Soccer Brings Billions of Tourist Dollars to The U.K.

    • England’s North West region saw soccer bring in nearly one-fifth of its tourists.
    • The region is home to the Premier League’s Manchester United, Manchester City, and Liverpool FC.

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England’s North West region sees millions of visitors each year, and soccer is a huge reason why.

Home to the Premier League’s Manchester United, Manchester City, and Liverpool FC, 18% of the region’s tourists visited specifically for soccer-related purposes in 2019, compared to London’s 3%.

Overseas visitors who watched a soccer match spent a collective $1.9 billion in the United Kingdom in 2019.

  • That year, 1.5 million visits to the U.K. involved watching a live soccer game, with roughly 226,000 trips to Man U’s Old Trafford and 213,000 to Liverpool’s Anfield.
  • The National Football Museum in Manchester told Forbes that pre-pandemic about 50,000 of its visitors came from overseas each year.

The top eight stadiums accounted for 80% of overseas soccer stadium visits in England in 2019, and 70% of Americans who went overseas to watch a game said “atmosphere” was a main reason for their travels.

Despite significant financial losses during the pandemic, things are looking up for some Premier League clubs.

Man U, for example, saw revenue increase 15.3% year-over-year to $129.3 million in fiscal Q4 following a 140.4% jump in broadcast revenue to $54.9 million.