York stadium will be a huge boost for GTA economy, study says

The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) recently retained Deloitte & Touche LLP to conduct a high-level economic impact study concerning all aspects of the 24-nation FIFA World Youth Championship Canada 2007, including the construction of the York University stadium.

Right: Graphic of York’s new stadium

The review measured the economic impacts of staging the three-week-long, 52-match soccer tournament in Canada, and the associated spending of athletes, FIFA executives, organizing committees, scouts, media and fans coming to Canada to attend the games.

Results of the study indicate an economic impact of an estimated $105.7 million associated with construction of a new stadium at York, $17.7 million for staging the event, and $45.2 million in associated spending. Although additional economic benefits were not included in the assessment, the overall projections total over $168 million.

“We are pleased to provide the CSA with our final report of the high-level economic impact assessment of the CSA hosting the FIFA Men’s U-20 World Soccer Championship in 2007,” said Ronald Bidulka, firm director, Deloitte. “In addition to the direct and indirect economic impacts resulting from the staging of this event, Canada should also expect to see a number of other benefits which are beyond quantification in this study, including ‘marketing value’ arising from increased media exposure, the ‘value’ of the keeping entertainment spending within Canada, and national pride.”

“We are pleased that the championship itself will have a total economic impact on the Canadian economy of $63 million dollars,” said Kevan Pipe, chief operating officer of the Canadian Soccer Association. “As the $35 million of public funding for the $70-million York University stadium project was directly linked to the CSA securing hosting rights of the FIFA World Youth Championship 2007, we are pleased to see an overall economic impact of $168 million associated with both the championship and the stadium. When one factors in worldwide television coverage as well as attendance levels, it is easy to understand why this championship will be one of the largest sporting events ever in this country outside of the Olympic Games.”

York University President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna Marsden added: “We are absolutely delighted with the economic impact that this tournament and the stadium will generate for the area, and are proud to be associated with The Canadian Soccer Association and FIFA in playing host to the world in 2007.”