Northern Ireland

Casement Park Euros windfall estimated at £106 million

‘Considerable’ economic and sporting legacy from Belfast hosting Euro 2028

Workmen at Casement Park GAA stadium in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Contractors have begun assessing planned ground works at Casement Park ahead of the long-delayed redevelopment of the stadium.The maintenance and pre-enabling works will run until April, when the demolition of the existing terraces will begin. The GAA is undertaking the initial phase of works amid continued uncertainty over the funding of the redevelopment. The stadium in west Belfast has been earmarked for matches at the Euro 2028 football tournament and will need to be completed well in advance of that event to be rubber-stamped as an approved venue. Picture date: Monday February 19, 2024.
Casement Park Euro windfall estimated at £106 million (Liam McBurney/PA)

Hosting UEFA’s Euro 2028 championship matches at west Belfast’s Casement Park could provide a £106 million boost for the north’s economy, according to a new report.

Thursday’s Grant Thornton report estimated the five game days in June 2028 could bring a visitor accommodation spend of £52 million.

Based on data from the tourism and hospitality sectors and the Irish FA, the Ulster GAA commissioned report also estimated a possible £54 million hospitality and retail spend.

Casement Park has been named as one of the 10 preferred UK and Ireland stadia venues.

Ulster GAA said it had been working with the Irish FA, UEFA, Department for Communities and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for two years to “ensure Belfast benefits from the economic and sporting legacy of the joint UK and Ireland bid”.

However, funding commitments for Casement Park project from the British Treasury and NI Executive have still to be agreed.

Andrew Webb, Chief Economist, Grant Thornton, said major events like the Euros were a key catalyst in support of increasing tourism and inward investment.

He added: “While the economic and sporting legacy of Belfast hosting the Euros is considerable, the long-term growth in visitor numbers and the positive statement of intent that it sends out to international investors is perhaps the greatest prize of all.”

Brian McAvoy, Ulster GAA chief executive added: “This report is unambiguous in its analysis of both the economic, tourism and inward investment opportunities the Euros can unlock for all of our people.

“If EURO 2028 can be hosted in Belfast, what a powerful message it would send out on the 30th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in 2028.”