Event data shows NZ’s first SailGP event was a winner in terms of economic benefit and positive feedback from attendees.
Host city event data obtained from Fresh Info revealed the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix March 18-19 event generated almost 23,000 visitor nights and an estimated visitor spend of more than $4 million for Christchurch.
The event drew 9,887 unique ticketed attendees to the Whakaraupō Lyttleton venue - unique attendee data counts people who went to both days of racing as one attendee. 6748 attendees were from outside the region and close to 1000 of those were international visitors here for the weekend’s racing. The ‘Bring Your Own Boat’ option also proved successful with 200 ticketed boats on the water in the SailGP exclusive spectator zones, with an additional three superyachts in the harbour.
Head of the New Zealand event Karl Budge said, “We’re incredibly proud of the inaugural ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix and its impact on the local community.”
“Everything from racecourse design, the fan village, and the newly developed facilities at Naval Point provided us with the ideal venue for the stadium style racing SailGP was built for. The feedback from our fans, partners, international teams, and staff alike has been that New Zealand set a new benchmark on the global, season calendar,” Budge said.
Head Of The New Zealand Event - Karl Budge
We’re incredibly proud of the inaugural ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix and its impact on the local community.”
Electronic Card Transactions (ECT) analysis of MarketView data throughout March 2023 showed visitor spending in Lyttelton was markedly higher than usual from Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th March 2023. Lyttelton ECT Visitor Spend also showed an increase of close to 14% from February to March with Christchurch City Spend increasing 10% from February to March.
The estimated net benefit to the city, which measures the gross benefits less the gross costs of hosting the event, totalled $1,012,851. For comparison, last August’s All Blacks vs Argentina test match held in Christchurch delivered a net benefit at over $698,000 and Six60’s stadium concert resulted in $755,118 in net benefit for the city according to the Fresh Info datasets.
ChristchurchNZ’s Destination & Attraction General Manager - Loren Heaphy
Diverse and dynamic sports like SailGP give us a real insight into the types of events our community is hungry for and what encourages visitors to come stay and play,”
“Diverse and dynamic sports like SailGP give us a real insight into the types of events our community is hungry for and what encourages visitors to come stay and play,” says ChristchurchNZ’s Destination & Attraction General Manager Loren Heaphy.
“With over half the attendees from out of town, and the incredible survey results from visitors and residents alike, we are emboldened by the pulling power of international sports and our ability as a playful, vibrant destination to host many more successful major events like this. On top of all the positive outcomes from the weekend, more than 136 million people viewed the broadcast globally. With all eyes on Ōtautahi, the race broadcasts were the perfect platform to talk directly to the captive audience and show off our brand new, vibrant, and playful destination,” Heaphy says.
Critically, supporting event satisfaction data produced by Fresh Info found 98% of attendees reported they were satisfied or very satisfied with their experience at SailGP. This is well above the current median satisfaction score for Christchurch events that have been evaluated in the same way, of 88%. Of those surveyed, 95% of residents also agreed “Hosting events like SailGP increases my pride in Christchurch” and 77% agreed “My experience at SailGP has improved my perception of Christchurch as a place to visit”.
While over 12,600 unique attendees engaged in the live sport over the long weekend at either the main event in Lyttelton or the Live site, many more enjoyed it from balconies, hilltops, and vantage points from the surrounding bays. More data on extra activity ‘off the water’ including community activations will be made available in a release from ChristchurchNZ shortly.