UEFA Conference League: Windsor Park in Belfast could host final in 2023 as council expresses support for bid

The bid was revealed at a recent Belfast City Council committee meeting, where elected officials noted a possible future commitment to donate money to the Irish Football Association to support its bid for the event. next year.

The UEFA Conference League is a new competition and will have its first final in Albania in June this year.

At the Board’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, elected members were told that the financial commitment was “not in the medium-term financial planning” and that a report on the financial implications would only be made after a successful offer. The advisers agreed to a request from UEFA to sign a ‘Host City Commitment Letter’.

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Villarreal supporters during the UEFA Super Cup Final against Chelsea at Windsor Park National Stadium, Belfast in 2021. Could the stadium host the UEFA Conference League Final in 2023?

The board’s report on the IFA bid says: ‘If the bid is successful, it is expected that there will be financial demand – however there is no indication at this time of what this will be. could be.

“The profile of the 2023 UEFA Conference League final is perhaps comparable to that of the Super Cup, and so there is the possibility of similar demand for the 2021 event.”

Last August, Belfast hosted the UEFA Super Cup final at Windsor Park, with the Council donating £200,000 to the IFA for the event. That council said the money was allocated to “areas such as city entertainment, mobility and fan experience, the official dinner at City Hall and other city logistics.”

The council’s report states: “An estimated 12,725 overnight stays were created in Belfast (for the Super Cup), generating £1.12million for the local accommodation sector. A further £700,000 was spent by participants in Northern Ireland for the match.

“The direct economic impact of the event was measured at £3.9m with a total economic impact of over £4m.

“The benefits generated by the Super Cup also extend beyond the economic impacts. The match was broadcast on television and digital media around the world, attracting an audience of 24.4 million people.

The council noted that it has not yet agreed to donate funds. He says: “It should also be noted that 2023 is a year of major event activity for the council, including hosting ‘One Young World’, hosting the now biennial Maritime Festival flagship event and preparation for the Year of Culture 2024. , as well as an annual program of events and possibly early planning for the Fleadh Cheol.

“These existing commitments were taken into account in the division’s resource planning which did not include a provision for this event (UEFA Conference League.)”

DUP alderman Brian Kingston told the council committee: “It is at an early stage, but we must welcome this opportunity, and any opportunity to put Belfast on the international map as a positive host city for major events. . We should be excited.

“We are not being asked to commit financially at this stage, there will be demand in due course. our visibility and our reputation.

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