Friday, 13 January 2012

In the interests of fairness...

A week ago I posted a list of questions I had regarding the economic case for the stadium for Cornwall which had been passed to me by the Council. I also passed these on to the Council themselves and they have sought answers from the consultants.

This is the response they have sent which I reproduce below:

"Dear Jordan

Re: Response to Cllr. Folkes regarding Economic impact assessment for Cornwall Stadium

In response to the comments regarding the Economic Impact assessment in the Phase 2 report (Oct 11) made by Councillor Folkes, we have looked over the detail again of the Five Lines Consulting assessment and feel that overall it provides a realistic and robust overview of the potential economic impact of the stadium.

Whilst the analysis is at a high level at this stage, there has been extensive consultation with the clubs and other potential occupying parties and users of the stadium to suggest that figures given relating to attendances, usage, ticket sales, prices and additional spends etc. are realistic and robust. It would be useful to understand which ‘number of areas’ that Cllr. Folkes refers that do relate back to evidence provided by the clubs and end users.

It could be argued that the deadweight analysis be undertaken again now that there is more certainty in terms of the occupiers of the facility, however, the new stadium effect on attendances should not be under-estimated. A number of factors determine attendance at sporting events – from ticket price to quality of facilities, size of the catchment area, historic and current success levels. Typically, however, there is a consistent increase in attendances on moving to a new stadium of up to 47% in year 1 of operation. These increases have broadly been sustained beyond Year 1, through to Year 5, with only minor decreases. Taking a more prudent approach and removing from the analysis any cases where clubs previously had identifiable latent demand or played their first seasons in a new stadium immediately following promotion or relegation, there is an again a consistent average attendance increase of 37%. This is therefore considered to be the ‘new stadium effect’ (IPW… research into the ‘new stadium effect’ at English stadia since 1993).

In terms of potential jobs created within the clubs we feel that these are realistic estimates at this stage and have been discussed with the clubs albeit they are predicated by the Pirates achieving Premiership status (which a new stadium will allow them to achieve, by being admitted because they meet the ground regulations, if they win the Championship) and the club therefore becoming a full time operation.

I hope this provides sufficient feedback for the time being and if further detail needs to be provide for the E&E OSC then please let us know.

Best regards,

Dougal Nicholls
Associate Consultant
I'm grateful to the consultants and officers for providing this. I don't think it answers all the questions posed, but we will be able to have further discussion when the matter comes to scrutiny - now likely to be in February.

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