Budapest, April 8 (MTI) – Five billion TV viewers are expected to tune into the Budapest 2017 World Aquatics Championships, the head of Hungary’s swimming federation told business daily Napi Gazdasag on Wednesday.
Tamas Gyarfas, who is also the head of the event’s organising committee, said the figure was realistic considering that 4.53 billion watched the 2013 Barcelona event.
The budget for the Budapest event is 85 million dollars which is also to finance the construction of a new swimming complex with a capacity of 18,000 on the area of the Dagaly baths in northern Budapest.
Sports economist Gabor Szabados told the paper that 90-95 percent of the budget will go to infrastructure development, including road modernisation, public transport reorganisation and landscaping.
He said it is unlikely that a return on costs will exceed 50 percent but the 16-day event could prove invaluable in boosting Hungary’s image. Further, the new swimming complex would be suitable as a centre for water sports and leisure over the next 40-50 years.
Mihaly Muszbek, another sport economist, told the paper that foreigners generally make up 7-12 percent of the supporters attending such sport events. They usually spend 4-5 days in the city and spend around 1,000 euros per person. If the 2017 World Aquatics attracts only 200,000 visitors and 20,000 of them arrive from abroad, then 100,000 guest nights will be spent in Budapest thanks to the event, he added.