Wales’ most deserving economic communities can have their own “Champions League final” every single year, building on the enormous cash benefits and global marketing success for Wales of this weekend’s fantastic Cardiff event – if the Welsh Government approve their commitment to The Circuit of Wales.
The Circuit has a signed-up commitment to deliver MotoGP, a sport televised to approximately 300million households across the globe, matching the one-off Champions League football final with an audience of around 1.2billion people.
The key difference is that MotoGP, which is staged in Italy, Spain, America, Argentina, Malaysia, Qatar, France, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany and Japan, is held every year, returning an annual cash bonanza to Wales through the new Blaenau Gwent track and bringing with it good quality jobs and international profile to the regeneration area.
“The Champions League was a huge success, praised by all involved and bravely backed and delivered by the Welsh Government’s Economic Development team,” said Martin Whitaker, Chief Executive of The Circuit of Wales.
“It is estimated it brought £45m into Cardiff and helped boost Wales’ reputation as an international tourism destination after coverage that delivered a 1.2 billion TV audience.
“However, MotoGP can do that every year- and not just for the economy of already booming Cardiff but for Blaenau Gwent and the heads of the valleys area, where good jobs are desperately needed and where international visitors are few and far between at the moment,” he said.
The Circuit of Wales has a ten-year agreement to promote and host the British MotoGP, with the first events set to take place from 2019. The Blaenau Gwent development will be one of only 14 locations worldwide (and only eight in Europe) to host a round of the World Championship and will enable Wales to benefit from the impressive reach of its global TV broadcast alongside the direct relationship with global brands and sponsors such as Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, Red Bull, Monster, DeWalt, Motul, Michelin, Telefonica, MoviStar, Shell, and Octo. The August Bank Holiday British MotoGP race weekend will attract more than 150,000 spectators to Wales.
The Circuit of Wales, a 365-day-a-year, £425 million multi-purpose private sector funded regeneration project based in Ebbw Vale in Blaenau Gwent, aims to be Wales’ number one tourism destination, bringing 750,000 visitors a year to the region via a FIA and FIM Grade-1 accredited motorsports track and facility – capable of hosting all levels of motorsport. It is seeking a £210m guarantee from Welsh Government to enable the fully funded private sector construction to commence this summer. It is connected by dual carriageway and motorway to every major city and transportation hub in the UK and serviced by over 100,000 hotel rooms in a 60-mile radius.
“MotoGP is viewed live in over 200 countries. It races in fourteen countries on four continents; it is singed up to more than 80 TV networks,” said Mr. Whitaker. “It’s a young, family-based sport. Around 70 per cent of the viewers are less than 35 years of age and more than 70 per cent watch with friends and family. The momentum is maintained with 18 races a year, attracting more than 92 million visits to the MotoGP website.
“Most importantly, more than 2.4m people attended the races in total- that’s 133,000 per event, or the equivalent of two Champions League finals for every event,” he said.
Mr. Whitaker added that, alongside MotoGP, and in partnership with the EXTREME Sports Company, a pioneer in action sports operating international events and media channels reaching 100 million globally, The Circuit of Wales will integrate a huge number of indoor and outdoor sports and leisure facilities, including adventure and action sports.