Canada Hope To Be Winners Off The Field At Least
The logistics of inviting 23 teams to Canada is mind-boggling enough without having to make sure all the grounds used for the under 20s World Cup meet FIFA standards. The Canadians expect to get a return on their investment of course but they have to invest first before any profit can be calculated. We asked Dr Suzanne Flannigan, Media Relations Officer for the Victoria Site Organising Committee for some facts and figures. She said: "The costs have been substantial but much of the infrastructure will stay in Victoria (including some temporary seats). FIFA have exacting standards regarding the park and we simply complete what they stipulate. We now have a world class pitch, which meets FIFA standards, in our city".
It is not just Victoria which will benefit from the influx of visitors for the football but the other match locations across the country will also add to the return for Canada as a whole. There will also be follow on return as a proportion of the fans will return to enjoy Canada's other delights. But Canada is looking for a decent return just from the World Cup visitors and the projected figures make pleasant reading for the accountants. Dr Flannigan went on: "The original Economic Impact suggested Can$166 million (over £77.5 m). That may increase substantially as the latest attendance figures suggest over 800,000 people will now go to the games. If there is a real last minute rush for tickets at the gate, we would expect to reach and possible exceed as many as one million onsite spectators across the six venues."
Of course, the Tartan Army will be willing to help pay off some of the Canadian investment as they follow the national side. It is hard to estimate just how many will be heading over the Atlantic to watch the World Cup games but even if nobody boarded a plane from Scotland, the Under 20s can expect a warm Scottish welcome. British Columbia has more than it's share of ex-pats so Dr Flannigan is expecting Scotland to be well supported. She said: "We do not have an actual projected count but between the Celtic and Rangers supporters clubs along with the Scottish Association groups we would expect several hundred or more (dressed and ready to go!). We are also expecting a few busloads from the Lower Mainland. On that note we are also aware that there are several bus loads of Uruguayans who will be travelling over for the (Group B) game on 7th July (Uruguay and Zambia). We also anticipate many Japanese fans and media people, especially given that Morioka, Japan is Victoria's sister city."
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