When Newcastle was awarded three games in next year’s Rugby World Cup it was reckoned the North East would make £14m out of it.
Now the estimate has risen to £93m. Wow. Either inflation is a lot higher than we all thought or there’s been a fundamental rethink about the benefits of the tournament to the region.
The answer is the latter. The fact that one New Zealand travel company has booked 2,000 beds in Newcastle for a three-night stay gives you just a taste of what we can expect from next year’s global jamboree.
The key is to make the most of the tournament, to make sure it is not just a one-hit wonder.
We need to send home those Kiwis, South Africans, Samoans and Scots with a fantastic impression of our region – so that they will tell their friends.
We want plenty more visitors in the future – whether or not there’s a game of rugby on.