a number of areas where the tournament was eco-friendly. Some 6.4 tonnes of food waste were collected and donated to local community-based associations, while a ton of bottle caps were collected and donated for recycling.

Additionally, four host stadiums were equipped with a new two-flow bin system for waste and recyclables, while 210,200 cigarette butts were collected and recycled. Twenty-one matches also offered audio-descriptive commentary for blind and partially-sighted fans, with three venues equipped with an audio-descriptive commentary system that will remain after the tournament.

Twenty-five per cent of the spectators were overseas fans who had travelled to France specifically for the event.

The report has been released to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the World Cup final and comes after FIFA last month awarded hosting rights for the 2023 tournament to Australia and New Zealand.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: “The FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 was an unprecedented success, breaking numerous records on and off the pitch. In line with FIFA’s commitment to organise tournaments in a sustainable way, this report further highlights the lasting impact and legacy of France 2019, not only for women’s football, but also for the local economy and the society.

“As FIFA now begins a new journey towards the next FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023, we would like to warmly thank France, the FFF and the Local Organising Committee for their commitment to delivering a sustainable legacy for France 2019 and look forward to working together with Australia and New Zealand to break new records in 2023 and further boost women’s football in the region and around the world.”

Noël Le Graët, president of the FFF and the local organising committee, added: “The first satisfaction is to have proved that a women’s football competition can win popular support and help to change the perception of women’s football.

“In 2014, when the FFF decided to take over the organisation, I remember the scepticism surrounding the organisation, particularly with regard to the economic dimension. Today, the economic results are positive. They prove that the efforts of FIFA, the LOC, the FFF, the leagues, and the host regions and cities have paid off.

“It is also a source of pride that football, with the organisation of a major women’s sporting event, brings significant direct and indirect economic benefits to the territories and the community. The environmental effort should also be highlighted. In this sector, the FFF’s involvement, with the implementation of its eco-responsible policy, must continue.”

Lyon’s Groupama Stadium (pictured) hosted the semi-finals and final of the tournament, with the final attracting a crowd of 57,900.

Image: Groupama Stadium