World Cup bid is worth £292m to city
THE football World Cup could net Plymouth a staggering £292million if the city is chosen as a host venue.
Fans pouring into Plymouth – and the rest of Devon and Cornwall – would bring a massive cash injection, councillors will be told on Monday.
The cost of bringing at least four World Cup matches to the city, along with training camps around the region and "Fan Fests" on the Hoe, would be about £15million, a special meeting of the full council will hear.
The council will decide on Monday whether to go ahead and submit an application to be a host city as part of the England bid to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup.
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Final bids are due to be submitted on Thursday next week.
Council leader Vivien Pengelly said: "If we go ahead we all need to be in this together – it will take the full co-operation of everyone in the city to make us a real contender.
"We will have to put aside politics and any doubts and all strive to make Plymouth FIFA's choice for a host city.
"The benefits are potentially enormous, but there are substantial costs and obligations which need careful consideration.
"I've made no secret about my feelings – I think this is a wonderful opportunity for Plymouth. It really would raise the city's profile, help to continue the development of sporting facilities, as well as hotels and bed and breakfasts, and generate what is potentially a massive income for the economy.
"If local businesses benefit, then local people will benefit – I'm told being a host city could create more than 3,000 extra jobs.
"Improvements to the city will be a lasting legacy, plus the effects of international exposure will be priceless for the city and region's reputation as a tourist destination."
A report to the council says: "Costs are likely to be in the region of £15million in the period from 2010-2019, with the majority in the last three years.
"The event would generate substantial revenue into the city and region with an estimated total spend in the city of around £292 million. The benefits of this would largely flow to the private sector."
The private sector will need to pick up a large part of the tab.
If councillors agree on Monday, the city council will be committing itself to fulfilling its obligations as a host city if Plymouth is eventually selected.
The England 2018 team has to submit its bid to FIFA by May 2010, and the winning countries which will host the 2018 and the 2022 World Cups will be announced on December 2, 2010.
The council is part of a bid consortium led by Plymouth Argyle and chaired by Douglas Fletcher, chief executive of the Plymouth and South West Co-operative Society and chairman-designate of the Chamber of Commerce.
Also in the consortium are Devon and Cornwall Councils, Plymouth University and the Plymouth City Development Company.
Plymouth is one of 16 cities competing to be chosen as one about a dozen venues.
Tudor Evans, the Labour group leader on the council, said: "We offered our support initially, but like everything the devil is in the detail.
"If we are selected we will guarantee everything FIFA asks. They are asking for a massive blank cheque from the taxpayers. If we get over the next hurdle the costs will escalate exponentially."
The critical point of the bid is that Plymouth Argyle delivers a stadium with a total capacity of 43,000.
To pledge your support, go to http://www.plymouthworldcupbid.com,
click on the red square link to the FA's England 2018 site and then
scroll down the page to the voting registration web link.
Alternatively, text 'Plymouth' to 62018.
Plymouth Argyle World Cup Bid promotional video.
Argyle press conference: Plymouth bid to host World Cup. Filmed August 21. 2009.