Champagne on ice?

London’s big ticket sporting events are, according to new surveys published in The Times newspaper, suffering from a cut back in take up of corporate hospitality by up to 25 per cent.

Operator of 14 racecourses, Arena Leisure, reports a 14 per cent decline in corporate hospitality customers for 2008, with race meetings at Windsor hard hit. A fifth of this track’s business corporate customers are estimated to come from banking and another 20 per cent from property and construction.

Says chief executive Mark Elliott: “Where people may have started the day with champagne and canapés, they’re now dropping the canapés. A buffet with lobster might now be served with beef.”

Formula One has seen its corporate hospitality revenues crash along with its sponsorship. And we hear of Premiership clubs struggling to resign their boxholders as this season’s agreements expire.

Tapanade, which provides corporate hospitality at events such as Henley Royal Regatta believes the corporate hospitality market has shrunk by a quarter. Cowes Week currently has no main sponsor, while sponsored stalls at the Chelsea Flower Show have reportedly halved this year.

If Henley, Cowes and Wimbledon are struggling to put oysters on the table, organisers looking for alternatives could find Visit London’s new sporting venues section on its main website useful.

The site is the brainchild of Visit London’s Events for London team, tasked with attracting and developing major sporting and cultural events in London.

Interim CEO of Visit London Sally Chatterjee says of the new site:

”London has some of the best sporting facilities in the world and this site enables us to raise the profile of these world famous attractions.”

http://www.visitlondon.com/sport/

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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