The Grand Slam was not the only reason for Wales to celebrate this weekend. Figures showing a £10m boost to the Welsh economy. With more than 250,000 people coming to Cardiff to soak up the atmosphere of the final day of this year’s Six Nations’ tournament, the supporters were clearly willing to splash the cash on the big day.
The four Weatherspoon pubs located in the city centre made a massive £287,000 between them on Saturday. Sian Hills, Unit Manager of Central Bar, said: “We expected a large turnout and we were not disappointed. We had to buy in double the amount of alcohol we usually stock to deal with the demands.”
She added: “We made more than £22,000 on Saturday here as a direct result of Saturday’s game, with fans watching the game and then staying to celebrate after. It has been a long time since I saw a queue for entry to the bar. Hopefully we will have the same amount of success this time next year so we can enjoy the same kind of windfall again.”
The Walkabout Bar on St Mary’s Street was another big earner, taking an impressive £169,000 according to figures released by Caterersearch.com. This figure shattered the bar’s record intake for a single day, which previously stood at £25,000.
Hotels in central Cardiff felt the positive effect of the Grand Slam. A spokesperson for the Holiday Inn on Castle Street was unable to give exact figures, but said the hotel was “rammed”, with rugby fans travelling to Cardiff in advance of the big game resulting in all the rooms being booked well in advance of the weekend.
Sports retailer Shop Rugby were another establishment which enjoyed a large profit this weekend. Shop assistant Mark Marshall said: "This weekend was one of the busiest I have ever seen, over the course of the weekend we must have taken over £60,000.”
Cardiff market was not quite as successful on Saturday though, with people more interested in the rugby than local produce. A spokesperson for the market said: “The day was very busy and the market was full but to be honest a lot of those people were cutting through the market on their way to the centre to watch the game I imagine.”
Neil McEvoy, Executive Member for Transport and Economic Development for Cardiff Council, said: “Saturday’s result was great. We could have been slightly more creative in how we marketed such a huge occasion, although the supporters village was really positive with thousands of people watching the game there.”
He added: “Sporting events can be a massive economy driver so hopefully we will have more of the same in the future. Looking ahead, we have some huge events coming to Cardiff in the near future. World boxing is coming to Cardiff at some point which will bring some very special people to Cardiff. We need to keep our eyes on the ball and keep attracting major sporting events.”