A study released today claimed that the UK economy would benefit by up to £1 billion ($1.3 billion/€1.1 billion) if Liverpool was awarded the 2022 Commonwealth Games and would help Britain find new business opportunities after leaving the European Union (EU).
The study, conducted by Deloitte, the business advisory firm supporting the Liverpool 2022 bid, has been published in response to claims last week that if rivals Birmingham staged the Commonwealth Games it could showcase the best of UK industry and business to a global audience post-Brexit.
Britain is due to officially leave the EU in March 2019.
Both cities are making final pitches as the UK Government prepares to choose a city to put forward as its candidate to replace Durban, who were stripped of the event by the Commonwealth Games Federation in March following a failure to meet a series of financial deadlines.
A decision could be announced next week.
The Deloitte study estimates that £110 million (£142 million/€119 million) could be generated pre-Commonwealth Games, largely through an increase in tourism due to Liverpool’s higher profile and construction work in the city creating additional jobs for local people.
During the Games, the spending of visitors and those involved in the Games on hotels, hospitality, retail and travel could generate £60 million ($77 million/€65 million) in additional economic activity.
Significantly, legacy benefits for the city, mostly in the five years after the event, could account for £750 million (£966 million/€813 million), with a further £120 million ($155 million/€130 million) shared across the UK.
These would take the form of "place" benefits, such as the earlier development of infrastructure and regeneration projects; "people" benefits, like healthier lives through sports participation and giving local people the skills to succeed; and "productivity" benefits through increased tourism, exports and foreign investment.
"This report shows what a successful bid could mean in hard terms for the city, region and the wider UK," said Liverpool 2022 chairman Brian Barwick.
"Liverpool is a world-famous city, which people love to visit.
"Our Games plan, centred on Liverpool’s iconic waterfront, combines existing world class venues and stunning new facilities, such as a 50 metre pool in the city centre docks.
"It will attract visitors from around the world and provide a huge boost to the economy during the Games and for years to come.
"Liverpool has a rich industrial, cultural and sporting heritage and, as a globally-recognised city that has been on its own journey of reinvention, is the perfect place to showcase Britain in a post-Brexit era.
"And with Liverpool also being home to the UK’s official biennial International Business Festival which attracted over 42,000 day visitors and secured £600 million ($773 million/€651 million) of trade and investment in 2014 and 2016, the city is uniquely placed to promote UK Plc to the Commonwealth and beyond in 2022."
Many of the promised benefits, including helping with increased participation and more tourism, have been made by organisers of previous multi-sport events in Britain, including the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics in London and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Many experts, though, remain doubtful about the true benefit of such Games.
"We have conducted a robust socio-economic analysis within Treasury guidelines and we are confident that the analysis confirms a very positive impact for Liverpool, Manchester and the UK," Mark Lawrie, a partner at Deloitte, said.
"It is also important to recognise that there are a large number of ancillary investments planned that will enhance the city’s infrastructure enabling it to both act as a host for the Games, and as a driver of trade and tourism for the UK.
"The acceleration of these investments will have a significant impact on the regional economy and help to secure an enduring legacy benefit for the UK.
"We believe that when considered in its entirety this evidence makes a compelling endorsement of Liverpool’s ability to showcase the best of 'UK Plc'."
insidethegames asked Liverpool 2022 for a full copy of the study but were told that "as it is an annex of the Bid submission, we are unable to share the entire report".