Friday, June 09, 2006
Economic Impact Study Confirms Racing as a Multi-Billion Pound Industry

Racing has been confirmed as the second biggest sport in Britain after football, both in terms of revenue and attendance, in a major new Economic Impact Study published today. The industry generated expenditure of £2.856bn in 2005, cementing its position as a substantial contributor to the British economy.

The Study, commissioned by BHB and produced by the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, highlights the significant breadth of Racing and Breeding’s activities. The industry made a tax contribution of £282m in 2004/05 and was responsible for some 18,800 full time equivalent jobs within its core industry. Taking into account further activity in the economy as a result of Racing, some 88,300 full time equivalent jobs were supported.

According to Deloitte, the number of full time employees within Racing “compares favourably” with football, and Racing “employs a substantial proportion of the total full-time workforce within professional sport in Britain”.

Other key findings of the wide-ranging Study, which has sections on the sport’s varied participants and customers, as well as comparisons within the leisure market and international competitors, include:

  • Core British Racing industry expenditure of £870m, with racecourses generating £298m, plus a further £180m in off-course racing expenditure – of all sports, Racing is a clear second to football in terms of revenue generation
  • Capital expenditure over the last four years within the industry of £421m, of which £341m was accounted for by racecourses, and a further £60m by trainers – again, after football, the £421m is the highest of any sport in Britain
  • Some £300m of projected capital investment by racecourses over the next five years
  • Britain’s 2,200 stud farms generating £202m in expenditure
  • Bookmakers’ gross win on British Racing in 2004/05 totalling £1.1bn

    In terms of Racing’s standing within the competitive sports market in Britain:

  • Four of the top eight attended sporting events in 2005 were race meetings
  • Total attendances of 5.9m last year placed Racing second to football, with Greyhound Racing in third overall with 3.8m spectators, ahead of Rugby Union, Cricket and Rugby League

    With the British leisure market forecast to grow by a further 15% between 2005 and 2009, one of the central findings of BHB’s Racing Review of 2003 is emphasised: Racing is well-positioned for further growth, and a small change in the habits of its customers can generate substantial additional revenue. £6m extra in racecourse admissions alone would result if just a quarter of racegoers that go racing once a year were to make a second visit.

    The Study will be available for free downloading on and circulated throughout the industry, along with suggestions on how the document can be put to best use by a range of stakeholders in their lobbying, marketing and promotional activities.

    BHB Chief Executive Greg Nichols said: “Racing is integral to British life and society, but we have never comprehensively quantified the level of this contribution. This Study amply demonstrates that we are a significant contributor to the leisure, agricultural and rural economies in Britain. We are a major employer, with a geographical spread across the country, and pivotal to the economic viability of a number of regional communities.

    “The broad range of British Racing’s activities ensures that our overall economic impact approached £3bn last year and generated over £280m in tax revenue for Government. Our sport, second only to football by key indicators, is clearly thriving, and has many opportunities to increase its standing in the coming years.”