So far this Spring, Brits have responded to their newly restored freedoms with gusto, unleashing a wave of spending in the process. Add to this a spell of glorious weather (London is forecast to witness sunshine and temperatures in the mid-twenties throughout the next two weeks) and an England football team that looks poised for a deep run during the upcoming European Football Championships and you have the ingredients for a buoyant period for the UK economy in June and July.
To quantify the scale of spending that we might expect as a result of the Euros, it is instructive to examine what took place during the last major international football tournament: the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Back then, a study by Barclaycard found that spending in pubs was 16.8% higher around the period of the World Cup than it was during the same time the previous year. Of course, the ongoing presence of social distancing restrictions means that spending in pubs during Euro 2020 will not be what it was during the 2018 World Cup, when venues were able to cram scores of supporters into small spaces. In order to control for this, we have applied the 16.8% uplift in spending in pubs to the suppressed level of activity in pubs that we are currently seeing amid Covid-19 restrictions. Based on this we estimate that Brits will splash out £720 million in pubs during the European Football Championships – £104 million more than would have otherwise been the case.
The last time that the UK hosted a major international football tournament was Euro 1996, when the now England Manager Gareth Southgate was a young member of the England squad that progressed through to the semi-finals before losing on penalties to Germany. With eight games scheduled to be played at Wembley and a further four games scheduled at Hampden Park in Glasgow, in-stadium spending by fans will provide another boost to total expenditure over the coming weeks. Assuming that both Wembley and Hampden Park operate at 25% capacity throughout the tournament, Cebr estimates that fans will spend a total of approximately £37 million on tickets across the 12 fixtures hosted in the UK. Building in an additional spend of £10 per person per match (which covers the cost of a pie and a pint at Wembley) implies that Euro 2020 will deliver a £143 million boost to spending in the UK across the four weeks of footballing action.
Brits’ spending in shops and online was 10.6% higher in April than before the pandemic. However, fast economic indicators such as card spending data suggest that this momentum may have begun to slow slightly during the second half of May. The Euros therefore have the potential to breathe new life into the resurgence of consumer spending that has followed the easing of lockdown restrictions.
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 Wembley stadium may admit higher numbers during the latter stages of the tournament, depending on developments with the Covid-19 pandemic