The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) European Football Championship has kicked off, stirring up excitement and anticipation throughout Europe as nations support their home countries, in the hope that their team will bring home the title. The Euros are the perfect antidote to raise spirits globally, as nations still struggle with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, providing us with an opportunity to unite and celebrate the trials and tribulations of the event. In celebration of the tournament’s 60th anniversary, the championship is being hosted by 11 different cities across Europe, rather than its typical format whereby it is hosted by one nation.
These nation-wide championships should not only help to improve morale, it is also likely to have a positive effect of the economies of the nations involved, since more individuals will be visiting the cities to watch the game. This could impact the hospitality and retail sectors of the nations involved, providing them with a welcome boost, aiding their post-pandemic recovery. However, since COVID-19 is still an undeniable concern, the extent of the effect that this year’s Euros will have on the economies of the nations involved is likely to be impacted by reduced capacities in venues and fear of transmission.
Euro 2020’s host cities
Since the Euros were initially set to take place last year, but were delayed to 2021 because of the pandemic, they are still named Euro 2020, to mark the 60th anniversary of the championships. The cities hosting Euro 2020 and their stadiums are:
- Amsterdam, Holland – Johan Cruyff Arena
- Baku, Azerbaijan – Olympic Stadium
- Budapest, Hungary – Puskas Arena
- Bucharest, Romania – Arena Nationala
- Copenhagen, Denmark – Parken Stadium
- Glasgow, Scotland – Hampden Park
- London, England – Wembley Stadium
- Munich, Germany – Allianz Arena
- Rome, Italy – Stadio Olimpico
- Saint Petersburg, Russia – Krestovsky Stadium
- Sevilla, Spain – Estadio de la Cartuja
To limit the transmission of coronavirus and to keep everyone safe, the stadiums will be working at reduced capacity, with each venue holding around 25% of their maximum crowds. This means that in England’s opening match against Croatia at Wembley Stadium, the venue welcomed 22,500 fans, whereas their maximum capacity is 90,000. Inevitably, this reduced capacity will limit the turnover that stadiums and hospitality venues will be able to fetch during the event. This means that the event will supplement the economies of the nations involved, but the positive impact is unlikely to be ground-breaking.
The economic effect of Euro 2020 on the UK
The UK has already experienced an economic boost, caused by the successful vaccine rollout and the gradual easing of restrictions which has caused economic activity to build momentum. Economic experts believe that the Euro 2020 championships could see the UK economy being boosted by up to £1 billion, spurred by fans’ football fanatism and increased spending. This will mostly come from food and alcohol sales, as well as Britain’s purchases of football merchandise, and electronics to enhance their footy viewing experience.
The tournament should see the UK welcome an increased footfall to highstreets that have long awaited the return of custom. This could benefit small businesses significantly and provide them with the boost that they need to survive the effects of their forced closures over the past year. As the economy recovers and with the Bank of England’s forecasts for continued economic growth and a rise in employment in 2021, the Pound Sterling (GBP) experienced a rise in value in May 2021 and was up one cent against the Euro, trading at nearly €1.161. The recovery of global economies will have a positive effect on foreign exchange (forex) trading, and should you choose to invest, you could take part in global forex trading and speculate on price movements on an online platform like Plus500 for example.
The host nations involved in this year’s Euro 2020 championships are thrilled to see the return of live sport in their nations. Our TVs are adorned with images of crowds and we’re all glad to once again hear the clammer of football chants. There’s no doubt that this year’s Euros will be different than previous years, with stadiums working at reduced capacity and cities still burdened by the coronavirus pandemic. However, though the profits will not be as great as previous years for the nations involved, it should help to supplement their economic recovery.