Tweet Clearly, the fact that the Ryder Cup is being held in Wales will attract publicity for Wales; and it's reasonable to hope that it will increase Wales' profile and improve our image internationally. It will also give people in Wales a chance to see world class sportspeople in action. Those are worthy aims in themselves.
I'm not convinced that it will bring the claimed economic benefits, though. And the efforts of government spokespeople to spin this in terms of £s and jobs look to me as though figures are more or less being plucked out of the air. That there will be some benefit to local businesses particularly in catering and accommodation seems reasonably certain; but whether it repays the investment looks rather less so.
But does it matter? Should we really look at events like this solely in terms of pounds and pennies? If we always took such a narrow view, then Wales would never bid for any major events, and we would be confining ourselves to the backwaters.
A confident, outward-looking Wales has a role to play in the world, and that includes hosting international events from time to time. We might need to pick and choose which we can afford, and which we think will do most for us and the people of Wales, but we shouldn't just decline to consider any such events on the basis of a simple profit and loss exercise. Neither should we seek to justify them on the basis of figures which are, at best, of dubious provenance.
My concern isn't about whether such events achieve the results which the government promise in advance (and which are ultimately pretty unprovable anyway), it's about whether we choose the right events, and whether we are able to afford the ones we select. Oh - and where the money comes from. I'm not sure that is is right or sensible to spend economic development money on such events.
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