WWE’s “Clash at the Castle” event at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in September 2022 delivered a massive £21.8m back into the Welsh economy, says a new report issued by Welsh Government this morning.
Welsh Rugby Union interim CEO, Nigel Walker has reflected positively on the outcome of the report after the iconic Cardiff venue, which is owned and operated by the WRU, played a significant role in attracting this latest unique global event to Wales, “The huge return as acknowledged today by Welsh Government is a significant achievement, and is reflective of the fantastic collaboration between all event partners; Principality Stadium, Welsh Government and Cardiff Council amongst others, in bringing this major event to Wales.
“The ability of Principality Stadium to attract major third-party events such as these is vital not just to the local economy but the positive ripple effects are felt far and wide, through job creation and event tourism.
“Clash At The Castle had a global audience of millions and with all eyes on Principality Stadium; we stepped up to the challenge and showcased what a magnificent venue we have here in Cardiff.
“Principality Stadium remains a unique asset and continued investment in the stadium is vital to enable Wales to remain attractive to major events across sports, entertainment and music in future.
“We want to build on our tremendous 20-year legacy of delivering outstanding events, successfully contributing over £2.75 billion of economic output during that time; and, as the home of Welsh rugby, I’m proud that all profits made here go back into funding the game at all levels in Wales.”
The independently generated Economic Impact Study sought the views of over 3,000 respondents. The study found:
• 62,296 attendees to Principality Stadium
• 75.3% of spectators came from outside Wales
• 57% of non-locals indicated the event experience made them want to explore other parts of Wales. Of those that said they wanted to return, they said their experience of the event was the deciding factor
• The event attracted a diverse audience, with nearly a quarter of spectators being female, and many of the spectators attending as family groups.
Mark Williams, Principality Stadium Manager, adds “Everyone at the Welsh Rugby Union is extremely proud that Principality Stadium was chosen by WWE to host this event – their first major UK stadium event in 30 years!
“Hosting events of this scale is extremely important, and WWE’s Clash at the Castle offered us an unbelievable platform upon which to showcase Principality Stadium as a versatile, world-class venue.
“Principality Stadium is unique in its position at the heart of the city centre, which undoubtedly offered WWE fans an unrivalled event experience both inside and outside of the stadium, and brought great benefit to the wider city of Cardiff too.”
Welcoming the findings, Wales’ Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said, “This is what supporting events is all about. We partnered with a world-renowned events and entertainment company to bring a truly spectacular global event to Wales. It was the perfect opportunity for us to showcase how our cities and venues can help deliver successful and globally-recognised occasions.
“In addition to the direct economic impact the event delivered here in Wales, it provided us with a huge boost to our profile internationally. This included opportunities to showcase Wales’ vibrant language and culture through bespoke content creation shared globally on WWE’s social media channels. Over 9 minutes of premium footage that showcased the whole of Wales and regular references to ‘Cardiff, Wales’ throughout commentary.”
Jennifer Burke, City and County of Cardiff, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Events said, “Major events like WWE bring thousands of visitors and real economic benefits to Cardiff, the importance of which shouldn’t be underestimated.
“There was a huge buzz in the city centre on the day of the event and, with millions of people across the world watching, it was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the city to a global audience”.